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George Canning (1770–1827) by Sir Thomas Lawrence, 1825 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Canning, George (1770–1827), prime minister and parodist, was born in Marylebone, Middlesex, on 11 April 1770, the son of George Canning (1736–1771) and his wife, Mary Ann Costello (1747?–1827). His parents were both Irish; he described himself as 'an Irishman born in London...