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Arber [née Robertson], Agnes (1879–1960), botanist, was born at 26 Regent's Park Road, London, on 23 February 1879, the eldest child of Henry Robert Robertson (1839–1921), an artist, and Agnes Lucy Turner, a descendant of Robert Chamberlain (d. 1798), ceramicist, of ...

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Annie Besant (1847–1933) by Hayman Selig Mendelssohn © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Besant [née Wood], Annie (1847–1933), theosophist and politician in India, was born at 2 Fish Street Hill in the City of London on 1 October 1847, the only daughter of William Persse Wood (d. 1852), underwriter, and his wife, Emily Roche Morris (...

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See Bramall, Sir (Ernest) Ashley

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Brigid Antonia Brophy (1929–1995) by Mark Gerson, 1966 © Mark Gerson; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Brophy, Brigid Antonia [married name Brigid Antonia Levey, Lady Levey] (1929–1995), writer and campaigner, was born at 79 Uxbridge Road, Ealing, London, on 12 June 1929, the second child of John Brophy (1899–1965), a Liverpool-born writer and editor of Irish descent, and his wife, ...

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Butts [married names Rodker, Aitken], Mary Franeis (1890–1937), writer, was born on 13 December 1890 at The Salterns, Parkstone, south Dorset, the elder of the two children of Frederick John Butts (1833–1905), captain and gentleman, and his second wife, Mary Jane (1863–1944)...

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Carlile, Elizabeth Sharples (1803–1852), freethought lecturer and advocate of women's rights, was one of six children born to Ann and Richard Sharples, a counterpane manufacturer, in Bolton, Lancashire, probably late in 1803. The family was pious and prosperous, the children received a good education, and ...

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Dame Bridget Cicely D'Oyly Carte (1908–1985) by Jane Bown, 1982 © Jane Bown

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Carte, Dame Bridget Cicely D'Oyly (1908–1985), theatre manager, was born on 25 March 1908 at Suffolk Street, Pall Mall, London, the elder child of Rupert D'Oyly Carte (1876–1948), chairman of the Savoy group of companies and proprietor of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company...

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Cobbe, Frances Power (1822–1904), writer and campaigner for women's rights, was born in Dublin on 4 December 1822. She was the fifth child and only daughter of Charles Cobbe (1781–1857), a landowner, of Newbridge House, co. Dublin, and his wife, Frances Conway (1777–1847)...

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Maker: Florence Graham

Frances Power Cobbe (1822–1904) by Florence Graham, 1897 © reserved; Cobbe Collection Trust

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Codd, Clara Margaret (1876–1971), suffragette and theosophist, was born on 10 October 1876 at Pill House, Bishops Tawton, Barnstaple, north Devon, the eldest of ten children of Henry Frederick Codd (d. 1899) and his wife, Clara Virginia, née Botto (1853–1927). She was educated at home by governesses, and at fifteen rejected Christianity and declared herself an atheist. When she was twenty-three her father, a school inspector, died and the family moved to ...

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Cole [née Postgate], Dame Margaret Isabel (1893–1980), political activist and author, was born in Cambridge on 6 May 1893, the eldest in the family of two daughters and four sons of John Percival Postgate (1853–1926), fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and later professor of Latin at the ...

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Cook, Ida [pseud. Mary Burchell] (1904–1986), author and campaigner for Jewish refugees, was born on 24 August 1904 at 37 Croft Avenue, Sunderland, the second of four children of William James Cook (1865–1959), surveyor of customs and excise, and his wife, Mary, ...

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Rebecca A. Pope and Susan J. Leonardi

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See Cook, Ida [pseud. Mary Burchell]

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Frances Crofts Cornford (1886–1960) by Sir William Rothenstein, 1925 © Estate of Sir William Rothenstein / National Portrait Gallery, London

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Geoffrey Keynes

revised by Sayoni Basu

Cornford [née Darwin], Frances Crofts (1886–1960), poet, was born in Cambridge on 30 March 1886, the only child of Sir Francis Darwin (1848–1925) and his second wife, Ellen Wordsworth Crofts (1856–1903), daughter of John Crofts, of Leeds. Ellen was a lecturer in English at ...

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Couvreur [née Huybers; other married name Fraser], Jessie Catherine [pseud. Tasma] (1848–1897), author, was born on 28 October 1848 at Southwood Lodge, Highgate, Middlesex, the second child and eldest daughter in a family of five sons and three daughters. Her mother, ...

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Edwards, Matilda Barbara Betham (1836–1919), writer, was born on 4 March 1836 at Westerfield, Suffolk, the fourth daughter of Edward Edwards (c.1808–1864), a farmer, and Barbara (1806–1848) daughter of the Revd William Betham (1749–1839), antiquary. Her father was known as the best farmer thereabouts, and through her upbringing she coupled a deep understanding of farming with literary traditions from her mother's side, nourished from an early age by literary letters from her aunt and godmother ...