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Adshead, (Sylvia) Mary (1904–1995), mural painter and designer, was born on 15 February 1904 at 46 Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, London, the only child of Stanley Davenport Adshead (1868–1946), architect and academic, and Mary Annie (1874–1960), née Blackie, teacher and housewife, who both had considerable influence on her career and early success. A delicate child, she was educated initially at home by her mother. From 1910 until 1913 the family spent part of each year in ...

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Angus, Margaret MacGregor [Peggy] (1904–1993), designer and artist, was born on 9 November 1904 in Coronel, Chile, the tenth surviving child of David Angus (1855–1926), railway engineer, and his wife, Mary, née Wilson (1860–1939), a former teacher. Her parents were originally from Scotland...

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Ashley [née Mountney], Laura (1925–1985), dress designer and interior decorator, was born on 7 September 1925 at Dowlais, near Merthyr Tudful, south Wales, the eldest of the four children (two daughters and two sons) of Stanley Lewis Mountney, a civil servant, of ...

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Laura Ashley (1925–1985) by Philip Sayer, early 1980s © Philip Sayer; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Braddell [née Busse], Dorothy Adelaide (1889–1981), designer and decorative artist, was born at 129 Inverness Terrace, Paddington, London, on 30 June 1889, the daughter of Jacob Levine Busse, stockbroker, and his wife, Annie Leonie Stiebel. After attending Miss Manville's school and King's College, London...

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Colefax [née Halsey], Sibyl Sophie Julia, Lady Colefax (1874–1950), hostess and interior decorator, was born on 4 December 1874, at The Poplars, Wimbledon Common, Surrey (the house of her uncle, Walter Bagehot). She was the third but only surviving daughter (and fifth and last child) of ...

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Garrett, Agnes (1845–1935), interior designer and suffragist, was born on 12 July 1845 at The Uplands, Aldeburgh, Suffolk, the seventh of eleven children of Newson Garrett (1812–1893), merchant, and his wife, Louisa (1813–1903), daughter of John Dunnell of Marylebone, Middlesex. She was educated at a boarding-school in ...

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See Garrett, Agnes

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Joel, Betty [née Mary Stewart Lockhart] (1894–1985), furniture and interior designer, was born on 7 June 1894 in Hong Kong, the daughter of Sir James Haldane Stewart Lockhart KCMG, LLD (1858–1937), colonial secretary and dedicated collector of Chinese art, and his wife, ...

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Lancaster [née Perkins; other married names Field, Tree], Nancy Keene (1897–1994), interior decorator, was born on 10 September 1897 at The Cottage, Mirador, Albemarle county, Virginia, USA, the second daughter of (Thomas) Moncure Perkins (1865–1914), the owner of a provisioning and meat-packing business, and his wife, ...

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Nancy Keene Lancaster (1897–1994) by unknown photographer © reserved; News International Syndication; photograph National Portrait Gallery, London

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Mackintosh, Margaret Macdonald [née Margaret Macdonald] (1864–1933), watercolour painter and designer, was born on 5 November 1864 in Tipton, Staffordshire, the second of the five children of John Macdonald (1825–1895), engineer and colliery manager, and his wife, Frances Grove Hardeman (1838–1912), daughter of ...

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Maugham [née Barnardo; other married name Wellcome], (Gwendoline Maud) Syrie (1879–1955), interior decorator, was born on 10 July 1879 at The Cedars, Banbury Road, Hackney, London, the eldest daughter and third of seven children of Thomas John Barnardo (1845–1905), medical doctor and philanthropist, and ...

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(Gwendoline Maud) Syrie Maugham (1879–1955) by Nitscher Wellcome Library, London

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See Russell, Richard Drew [Dick]

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Robertson [née Lewis], Doris Adeney, Lady Robertson, (1899–1981), architect, interior designer, and writer, was born in the suburb of Kew, Melbourne, Australia, on 8 March 1899, the daughter of John Reynolds Lewis, an agent and manufacturer, and his wife, Sarah Jane Agnes, ...

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Rope, Ellen Mary (1855–1934), sculptor and plaster designer, was born on 14 March 1855 in Blaxhall, near Woodbridge, Suffolk, the seventh of nine children of George Rope (1814–1912), farmer and corn merchant, and Anne (1821–1882), eldest daughter of Thomas Pope of Blaxhall. Her eldest brother, ...