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Article

W. C. Monkhouse

revised by Arianne Burnette

Aggas, Robert (c. 1620–c. 1682), landscape and scene painter, was the son of Samuel Agas of St Andrew's parish, Holborn. The family was originally from Stoke by Nayland in Suffolk. Samuel Agas was the son of Edward Aggas, a bookseller and printer, and relative of ...

Article

See Arne family

Article

Arthur, John (bap. 1708?, d. 1772), actor and designer of stage machinery, was most probably the son of Thomas and Mary Arthur who was baptized at St Paul's Church, Covent Garden, London, on 23 April 1708. In September 1730 he made an appearance at ...

Article

Asquith, Anthony (1902–1968), film director and aesthete, was born on 9 November 1902 in London, the youngest son of Herbert Henry Asquith, first earl of Oxford and Asquith (1852–1928), the Liberal statesman and future prime minister, and his second wife, Margaret Emma Alice (Margot) Asquith (1864–1945)...

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Anthony Asquith (1902–1968) by Howard Coster, 1935 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Dame Beryl Margaret Bainbridge (1932–2010) by Eamonn McCabe, 2002 © Eamonn McCabe

Article

Bainbridge, Dame Beryl Margaret (1932–2010), actress, writer, and artist, was born on 21 November 1932 at 294 Menlove Avenue, Allerton, Liverpool, the younger child of Richard Bainbridge, commercial agent, and his wife, Winifred, née Baines. Her father was a self-made man who left school at ten, established himself successfully in business, but then went bankrupt as a result of the 1929 financial crash. His wife, who considered that her husband had married above himself, was disappointed and embittered by the family's reduced circumstances, and the young ...

Article

Beaton, Sir Cecil Walter Hardy (1904–1980), photographer and designer for screen and theatre, was born at 21 Langland Gardens, Hampstead, London, on 14 January 1904, the eldest of the two sons and two daughters of Ernest Walter Hardy Beaton (1867–1936), timber merchant, and his wife, ...

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Sir Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton (1904–1980) by Dorothy Wilding, 1937 © Tom Hustler / National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

Kingsley Amis

revised by M. Clare Loughlin-Chow

Betjeman, Sir John (1906–1984), poet, writer, and broadcaster, was born on 28 August 1906 at 52 Parliament Hill Mansions, north London, the only child of Ernest Edward Betjemann (1872–1934), a furniture manufacturer, and his wife, Mabel Bessie Dawson (1879–1952). The family name, of Dutch or German origin, can be traced back to an immigration in the late eighteenth century. The poet adopted his style of it about the age of twenty-one....

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Sir John Betjeman (1906–1984) by Sir Cecil Beaton, 1955 © Cecil Beaton Archive, Sotheby's

Article

W. J. Lawrence

revised by C. D. Watkinson

Beverly, William Roxby (1810?–1889), scene-painter, was born at Richmond, Surrey, probably in 1810, the youngest son of William Beverly or Beverley (1764/5–1842) and his wife, Mary (1775/6–1851). The elder Beverly, a well-known actor–manager, had abandoned his own surname of Roxby on taking to the boards, to distinguish himself from his uncle ...

Article

Biggar [married name Montlake], Helen Manson (1909–1953), sculptor, film-maker, theatre designer, and political activist, was born on 25 May 1909 at Dudley Drive, Hyndland, Glasgow, the eldest of three daughters of Hugh and Florence Biggar. She grew up in a socialist household, her father being a Christian socialist and founder member of the ...

Article

Bjørnson, Maria Elena (1949–2002), opera and theatre designer, was born in Paris on 16 February 1949, the daughter of Bjørn Bjørnson (1899–1986), chemical engineer, and Maria (Mia) Prodan de Kisbunn (1917–2004). Her father came from a distinguished Norwegian family (her great-grandfather, Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson...

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Bone, Stephen (1904–1958), artist, writer, and broadcaster, was born on 13 November 1904 in Chiswick, Middlesex, the first of two sons of the engraver Sir Muirhead Bone (1876–1953) and of Gertrude Helena Dodd (1876–1962), writer. His Scottish father's successful career as an engraver brought rigour rather than comfort to ...

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Box, John Allan Hyatt (1920–2005), film production designer, was born on 27 January 1920 at 80 Fordwych Road, Hampstead, London, the first child and elder son of Allan Cyril Box (1887–1974), a civil engineer then serving as a lieutenant in the Royal Engineers...

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Brown, Georgia (1933–1992), singer and actress, was born Lilian Claire Klot on 21 October 1933 at 24 Underwood Street, Whitechapel, London, the daughter of Mark Klot, formerly Kleotz (1904–1981), fur cutter and part-time bookmaker, and his wife, Annie, née Kirschenbaum (1906–1988). At the time of her birth registration her parents lived at ...

Article

Buckle, (Christopher) Richard Sandford [Dicky] (1916–2001), ballet critic and exhibition organizer, was born on 6 August 1916 at Old Cottage, Warcop, Westmorland, the only child of Lieutenant-Colonel Christopher Galbraith Buckle (d. 1918), of the Northamptonshire regiment, and his wife, Rose Evelyn, née...

Article

Bumpus [née Collison], Judith Harriet (1939–2010), radio producer and art historian, was born on 3 November 1939 at Savernake Hospital, Savernake, Wiltshire, the daughter of Robert Lewis Wright Collison (1914–1989), librarian and scholar, and his wife, Mary Patricia Daws, née Marshall (1911–2000)...

Article

Burford, Robert (1791–1861), panorama painter and proprietor, was the son of John Burford, a panorama proprietor. Both Robert Burford and his father worked for Robert Barker (1739–1806), the inventor of the panorama, and then, after his death, for his son Henry Aston Barker (1774–1856)...