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Anscombe, (Gertrude) Elizabeth Margaret (1919–2001), philosopher, was born on 18 March 1919 at Glanmire, North Strand, Limerick, the youngest child and only daughter of Allen Wells Anscombe (1885–1939), a schoolmaster at Dulwich College, then serving as a captain in the Royal Welch Fusiliers...

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(Gertrude) Elizabeth Margaret Anscombe (1919–2001) by Steve Pyke, 1990 [with Peter Thomas Geach] © Steve Pyke; National Portrait Gallery, London

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Astell, Mary (1666–1731), philosopher and promoter of women's education, was born in Newcastle upon Tyne on 12 November 1666, the first of two surviving children of Peter Astell (1638–1678), coal merchant, and his wife, Mary, daughter of George Errington, also a coal merchant in ...

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Benson, Margaret (1865–1916), Egyptologist and religious philosopher, was born on 16 June 1865 at Wellington College, Berkshire, the fourth of the six children of Edward White Benson (1829–1896), archbishop of Canterbury (1882–96), and his wife, Mary (1841–1918), daughter of the Revd William Sidgwick...

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Conway [née Finch], Anne, Viscountess Conway and Killultagh (1631–1679), philosopher, was born on 14 December 1631, the posthumous and second surviving daughter of Heneage Finch (1580–1631), former speaker of the House of Commons, who predeceased her birth by a week, and of his second wife, ...

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Dorothy Mary Emmet (1904–2000) by Elliott & Fry, 1958 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Emmet, Dorothy Mary (1904–2000), philosopher, was born on 29 September 1904 at 14 St Ann's Villas, Kensington, London, the elder daughter and eldest of the three children of the Revd Cyril William Emmet (1875–1923), Church of England clergyman and theologian, and his wife, ...

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Hamilton, Elizabeth (1840–1882), philosopher and educationist, was born in Edinburgh, the only daughter and fourth child of Sir William Hamilton of Preston, bt (1788–1856), philosopher and professor of logic and metaphysics at Edinburgh University 1836–56, and his cousin and wife, Janet (d...

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(Emily Elizabeth) Constance Jones (1848–1922) by Sir John Lavery, 1916 by courtesy of Felix Rosenstiel's Widow & Son Ltd., London, on behalf of the Estate of Sir John Lavery; the Mistress and Fellows, Girton College, Cambridge

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Jones, (Emily Elizabeth) Constance (1848–1922), philosopher and college head, was born on 19 February 1848 at Langstone Court, Llangarren, Herefordshire, the eldest of ten children of John Jones (b. 1813) MD JP, and his wife, Emily Edith, daughter of Thomas Oakley JP...

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Dame (Jean) Iris Murdoch (1919–1999) by Tom Phillips, 1984–6 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Murdoch, Dame (Jean) Iris (1919–1999), novelist and philosopher, was born on 15 July 1919 at 59 Blessington Street, Dublin, the only child of Irene Alice Cooper Richardson (1899–1985) and (Wills John) Hughes Murdoch (1890–1958). Since her birth occurred seven months after her parents married on 7 December 1918, the marriage was probably hasty. Her father was a quiet, unambitious civil servant, who in 1950 retired from a ‘personal grade’ of assistant registrar-general, working at ...

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Constance Caroline Woodhill Naden (1858–1889) by George J. Stodart, pubd 1890 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Naden, Constance Caroline Woodhill (1858–1889), poet and philosopher, born on 24 January 1858 at 15 Francis Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, was the only child of Thomas Naden, afterwards president of the Birmingham Architectural Association, and his wife, Caroline Anne, daughter of J. C. Woodhill...

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Rose [née Stone], Gillian Rosemary (1947–1995), philosopher, was born on 20 September 1947 at the Avenue Road Clinic, Hampstead, London. She was the eldest child of Leslie David Stone, doctor of medicine, and his wife, Evelyn (Lynn) Preveser. Her parents, who were Jewish, divorced, and at sixteen she took the surname of her stepfather, ...

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Shepherd [née Primrose], Lady Mary (1777–1847), philosopher, was born on 31 December 1777 at Barnbougle Castle, Linlithgowshire, the second of five children of Neil Primrose, third earl of Rosebery (1728–1814), and his second wife, Mary (1752–1823), daughter of Sir Francis Vincent of ...

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Trotter [married name Cockburn], Catharine (1674?–1749), playwright and philosopher, was born in High Holborn, London, probably on 16 August 1674, the second of the two daughters of David Trotter (d. 1684), naval captain, and his wife, Sarah Bellenden, who was related to ...

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Welby [afterwards Welby-Gregory; née Stuart-Wortley], Victoria Alexandrina Maria Louisa, Lady Welby (1837–1912), philosopher, was born in England on 27 April 1837, the last of three children of Charles James Stuart-Wortley (1802–1844), and his wife, Lady Emmeline Charlotte Elizabeth Stuart-Wortley, née Manners (1806–1855)...

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Anna Wheeler (1785?–184850) by Maxim Gauci, pubd 1825 (after J. Porter) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Wheeler [née Doyle], Anna (1785?–1848), philosopher, born in co. Tipperary, Ireland, was the daughter of Anna Dunbar and her husband, Nicholas Milley Doyle, a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, and prebendary of Fennor parish in co. Tipperary. She did not have a formal education but learned French, geography, and skills of repartee from foreign dignitaries visiting her military relatives and gained political insights from her godfather, ...