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Penelope Boothby (1785–1791) by Joshua Reynolds, 1788 private collection

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Boothby, Penelope (1785–1791), artist's model and subject of poetry, was born at Lichfield, Staffordshire, on 11 April 1785, the daughter of Sir Brooke Boothby, seventh baronet (1744–1824), and his wife, Susanna (1755–1822), daughter and sole heir of Robert Bristoe or Bristow of Micheldever, Hampshire...

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Matthias Buchinger (1674–1739) by unknown artist, late 18th cent. (after self-portrait) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Buchinger, Matthias [Matthew] (1674–1739), artist, was born on 2 June 1674 at Ansbach, near Nuremberg; details of his parents are unknown. He was born without hands, feet, lower legs, or thighs and in his life never grew taller than 29 inches. Although such symptoms might today be diagnosed as phocomelia, his impairments were attributed at the time to a fright suffered by his mother during pregnancy. He was the youngest of nine children and, according to a biography published in the ...

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Buckler, John (1770–1851), artist and architect, was born on 30 November 1770 at Calbourne, Isle of Wight, and baptized there at All Saints' Church on 27 December, the eldest son of Edward Buckler (1741–1792) and his wife, Hannah (1745–1809), daughter of William Jacob...

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Kathleen Hale (1898–2000) by Kurt Hutton, 1949 Getty Images – Kurt Hutton

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Hale, Kathleen (1898–2000), artist and writer, was born on 24 May 1898 at her family's holiday house, St Bede's, Broughton, Lanarkshire, the youngest of the three children of Charles Edward Hale (1859–1903), a travelling agent for Chappell pianos, and his wife, Ethel Alice Aylmer (1868–1965)...

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Sarah Goodin Barrett Moulton (1783–1795) by Sir Thomas Lawrence, 1794 [Pinkie] courtesy of the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California

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Moulton, Sarah Goodin Barrett [nicknamed Pinkie] (1783–1795), subject of a painting by Thomas Lawrence, was born on 22 March 1783 at Little River, St James's, Jamaica. She was the only daughter and eldest of the four children of Charles Moulton (d...

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Robert Sheffield, marquess of Normanby (1711–1715) by unknown artist, 1721? © Dean and Chapter of Westminster

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Sheffield, Robert, marquess of Normanby (1711–1715), subject of a memorial effigy, was born on 11 December 1711, probably at Buckingham House (now Buckingham Palace), Westminster, the second son of John Sheffield, first duke of Buckingham and Normanby (1647–1721), and his third wife, Katherine, ...