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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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À Beckett, Gilbert Abbott (1811–1856), comic writer and police magistrate, was born at The Grange, Hampstead, Middlesex, on 17 February 1811, the third son of William A'Beckett (1777–1855), a reform solicitor, and his wife, Sarah Abbott. His forebears were an ancient Wiltshire family, who traced their ancestry back to the fourteenth century and claimed descent from ...

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À Beckett, Gilbert Arthur (1837–1891), playwright and satirist, born at Portland House, Fulham, Middlesex, on 7 April 1837, was the eldest son of Gilbert Abbott À Beckett (1811–1856), journalist and Metropolitan Police magistrate, and his wife, Mary Anne (1817–1863), composer, daughter of Joseph Glossop...

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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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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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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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Cook, Peter Edward (1937–1995), humorist and entertainer, was born on 17 November 1937 at Shearbridge, Middle Warberry Road, Torquay, Devon, the only son and eldest of the three children of Alexander Edward (Alec) Cook (d. 1984), colonial civil servant, and his wife, ...

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Coren, Alan (1938–2007), humorous writer, was born on 27 June 1938 at 2 Queensdown Road, Hackney, London, the son of Samuel Coren, builder and plumber, and his wife, Martha, née Coren, hairdresser. At the time of his birth registration his parents lived at ...

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Gifford, William (1756–1826), satirist and editor, was born in April 1756 in Ashburton, Devon, the first of the two sons of Edward Gifford (d. 1767), glazier and house painter, and his wife, Elizabeth, formerly Cain (d. 1768), the daughter of a local carpenter. ...

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Hall, Joseph (1574–1656), bishop of Norwich, religious writer, and satirist, was born on 1 July 1574 at Bristow Park, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, the son of John Hall (d. 1608) and his wife, Winifred Bambridge. In Observations of some Specialities of Divine Providence in the Life of Joseph Hall...

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Hoffnung, Gerard [formerly Gerhardt] (1925–1959), cartoonist and musical humorist, was born in Grünewald, Berlin, on 22 March 1925, the only child of German-Jewish parents, Ludwig Hoffnung, a wealthy grain merchant, and his wife, Hilde, a widow, whose first husband, Schnabel, was killed in the First World War. His mother was a keen amateur musician and artist who encouraged his artistic talents. From his earliest years he was interested in the macabre—fairy tales, practical jokes, and the comic drawings of the famous German illustrators and caricaturists....

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Hood, Thomas (1799–1845), poet and humorist, was born on 23 May 1799 at 31 Poultry, London. His father, also Thomas Hood (1759–1811), bookseller and publisher, was a Scot from Tayside. His mother, Elizabeth Sands (d. 1821), came from a well-known London family of engravers. ...

Article

W. P. Courtney

revised by S. C. Bushell

Huddesford, George (bap. 1749, d. 1809), satiric poet, was baptized at St Mary Magdalen Church, Oxford, on 7 December 1749, the youngest son of George Huddesford DD (1698/9–1776), president of Trinity College, Oxford, and his wife, Elizabeth. William Huddesford (bap. 1732, d. 1772)...

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Mahony, Francis Sylvester [pseud. Father Prout] (1804–1866), satiric poet and journalist, was born at Cork on 31 December 1804, the second son of Mary Reynolds and Martin Mahony (1763/4–1834), a woollen manufacturer who owned and operated a mill near the town. Francis Mahony...

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Morton, John Cameron Andrieu Bingham Michael [pseud. Beachcomber] (1893–1979), humorous journalist, was born on 7 June 1893 at Park Lodge, Mitcham Road, Tooting, London, the only child of Edward Arthur Morton, journalist and dramatist, and his wife, Rosamond, daughter of Captain Devereux Bingham...

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Peacock, Thomas Love (1785–1866), satirical novelist and poet, was born on 18 October 1785 at Weymouth, or Melcombe Regis, Dorset, the only child of Samuel Peacock (c.1742–c.1793), a London glass merchant, and his wife, Sarah, née Love (1754–1832), daughter of ...

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Smith, Horatio [Horace] (1779–1849), writer and humorist, was born on 31 December 1779 in Frederick's Place, Old Jewry, London, the fifth of eight children of Robert Smith (1747–1832), a lawyer originally from Bridgwater, Somerset, where his father Samuel was a custom house officer, and his first wife, ...

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Taylor, Tom (1817–1880), playwright and comic writer, was born on 19 October 1817 in Bishopwearmouth, Sunderland, Durham, the second son of Thomas Taylor (1769–1843) and his wife, Maria Josephina, née Arnold (1784–1858). His father rose from farm labourer in Cumberland to partner in a brewery, and his mother was of German ancestry. After attending ...

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Thomson [formerly Thompson], James [pseud. B. V.] (1834–1882), poet and satirist, was born at Church Street, Port Glasgow, on 23 November 1834, the eldest of three children of James Thompson (1806–1853), a merchant seaman, and his wife, Sarah Kennedy (1798–1843), a court dressmaker. Both parents were Scottish, and his mother was a devout follower of the preacher ...

Article

S. J. Low

revised by Chandrika Kaul

Traill, Henry Duff (1842–1900), satirist and journalist, was born at Morden Hill, Blackheath, on 14 August 1842, the sixth son of James Traill (1794-1873), a stipendiary magistrate of Greenwich and Woolwich police court, and his wife, Caroline, née Whateley (1802-1858), of Handsworth, Staffordshire...