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Acton, Eliza (1799–1859), writer on cookery and poet, was born at Battle, Sussex, on 17 April 1799, the eldest of the five children of John Acton and his wife, Elizabeth, née Mercer. The Actons were a Suffolk family, and returned there soon after ...

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T. W. Bayne

revised by Douglas Brown

Ainslie, Hew (1792–1878), brewer and poet, was born on 5 April 1792 at Bargeny Mains in the parish of Dailly, Ayrshire, only son of the three children of George Ainslie, a butler on the estate of Sir Hew Dalrymple Hamilton. His mother's name is unknown, but ...

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Armstrong, Thomas [Tommy] (1848–1920), pitman and poet, was born on 15 August 1848 in Wood Street, Shotley Bridge, co. Durham, the son of Timothy Armstrong, labourer, and his wife, Mary, née Wilson. Childhood rickets bowed his legs to such an extent that when at the age of nine he started work as a trapper boy in the pit his brother had to carry him there; he never exceeded ...

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Burel, John (1565x8–1603), merchant and poet, was the son of Edinburgh's wealthiest flesher, Harry Burel (d. 1587), and his second wife, Isobel Abernethie (d. 1616), who were married in January 1565. Nothing is known of Burel's schooling, but he was a good Latinist. About 1592 he married ...

Article

W. E. A. Axon

revised by Sarah Couper

Castillo, John (1792–1845), stonemason, poet, and preacher, was born at Rathfarnham, near Dublin. When he was two or three years old his parents, who were Roman Catholics, emigrated to England, and on the voyage were shipwrecked off the Isle of Man. They settled in the hamlet of ...

Article

Colling, Mary Maria (1804–1853), poet and domestic servant, was born on 20 August 1804 (although she later claimed to have been born a year later), in Tavistock, Devon, and was baptized there on 2 September 1804, the daughter of Edmund Colling (1769/70–1855), husbandman and assistant to the surveyor of the highways, and his wife, ...

Article

Cotton, Roger (c. 1557–1602), draper and poet, was born in Whitchurch, Shropshire, the fifth of six sons of Ralph Cotton, esquire, of Alkington in the parish of Whitchurch, and his wife, Jane, daughter and heir of John Smith (or Tarbock) of Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire...

Article

Jennett Humphreys

revised by Christopher Burlinson

Dod, Henry (fl. 1583?–1620), poet and merchant, was of the old family of Dod, or Doddes, the son of Peter Dod of Smithes Pentrey, Broxton, in Cheshire, and Anne, daughter of Hugh Carrington of Over, in Cheshire. He versified nine psalms '...

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Ebenezer Elliott (1781–1849) by unknown artist, c. 1840 Rotherham Libraries Museums and Arts Service

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Elliott, Ebenezer [called the Corn Law Rhymer] (1781–1849), poet and bar-iron merchant, was born on 17 March 1781 in the new foundry of Masbrough in the parish of Rotherham, Yorkshire, one of eleven children (of whom eight reached maturity) of Ebenezer Elliott (...

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Freeth, John [pseud. John Free] (1731–1808), innkeeper and political ballad writer, was born at the Bell tavern, Philip Street, Birmingham, the son of Charles Freeth, landlord of the Bell, and his wife, Mary. Nothing is known of Freeth's education or of his early years, although it seems that he was once an itinerant street ballad singer. Where and when ...

Article

Galloway, Robert (1752–1794), bookseller and poet, was born in Stirling in June 1752. Little is known about him; the earliest biographical reference is in James Robertson's Lives of Scottish Poets (1822). Some information can be gleaned from his only book, Poems, epistles and songs, chiefly in the Scottish dialect: to which are added, a brief account of the revolution in 1688, and a narrative of the rebellion in 1745–46, continued to the death of Prince Charles in 1788...

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Goddard [née Egan], Mary (bap. 1717, d. 1752), poet and milliner, was baptized on 12 July 1717 at St Nicholas Within, Dublin, the daughter of Mary, whose maiden name was probably Colwell, and Terence Egan, variously styled 'Mr.' or '...

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Harris, John (1820–1884), poet and miner, was born at Six Chimneys Cottage, Bolennowe Hill, Camborne, Cornwall, on 14 October 1820, the eldest of the ten children of John Harris (d. 1848), miner and farmer, and his wife, Christianna Smith (d. 1881)...

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Hinchliffe, William (1691–1742), poet and bookseller, was born on 12 May 1691 and baptized on 24 May at St Olave, Southwark, the son of Edward Hinchliffe, a tradesman, and Elizabeth, née Hurt. He was educated at a private grammar school in Reigate, Surrey...

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Hopkin, Lewis (1707/8–1771), poet and artisan, was the youngest son of Lewis Hopkin (c.1675–1756) of Peterston-super-montem, Glamorgan, and Joan (1674/5–1753), daughter of William Thomas of neighbouring Penrhiw-fer. One of his ancestors was the gentleman–poet Hopcyn Tomas Phylip (d. 1597) of ...

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Ivens, Michael William (1924–2001), free-enterprise propagandist and poet, was born at Leonora, Nicholas Lane, Laindon, Essex, on 15 March 1924, the son of Harry Guest Ivens, a boiler salesman, and his wife, Selena (Nina), née Ailion. His father was a Roman Catholic, and his mother was Jewish; in later life ...

Article

Johnston, Ellen (c. 1835–1874?), power-loom weaver and poet, was born at the Muir Wynd, Hamilton, Lanarkshire, the only daughter of James Johnston, stonemason from Lochee, a linen-weaving and quarrying village on the outskirts of Dundee, and Mary Bilsland, second daughter of James Bilsland...

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John Anthony La Rose (1927–2006) by Julian Stapleton © Julian Stapleton

Article

La Rose, John Anthony (1927–2006), trade unionist, publisher, and poet, was born on 27 December 1927 at Arima, Trinidad, the younger son of Ferdinand La Rose, a cocoa trader, and his wife, Emily, a teacher. He had five siblings: four sisters, Lillia, Maura...