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Connell, James [Jim] (1852–1929), socialist and writer of The Red Flag, was born on 27 March 1852 in McCormack's Yard, Kilskyre, Crossakiel, co. Meath, Ireland, the eldest of thirteen children born to Thomas Connell, farm labourer, and his wife, Ann Shaw. It is likely that he was born ...

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Freeth, John [pseud. John Free] (1731–1808), innkeeper and political ballad writer, was born at the Bell tavern, Philip Street, Birmingham, the son of Charles Freeth, landlord of the Bell, and his wife, Mary. Nothing is known of Freeth's education or of his early years, although it seems that he was once an itinerant street ballad singer. Where and when ...

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Halket, George (bap. 1692, d. 1756), Jacobite songwriter and schoolmaster, son of James Halket, was baptized in Banff on 6 July 1692. He completed his studies at King's College, Aberdeen, 1709–13, but—as was then quite common—did not graduate. In 1714 he was appointed schoolmaster, precentor, and session clerk of ...

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Hopkinson, Francis (1737–1791), musician, jurist, and revolutionary politician in America, was born on 2 October 1737 in Philadelphia and baptized at Christ Church, son of Thomas Hopkinson (1709–1751), lawyer, and his wife, Mary Johnson (1718–1804), both recent émigrés from England. He was among the first generation of native-born Americans trained to cultivate the arts and sciences on their own soil. Most were gentlemen amateurs who dabbled in many arts and mastered none. ...

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Kearney, Peadar (1883–1942), Irish revolutionary and songwriter, was born at 11 Lower Drumcondra Road, Dublin, on 12 December 1883, the oldest of six surviving children of John Kearney (1854–1897), a grocer, and his wife, Kathleen (Katie), née McGuinness (1860–1907), from Rathmaiden, Slane, co. Meath...

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John Ono Lennon (1940–1980) by Annie Leibovitz, 1970 © Annie Leibovitz; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Lennon, John Ono (1940–1980), musician, composer, and political activist, was born John Winston Lennon at Oxford Street Maternity Hospital, Liverpool, on 9 October 1940, the only child of Julia Stanley (1914–1958), a cinema usherette, and Alfred (Freddy) Lennon (1912–1976), a merchant seaman. Three half-sisters were born to his mother subsequently, including ...