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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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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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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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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. ...

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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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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 ...