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Beazley, Samuel (1786–1851), architect and playwright, was born in Parliament Street, Westminster, the son of an army accoutrement maker. He trained in the office of his uncle Charles Beazley (c.1760–1829) and went on to become the leading theatre architect of his time and the first notable English expert in this field. His life was not, however, that of a single-minded specialist. ...

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Vanbrugh, Sir John (1664–1726), playwright and architect, was born probably on 24 January 1664, the day of his baptism at home, in the parish of St Nicholas Acons, London. His parents were Giles Vanbrugh (1631–1689), a London merchant of Flemish extraction, and Elizabeth (...

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Sir John Vanbrugh (1664–1726) by Sir Godfrey Kneller, c. 1704–10 © National Portrait Gallery, London