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Arthur William À Beckett (1844–1909) by Lafayette, pubd 1907 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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À Beckett, Arthur William (1844–1909), humorist and journalist, the third son of Gilbert Abbott À Beckett (1811–1856) and Mary Anne Glossop (1817–1863), was born at Portland House, North End, Fulham, on 25 October 1844. He was educated at Honiton, then at Felsted School...

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Allibond, John (1596/7–1658), Church of England clergyman and satirist, was born at Chenies, Buckinghamshire, the son of Peter Allibond (1559/60–1629), rector of Chenies. He was a chorister at Magdalen College, Oxford, from 1612 to 1616, matriculated there on 7 June 1616, aged nineteen, and graduated BA on 3 July of the same year. While serving as clerk of ...

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Ames, Richard (bap. 1664?, d. 1692), satirist, was born of 'Plebean Extraction' (Ames, Last Search, sig. A2v); he can probably be identified with a 'Richardus Emms', son of Richard and Maria, baptized in St Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster...

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Amhurst, Nicholas (1697–1742), satirist and political writer, was born on 16 October 1697 at Marden, Kent, the first son of Edward Amhurst (bap. 1665, d. 1713), grazier, and grandson of George Amhurst, rector of Marden. His mother, Martha, née Simmonds (1664–1699), died before he was two years old. He was educated at ...

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Anton, Robert (fl. 1606–1618), satirist, is believed to have been the son of George Anton, recorder of Lincoln. He matriculated as a pensioner at Magdalene College, Cambridge, at Easter 1606 and graduated BA in 1609. He was ordained deacon in London on 23 December 1610, when he is said to have been twenty-five, and was ordained priest in ...

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John Arbuthnot (bap. 1667, d. 1735) by Sir Godfrey Kneller, 1723 © Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow

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Arbuthnot [Arbuthnott], John (bap. 1667, d. 1735), physician and satirist, was baptized on 29 April 1667 at Arbuthnott, Kincardineshire, on the north-east Scottish coast, near Stonehaven, the eldest son of Alexander Arbuthnott (c.1636–1691), minister of Arbuthnott, and Margaret, daughter of John Lammie (or Lamy)...

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Armin, Robert (1563–1615), actor and comic writer, was one of at least three children of John Armin, a tailor of King's Lynn. His probable date of birth is suggested by an indenture of October 1581, binding him for eleven years to John Lonyson...

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Battier [née Fleming], Henrietta (c. 1751–1813), poet and satirist, was the daughter of John Fleming of Staholmock, co. Meath, Ireland. She later wrote that 'strangers possess my paternal acres' (Battier, preface). By the age of eleven she was writing poetry; she thought well enough of a poem written that year (for Good Friday) to publish it in her collected volume. Her husband was the son of a ...

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Brenan, John (1768?–1830), physician and satirist, was born at Ballaghide, co. Carlow, the youngest of six children. Little is known about his parents, who were Roman Catholic and possessed some property. Brenan contributed poetry to The Sentimental and Masonic Magazine, published by ...

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Browne, Joseph (bap. 1673, d. in or after 1721), physician and satirist, a younger son of Cuthbert Browne, cleric, who held livings first in Norfolk and then in Yorkshire, was born in Treeton, Yorkshire, and baptized in Sheffield on 20 May 1673. Joseph Browne...

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Sir Francis Cowley Burnand (1836–1917) by Walery © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Burnand, Sir Francis Cowley (1836–1917), playwright and humorist, was born in Mortimer Street, London, on 29 November 1836, the only son of Francis Burnand, a London stockbroker of protestant Savoyard descent, and his first wife, Emma Cowley, who died eight days after her son's birth. Young ...

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Campbell, Archibald (bap. 1724, d. 1780), satirist, was baptized on 27 February 1724 in Larbert, Stirlingshire, the son of Archibald Campbell (1691–1756), minister of Larbert and afterwards professor of church history at St Mary's College, St Andrews, and Christian (bap. 1701), daughter of ...

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Clubbe, John (c. 1703–1773), satirist and Church of England clergyman, was one of the sons of the Revd George Clubbe (d. 1711), rector of Whatfield, Suffolk. Clubbe entered King's College, Cambridge, as a sizar in 1721, and took his BA in 1725. Ordained deacon in September of the same year, he was priested two years later. His subsequent clerical career was unexciting: vicar of ...

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John Collier (1708–1786) self-portrait, c. 1750 © Rochdale Art Gallery

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Collier, John [pseud. Tim Bobbin] (1708–1786), satirist and caricaturist, was born at Church Lane, Urmston, Lancashire, on 16 December 1708. He was the third of nine children of John Collier, Church of England clergyman (c.1676–1739) and his wife, Mary Cook (...

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Davis, James (1706/7–1755), satirical writer and physician, was the son of Walter Davis of Chepstow, Monmouthshire. He matriculated at Jesus College, Oxford, on 18 February 1723, aged sixteen, and graduated BA on 13 October 1726 and MA on 9 July 1729. He then decided to study medicine, and graduated MB on 7 December 1732. He practised as a physician in ...

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Fitzgeffrey, Henry (d. 1639/40), satirist, was the second son of Sir George Fitzgeffrey, knight, of Creaken in Barford, Bedfordshire. He was a king's scholar at Westminster School, and went on from there to Cambridge, matriculating as a pensioner at Trinity College in 1612. On 5 October 1614 he was admitted to ...