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Baddeley [née Snow], Sophia (1745?–1786), actress and singer, was born, according to her friend and biographer Elizabeth Steele, in the parish of St Margaret, Westminster, in 1745, the daughter of the trumpeter Valentine Snow (d. 1770). Her baptism is not recorded in the register of ...

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Baillie, Dame Isobel [real name Isabella Douglas Baillie] (1895–1983), singer, was born on 9 March 1895 at 2 Princes Street, Wilton, in the border town of Hawick, Roxburghshire, Scotland, the youngest in a family of a son and three daughters of Martin Pott Baillie...

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Bannister [née Harper], Elizabeth (1757–1849), actress and singer, was, according to the encomium in the Thespian Magazine (1793), the daughter of a Mrs Harpur, 'now a mantua-maker [dressmaker] at Bath', who, having made a marriage disapproved of by her family, educated her daughter perforce 'to her business' (...

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Billington [née Weichsel], Elizabeth (1765–1818), singer, was born in Litchfield Street, Soho, London, on 27 December 1765, the first of the three children of Carl Friedrich Weichsel (1728–1811) and his wife, Fredericka Weirman (d. 1786). Weichsel, a native of Freiburg, Saxony...

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Broadwood, Lucy Etheldred (1858–1929), musician and folk-song collector, was born on 9 August 1858 at Pavilion House, Melrose, Scotland, the youngest of the eleven children of Henry Fowler Broadwood (1811–1893), piano manufacturer, and his wife, Juliana Maria, née Birch (1816–1898). She was the great-granddaughter of ...

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Butt, Dame Clara Ellen (1872–1936), singer, was born on 1 February 1872 at 4 Adur Terrace, Southwick, Sussex, the eldest daughter and eldest surviving child of Henry Butt, a captain in the mercantile marine, and his wife, Clara Hook, great-granddaughter of Theodore Hook...

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Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson

Catley, Ann (1745–1789), singer and actress, was born in an alley off Tower Hill, London, the daughter of a washerwoman and a hackney coachman, Robert Catley. According to The Life and Memoirs of the Late Miss Ann Catley (1789–90) she was a pretty and sexually precocious girl who earned money singing at public houses and to officers at the ...

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Falkner [Faulkner; married names Donaldson, Lumm], Anna Maria (d. 1796/7), singer, was said to have been the niece and adopted daughter of the Dublin publisher George Faulkner (1703?–1775). On 23 November 1745 she sang Eurydice in the pantomime afterpiece Orpheus and Eurydice...

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Fenton [née Besswick; married name Powlett or Paulet], Lavinia, duchess of Bolton (1710–1760), actress and singer, was born on 7 October 1710 and baptized at St Margaret Westminster on 22 October as Lavinia Besswick, daughter of Peter and Elizabeth. According to The Life of Lavinia Beswick, alias Fenton, alias Polly Peachum...

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Ferrier, Kathleen Mary (1912–1953), singer, was born on 22 April 1912 at 1 Bank Terrace, Higher Walton, Walton-le-Dale, Lancashire, the third surviving child of William Ferrier, schoolmaster, and his wife, Alice Murray. Ferrier's father taught in a school in Blackburn, where her natural talent as a pianist (she became an ARCM at the age of eighteen) already suggested a career before she became a ...

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Michael T. R. B. Turnbull

Garden, Mary (1874–1967), singer, was born at 35 Charlotte Street, Aberdeen, on 20 February 1874, the first of the four daughters of Robert Davidson Garden (b. 1851), cashier at the Blaikie ironworks, and his wife, Mary, née Joss (1852–1948), who had married a little over a month before their daughter's birth. Shortly afterwards the family moved to ...

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Grisi, Giulia (1810?–1869), singer, was born in Milan, probably on 22 May 1810, the daughter of Gaetano Grisi, a surveyor officer in Napoleon's army, and his wife, Giovanna Grassini. Her aunt and sister were famous opera singers. After convent schooling at Gorizia...

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Hunt, Arabella (1662–1705), singer and musician, was born on 27 February 1662 and baptized on 14 March in the parish of St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, the only surviving child of Richard Hunt, gentleman and landowner, and his wife, Elizabeth, whose maiden name was probably ...

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Lehmann [married name Bedford], Elizabeth Nina Mary Frederica [Liza] (1862–1918), composer and singer, was born on 11 July 1862 at 139 Westbourne Terrace, London, the daughter of the painter (Wilhelm Augustus) Rudolf Lehmann (1819–1905) and his wife, the composer Amelia Lehmann (‘A. L.’), ...

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Linley [married name Sheridan], Elizabeth Ann (1754–1792), singer and writer, was born on 5 September (some sources give 4 or 7 September) 1754, probably in her parents' house on Abbey Green, Bath, Somerset, the eldest daughter of the musician Thomas Linley (1733–1795)...

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Martyr [née Thornton], Margaret (1761/2–1807), singer and actress, was the daughter of Mr Thornton, a London tailor, and his wife, Margaret (d. 1788). A pupil of James Hook, she sang his music at Vauxhall Gardens in the summers of 1778–80. Miss Thornton...

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Mattocks [née Hallam], Isabella (1746–1826), actress and singer, was born at 3 Lambeth Street, Whitechapel, London, in 1746, and baptized at St Mary, Whitechapel, on 25 May, the daughter of Lewis Hallam (1714?–1756?) and his wife, Sarah Hallam (d. 1774) [see under...

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Stephens, Catherine [Kitty] [married name Catherine Capel-Coningsby, countess of Essex] (1794–1882), singer and actress, was born at 85 Park Street, Grosvenor Square, London, on 18 September 1794, the daughter of Edward Stephens (c.1768–1827), a carver and gilder. Her choice of career was probably influenced by her elder sister ...

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Thicknesse [née Ford], Ann (1737–1824), writer and musician, was born on 22 February 1737 near the Temple, London, the only child of Thomas Ford (d. 1768), clerk of the arraigns, and his wife, formerly Miss Champion. Her father made sure that she had an unusually extensive education, which he claimed had cost him at least ...

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Tilley, Vesta [real name Matilda Alice Powles; married name Matilda Alice de Frece, Lady de Frece] (1864–1952), music-hall entertainer, was born in Commandery Street, Worcester, on 13 May 1864, the second of the thirteen children of Henry Powles (c.1842–1889), a china painter with theatrical ambitions, and his wife, ...