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William Beckford (1744–1799) by unknown engraver, pubd 1799 (after John? Miers) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Beckford, William (1744–1799), sugar planter and historian, was born in Jamaica in 1744, the son and heir of Richard Beckford (d. 1756) and his common-law wife, Elizabeth Hay. His uncle was William Beckford, lord mayor of London, and his first cousin was ...

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Blundell, William (1620–1698), royalist landowner and topographer, was born on 15 July 1620 at Crosby Hall, Little Crosby, Lancashire, the second son of Nicholas Blundell (c.1590–1631) and Jane (d. 1640), daughter of Roger Bradshaigh of Haigh, near Wigan. In 1635 at the age of fifteen he married, in ...

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Bridges, Thomas (c. 1842–1898), dictionary compiler, missionary, and sheep farmer, was found abandoned, perhaps on a bridge near Bristol, aged about two and a half, and taken to an orphanage, the name of which remains unknown. He was adopted by the Revd George Pakenham Despard...

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A. H. Bullen

revised by Karl Showler

Butler, Charles (1560–1647), philologist and apiarist, was born at High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire. He entered Magdalen Hall, Oxford, in 1579, and afterwards became a bible-clerk at Magdalen College, where he took his BA in 1584, and MA in 1587. After leaving the university he became rector of ...

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Clutterbuck, Robert (1772–1831), local historian and landowner, was born and baptized at Watford House, High Street, Watford, in Hertfordshire, on 28 January 1772. He was the eldest surviving son of Thomas Clutterbuck the younger (1744–1791) and Sarah Thurgood (1749–1788), daughter of Robert and ...

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Robert Clutterbuck (1772–1831) by William Bond (after William Henry Hunt, c. 1815) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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See Craven, Sir William

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Ekins, (Emily) Helen (1879–1964), horticulturist and educational administrator, was born on 9 November 1879 at Market Place, St Albans, the only daughter of Arthur Edward Ekins, pharmaceutical chemist, and his wife, Elizabeth Ann Childs. She matriculated from St Albans high school, where she was one of its original pupils. During the following ten years she undertook voluntary work; but in her spare time she grew plants for market, winning in the process a number of prizes at local flower shows. This experience awakened in her what was to become a lifelong interest in horticulture....

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Frere, John (1740–1807), landowner and antiquary, was born at Westhorpe, Suffolk, on 10 August 1740, the eldest son of Sheppard Frere (1712–1780), landowner, of Thwaite, Suffolk, and his wife, Susanna (1709/10–1779), daughter of John Hatley of London and Kirby Hall, Essex. He was educated at a private school kept by the ...

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Vicary Gibbs (1853–1932) by Lafayette, 1927 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Gibbs, Vicary (1853–1932), genealogist and gardener, was born at Hampstead, Middlesex, on 12 May 1853, the second surviving son of the prominent banker Henry Hucks Gibbs (1819–1907) and his wife, Louisa Anne (d. 1897), third daughter of Dr William Adams. He was great-great-nephew of the judge ...

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(Grace) Beatrix Helen Havergal (1901–1980) by Valerie Finnis, 1960s © Valerie Finnis; collection Royal Horticultural Society, Lindley Library

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Havergal, (Grace) Beatrix Helen (1901–1980), horticulturist and teacher, was born on 7 July 1901 at Roydon Manor House near Bressingham, Norfolk, the second of three children of the Revd Clement Havergal (1858–1941), vicar of Bressingham, and his wife, Eveline Mary Barrett (1869–1931). The children had a happy life despite friction between their father, an eccentric and repressive character, and their artistic and romantic mother. In 1902 the family moved to ...

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Sir (Richard) Colt Hoare, second baronet (1758–1838) by Samuel Woodforde, 1795 [left, with his son] National Trust Photographic Library / John Hammond

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Hoare, Sir (Richard) Colt, second baronet (1758–1838), landowner and antiquary, was born on 9 December 1758 at Barn Elms, Barnes, Surrey, the eldest son of Sir Richard Hoare, first baronet (1735–1787), banker, and Anne Hoare (1737–1759), known as Nanny, daughter of Henry Hoare (1705–1785)...

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Hodgkinson, George Christopher (1816–1880), schoolmaster and meteorologist, was born at Newark, Nottinghamshire, the son of George Hodgkinson, attorney, and his wife, Julia Beevor. From King Edward VI School, Louth, he went in 1833 as a pensioner to Trinity College, Cambridge, graduating BA (fourteenth wrangler) in 1837 and MA in 1842. His first posts were as master at the ...

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W. A. J. Archbold

revised by J. A. Marchand

Howard, Henry (1757–1842), landowner and antiquary, was born at Corby Castle, Cumberland, on 2 July 1757, the eldest son of Philip Howard (1730–1810) of Corby Castle, religious writer, and Anne, daughter of Henry Witham of Cliff, Yorkshire. His was a Roman Catholic family: his father wrote a ...

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Richard Ovenden and Stuart Handley

Howard, Lord William (1563–1640), antiquary and landowner, was born at Audley End, Essex, on 19 December 1563, the younger son of Thomas Howard, fourth duke of Norfolk (1538–1572), and his second wife, Margaret (1540–1564), only daughter and heir Thomas, Lord Audley of Walden...

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Johnes, Thomas (1748–1816), agriculturist and translator, was born at Ludlow, Shropshire, on 1 September 1748, the eldest son of Thomas Johnes (1727–1780) of Llanfair Clydogau and Croft Castle, Herefordshire, member of parliament for Radnorshire, and his wife, Elizabeth (d. 1813), daughter of ...