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Abercromby, Alexander, Lord Abercromby (1745–1795), judge and essayist, was born on 15 October 1745, probably at Menstrie, Clackmannanshire, the fourth and youngest son of George Abercromby of Tullibody, Clackmannanshire (1705–1800), who had trained as an advocate, and his wife, Mary (d. 1767)...

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Acland [née Fox, Fox-Strangways], Lady Christian Henrietta Caroline [Harriet] (1750–1815), diarist, was born at Kilmington, Somerset, on 3 January 1750 and baptized on 16 January at St James's, Piccadilly, London. She was the third surviving daughter of Stephen Fox, later first earl of Ilchester...

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Adomnán [St Adomnán] (627/8?–704), abbot of Iona and writer, who became known to history as the ninth abbot of Iona and the outstanding Irish churchman of his day, was born of the royal line of Cenél Conaill, a dynasty which formed part of the over-kingdom of the northern ...

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Alberti, Georg Wilhelm [pseud. Alethophilus Gottingensis] (bap. 1724, d. 1758), theologian and essayist, was baptized on 17 August 1724 ns at the church of St Aegiduen, Osterode am Harz, in the electorate of Hanover; he was the son of August Christoph Alberti...

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Alexander Alexander (b. 1781/22) by Thomas Hodgetts, pubd 1830 (after Sir John Watson-Gordon) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Alexander, Alexander (b. 1781/2), soldier and writer, was born in Dundonald, Ayrshire, the illegitimate son of a wealthy Scottish merchant. Almost everything known about him comes from his remarkable autobiography, published in Edinburgh in 1830. After what he recalled as an unhappy childhood marred by physical violence, at the age of eighteen he was sent to work as an overseer on slave plantations in ...

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Amphlett, John (1845–1918), historian and diarist, was born at Sydenham, Kent, on 22 March 1845, the eldest of the three children of John Amphlett (1839–1868) of Clent and his wife, Jane (1812–1888), daughter of Robert Smithson of Skipwith, Yorkshire. John Amphlett was seventh in nine successive generations of ...

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Francis Espinasse

revised by Douglas Brown

Anderson, Robert (1749–1830), literary scholar and biographer, was born on 7 January 1749 at Carnwath in Lanarkshire, the son of William Anderson (1718/19–1759), a feuar, or copyholder, and his wife, Margaret Melrose (1720/21–1797). On the death of his father the family was left in straitened circumstances, but ...

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See Angelo, Domenico [formerly Angiolo Domenico Maria Tremamondo]

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Elizabeth Anson, Lady Anson (1725–1760) studio of Thomas Hudson National Trust Photographic Library / John Hammond

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Anson [née Yorke], Elizabeth, Lady Anson (1725–1760), political correspondent and political manager, was born in August 1725, the sixth child and eldest daughter of Philip Yorke, subsequently first Baron and first earl of Hardwicke (1690–1764), lord chancellor, and his wife, Margaret Lygon (...

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Arbuckle, James (d. 1742), poet and essayist, was probably born in Belfast, where he grew up. He belonged to an extended Belfast merchant family of Scottish descent and was perhaps the nephew of James Arbuckle (d. 1736), an international trader and a prominent lay elder in ...

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Harriett Arbuthnot (1793–1834) by William Ensom, pubd 1829 (after Sir Thomas Lawrence, c. 1817) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Elizabeth Longford

revised by K. D. Reynolds

Arbuthnot [née Fane], Harriett (1793–1834), diarist, was born on 10 September 1793, the third and youngest daughter and third youngest of the ten children of Henry Fane (1739–1802) MP of Fulbeck Hall, Lincolnshire (second son of Thomas Fane, eighth earl of Westmorland...

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Ascham, Anthony (bap. 1614, d. 1650), diplomat and pamphleteer, was baptized on 6 March 1614 in Boston, Lincolnshire, the son of Thomas and Cicilly (d. 1634) Ascham or Ascombe. Little is known of his parents, though Allen states he was descended of the same family as ...

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(Anthony) Evelyn Melbourne Ashley (1836–1907) by Spy (Sir Leslie Ward), pubd 1883 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Ashley, (Anthony) Evelyn Melbourne (1836–1907), politician and biographer, born in London on 24 July 1836, was the fourth son of Anthony Ashley Cooper, seventh earl of Shaftesbury (1801–1885), politician and social reformer, and his wife, Emily (1810–1872), daughter of Peter Leopold Cowper, fifth Earl Cowper...

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Margaret Emma Alice Asquith, countess of Oxford and Asquith (1864–1945) by Baron Adolf de Meyer, c. 1911 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Asquith [née Tennant], Margaret Emma Alice [Margot], countess of Oxford and Asquith (1864–1945), political hostess and diarist, was born on 2 February 1864, the sixth daughter and eleventh child of Sir Charles Tennant, first baronet (1823–1906), wealthy Scottish industrialist and Liberal MP, and his first wife, ...

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Astry [married name Orlebar], Diana (bap. 1671, d. 1716), diarist and compiler of recipe books, was baptized on 2 January 1671 at St Mary's, Henbury, Gloucestershire, the third daughter and fifth child of Sir Samuel Astry (1632–1704) of Henbury, Gloucestershire, a clerk of the ...