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Arthur William À Beckett (1844–1909) by Lafayette, pubd 1907 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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À Beckett, Arthur William (1844–1909), humorist and journalist, the third son of Gilbert Abbott À Beckett (1811–1856) and Mary Anne Glossop (1817–1863), was born at Portland House, North End, Fulham, on 25 October 1844. He was educated at Honiton, then at Felsted School...

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Gilbert Abbott À Beckett (1811–1856) attrib. Charles Couzens, 1855 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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À Beckett, Gilbert Abbott (1811–1856), comic writer and police magistrate, was born at The Grange, Hampstead, Middlesex, on 17 February 1811, the third son of William A'Beckett (1777–1855), a reform solicitor, and his wife, Sarah Abbott. His forebears were an ancient Wiltshire family, who traced their ancestry back to the fourteenth century and claimed descent from ...

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Gilbert Arthur À Beckett (1837–1891) by Bassano © National Portrait Gallery, London

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À Beckett, Gilbert Arthur (1837–1891), playwright and satirist, born at Portland House, Fulham, Middlesex, on 7 April 1837, was the eldest son of Gilbert Abbott À Beckett (1811–1856), journalist and Metropolitan Police magistrate, and his wife, Mary Anne (1817–1863), composer, daughter of Joseph Glossop...

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Allibond, John (1596/7–1658), Church of England clergyman and satirist, was born at Chenies, Buckinghamshire, the son of Peter Allibond (1559/60–1629), rector of Chenies. He was a chorister at Magdalen College, Oxford, from 1612 to 1616, matriculated there on 7 June 1616, aged nineteen, and graduated BA on 3 July of the same year. While serving as clerk of ...

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Ames, Richard (bap. 1664?, d. 1692), satirist, was born of 'Plebean Extraction' (Ames, Last Search, sig. A2v); he can probably be identified with a 'Richardus Emms', son of Richard and Maria, baptized in St Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster...

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Amhurst, Nicholas (1697–1742), satirist and political writer, was born on 16 October 1697 at Marden, Kent, the first son of Edward Amhurst (bap. 1665, d. 1713), grazier, and grandson of George Amhurst, rector of Marden. His mother, Martha, née Simmonds (1664–1699), died before he was two years old. He was educated at ...

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Anton, Robert (fl. 1606–1618), satirist, is believed to have been the son of George Anton, recorder of Lincoln. He matriculated as a pensioner at Magdalene College, Cambridge, at Easter 1606 and graduated BA in 1609. He was ordained deacon in London on 23 December 1610, when he is said to have been twenty-five, and was ordained priest in ...

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John Arbuthnot (bap. 1667, d. 1735) by Sir Godfrey Kneller, 1723 © Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow

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Arbuthnot [Arbuthnott], John (bap. 1667, d. 1735), physician and satirist, was baptized on 29 April 1667 at Arbuthnott, Kincardineshire, on the north-east Scottish coast, near Stonehaven, the eldest son of Alexander Arbuthnott (c.1636–1691), minister of Arbuthnott, and Margaret, daughter of John Lammie (or Lamy)...

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Armin, Robert (1563–1615), actor and comic writer, was one of at least three children of John Armin, a tailor of King's Lynn. His probable date of birth is suggested by an indenture of October 1581, binding him for eleven years to John Lonyson...

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Ayloffe [Ayliffe], John (c. 1645–1685), satirist and conspirator, was born in Foxley, Wiltshire, the younger son of John Ayliffe (b. 1611?). He matriculated at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, in July 1662 and was admitted to the Inner Temple in 1664. An unyielding opponent of the ...

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Barrett, Eaton Stannard (1786–1820), poet and satirist, was born in Cork. Despite his contemporary success little is known of his life. With his younger brother Richard he attended a private school at Wandsworth Common, where he wrote a play which was successfully acted before the master and his family. He graduated from ...

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Battier [née Fleming], Henrietta (c. 1751–1813), poet and satirist, was the daughter of John Fleming of Staholmock, co. Meath, Ireland. She later wrote that 'strangers possess my paternal acres' (Battier, preface). By the age of eleven she was writing poetry; she thought well enough of a poem written that year (for Good Friday) to publish it in her collected volume. Her husband was the son of a ...

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Thomas Seccombe

revised by H. C. G. Matthew

Blouet, (Leon) Paul [pseud. Max O'Rell] (1847–1903), humorist, was born Léon Pierre Blouet at Avranches in Normandy on 2 March 1847, the son of Darius Napoléon Blouet, merchant; his grandfather was the governor of the prison on Mont St Michel (Verhoeven...

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Braben, Edwin Charles [Eddie] (1930–2013), comic writer, was born on 31 October 1930 at 13 Brenton Street, Liverpool, the only son of Edwin Charles (Ted) Braben (1911–1996), a butcher on St John's Market, and his wife, Catherine Agnes, née Stoddart (1910–1988). The family moved soon after to ...

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Brenan, John (1768?–1830), physician and satirist, was born at Ballaghide, co. Carlow, the youngest of six children. Little is known about his parents, who were Roman Catholic and possessed some property. Brenan contributed poetry to The Sentimental and Masonic Magazine, published by ...

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Browne, Joseph (bap. 1673, d. in or after 1721), physician and satirist, a younger son of Cuthbert Browne, cleric, who held livings first in Norfolk and then in Yorkshire, was born in Treeton, Yorkshire, and baptized in Sheffield on 20 May 1673. Joseph Browne...