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Bassano, Alvise (d. 1554), musician and instrument maker, was presumably born in Bassano, near Venice, in the late fifteenth century, the second son of Maestro Jeronimo (d. 1539?), known as Piva (‘bagpipe’). By 1515 he was playing in Venice, and he served in ...

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See Bassano, Alvise

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Peter Thomas Bauer, Baron Bauer (1915–2002) by Nick Sinclair, 1992 © Nick Sinclair; photograph National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bauer, Peter Thomas, Baron Bauer (1915–2002), economist, was born on 6 November 1915 in Budapest, the son of Aladár Dezsö Bauer (1883–1944), bookmaker, and his wife, Anna, née Grossmann. He attended the Scholae Piae (a Gymnasium of the Piarist order) and enrolled for a law degree at the ...

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Peter James Henry Benenson (1921–2005) by Carolyn Djanogly, 1999 © Carolyn Djanogly; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Benenson, Peter James Henry (1921–2005), barrister and human rights campaigner, was born on 31 July 1921 at 6 Albert Court, Knightsbridge, London, the only child of Lieutenant-Colonel Harold Josiah Solomon (1885–1930), army officer, and his wife, Flora (1895–1984), daughter of the Jewish Russian banker ...

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Henri Georges Stephan Adolphe Opper de Blowitz (1825–1903) by Henri Dochy © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Blowitz, Henri Georges Stephan Adolphe Opper de (1825–1903), journalist, was born at Blovice in the Plzeň district of Bohemia, on 28 December 1825, the elder son of Marc Opper or Oppert, a tradesman, and Anne Hartmann. The exact circumstances of his early life are uncertain; the account that he dictated for his posthumously published ...

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Carvajal, Antonio Fernandez (d. 1659), merchant, was probably born in Portugal, for in his youth he seems to have lived in Fundão. He may have fled to Spain at some time, and apparently owned land in the Canary Islands. By the early 1630s he was in ...

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Sir Ernest Joseph Cassel (1852–1921) by Anders Leonard Zorn, 1909 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Cassel, Sir Ernest Joseph (1852–1921), merchant banker and financier, was born on 3 March 1852 in Cologne, Germany, the youngest of the three children of Jacob Cassel (1802–1875) and Amalia, née Rosenheim (d. 1874). Jacob Cassel had a small banking business, founded by his father, ...

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Ferdinand, Philip (1556–1599), Hebrew and Arabic scholar, was born of Jewish parentage in Poland in 1556. In his youth he studied the Talmud in the traditional Jewish manner and, judging from his elegant Latin, his command of Greek, and his fine handwriting, also received a humanist education. After about 1580 he was in ...

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R. J. Minney

revised by Clare L. Taylor

Frankau, Gilbert (1884–1952), novelist and poet, was born on 21 April 1884 in Gloucester Terrace, London, the eldest of three sons and one daughter of Arthur Frankau (1849–1904), a principal partner of the firm of J. Frankau & Co., wholesale cigar merchants, founded originally in 1837 to import leeches from ...

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Benjamin Frankel (1906–1973) by Lida Moser, 1953 courtesy Vincent Cianni Photographs / Lida Moser; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Frankel, Benjamin (1906–1973), composer, was born on 31 January 1906 at 705 Fulham Road, Hammersmith, London, the second of three children of Charles Frankel (c.1871–1935) and his wife, Golda Dora Adler (c.1869–1958). His father, born in Warsaw, served in the tsarist army before settling in ...

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Isaacs, Godfrey Charles (1866–1925), industrialist, was born in 1866, the fourth son and seventh of nine children of Joseph Michael Isaacs (1832–1908), a London fruit and ship broker, and his wife, Sarah (1835–1922), daughter of Daniel Davis. Godfrey Isaacs was of a Jewish family which had overcome considerable prejudice to make its mark in public life. His uncle, ...

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Ludwig Karl Koch (1881–1974) by Fred Kormis, c. 1960 © reserved; unknown collection; photograph National Portrait Gallery, London

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Koch, Ludwig Karl (1881–1974), broadcaster and sound recordist, was born on 13 November 1881 at Eschersheimer Landstrasse 20, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, the second of the three children of Karl Theodor Koch, businessman, and his wife, Auguste Hess. Ludwig Koch's parents, both of whom were Jews, were enthusiastic music-lovers who introduced him into ...

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David Wiggins and Francis Dunlop

Kolnai, Aurel Thomas (1900–1973), philosopher, was born on 5 December 1900 in Budapest, Hungary, the second son of Ármin Stein (b. 1858), a savings bank director, and his wife, Valéria Glück (b. 1871), both Liberal Jews. Kolnai completed his secondary education (1910–18) with distinction at the ...

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Loewenthal, Johann Jacob [formerly János Jakab Löwenthal] (1810–1876), chess player, son of a Hungarian merchant, was born at Budapest in July 1810. He was educated at the Gymnasium of his native town, and received his first chess lessons from Szen, the noted Hungarian player, then a clerk in the archives at ...