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Barnard [née Pye], Charlotte Alington [pseud. Claribel] (1830–1869), balladeer and poet, only child of Henry Alington Pye (1799–1883), a lawyer and speculator, and his wife, Charlotte Mary Yerburgh (d. 1847), was born at The Cedars, St Mary's Lane, Louth, Lincolnshire...

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Boulton, Sir Harold Edwin, second baronet (1859–1935), songwriter and philanthropist, was born at Lower Woolwich Road, Charlton, Kent, on 7 August 1859, the elder son and third of eight children of Samuel Bagster Boulton (1830–1918), of Copped Hall, Totteridge, Hertfordshire, who was created baronet in 1905, and his wife, ...

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Campion, Thomas (1567–1620), poet and musician, was born in London on 12 February 1567 and baptized on the following day at St Andrew's, Holborn, the second child of John Campion (d. 1576) and Lucy, née Searle (d. 1580), widow of Roger Trigg...

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Carey, Henry (1687–1743), poet and songwriter, was born on or about 26 August 1687. The Gentleman's Magazine for July 1795 claimed he was the illegitimate son of George Savile, marquess of Halifax (1633–1695). Circumstantial evidence supports a Savile connection: three of Carey's sons were named ...

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Carter, Sydney Bertram (1915–2004), songwriter and journalist, was born on 6 May 1915 at 36 St Paul's Road, Canonbury, London, the son of Bertram Rust Carter, a jeweller's sundryman's salesman, and his wife, Ada, née Jenner. He attended Montem Street school in Islington...

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Coborn, Charles [real name Colin Whitton McCallum] (1852–1945), music-hall entertainer and songwriter, was born Colin Whitton McCallum on 4 August 1852 at 25 Sydney Square, Mile End, London, the son of Colin McCallum (1799–1872), shipbroker and freeman of the City of London...

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Charles Coborn (1852–1945) by unknown photographer [in costume for the Monte Carlo song] Mander & Mitchenson Theatre Collection

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Drake, Nicholas Rodney [Nick] (1948–1974), singer and songwriter, was born on 19 June 1948 in Rangoon, Burma, the only son of Rodney Drake (1908–1988), an engineer, and his wife, Molly, née Lloyd (1915–1993). An elder sister, Gabrielle (b. 1944), became well known as an actress. The ...

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Helen Selina Hay, countess of Gifford (1807–1867) by Camille Silvy, c. 1860 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Hay [née Sheridan], Helen Selina, countess of Gifford [other married name Helen Selina Blackwood, Lady Dufferin and Claneboye] (1807–1867), author and song writer, was the eldest daughter of Thomas Sheridan (1775–1817), colonial administrator (younger son of Richard Brinsley Sheridan), and his wife, ...

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Hopkinson, Francis (1737–1791), musician, jurist, and revolutionary politician in America, was born on 2 October 1737 in Philadelphia and baptized at Christ Church, son of Thomas Hopkinson (1709–1751), lawyer, and his wife, Mary Johnson (1718–1804), both recent émigrés from England. He was among the first generation of native-born Americans trained to cultivate the arts and sciences on their own soil. Most were gentlemen amateurs who dabbled in many arts and mastered none. ...

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Jones, Hugh (d. 1782), ballad writer, was for most of his life associated with Llangwm in Denbighshire (and known as Huw Jones o Llangwm), but little or nothing is known about his origins. He married, but the name of his wife is unknown. References in his works suggest he had at least a son and a daughter....

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J. C. Hadden

revised by David J. Golby

Knight, Joseph Philip (1812–1887), songwriter, was born in Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, on 26 July 1812, the youngest son of Francis Knight DD, vicar of Bradford-on-Avon. At the age of sixteen he studied harmony and thoroughbass with John Davis Corfe, organist of Bristol Cathedral, and began composing. He subsequently published in 1832 a set of six songs under the pseudonym ...

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Linley, George (1798–1865), poet and songwriter, was born at Briggate, Leeds, and baptized on 7 February 1798, at St Peter's Church, Leeds, a younger son of James Linley (1764–1812), a tin plate worker, and his wife, Ann (1769–1839), whose maiden name was possibly ...

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Morris, Charles (1745–1838), army officer and songwriter, was born probably near Cork, the fourth son of Captain Thomas Morris (d. c.1752), author of the song 'Kitty Crowder', and his wife, Mary (1709?–1804). The family was originally Welsh. After his father's death, ...

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See Morris, Charles

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Parker, Martin (fl. 1624–1647), ballad writer, is an obscure figure. He was probably a Londoner, as his writings were most closely associated with metropolitan culture, though his stories are populated by northern lasses, and were read throughout England. On 16 January 1629 Parker...

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Ridley, George [Geordie] (1835–1864), singer and songwriter, was born on 10 February 1835, in Gateshead, the eldest child of Matthew Ridley, ropemaker and sometime coalminer, born at Wrekenton near Gateshead about 1808, and his wife, Frances Stephenson (or Stevenson), born at Gateshead about 1812. ...

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Skellern, Peter (1947–2017), musician, singer-songwriter, and Church of England priest, was born on 14 March 1947 at Fairfield General Hospital, 380 Rochdale Old Road, Bury, Lancashire, the elder son of John Skellern (1921–2006), painter and decorator, born in Bury, and his wife ...

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Weatherly, Frederic Edward (1848–1929), songwriter and barrister, was born on 4 October 1848 at 7 Woodhill, Portishead, near Bristol, the eldest son in the large family of Frederick Weatherly (1820–1910), a country doctor, and his wife, Julia Maria, née Ford (1823–1898). He was educated at ...