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Burt, Edmund (d. 1755), author and rent collector, is known to have been born in England and in 1725 to have referred to his wife's being in London. On 31 May of the same year he was appointed receiver-general and collector of rents on the unsold forfeited estates in ...

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Defoe, Daniel (1660?–1731), writer and businessman, was the youngest of the three children of James Foe (d. 1706), a prosperous tallow chandler in the parish of Cripplegate and a freeman of the City of London, and Alice Foe, who died some time between 1668 and 1671. His sisters, ...

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Fletcher, Winston (1937–2012), advertising executive and writer, was born Winston Fleisher on 15 July 1937 at the London Hospital in Stepney, Whitechapel, London, the youngest of five children of Abraham Uscher Fleisher, later Albert Fletcher (d. 1963), and his wife, Bessie, née...

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Grahame, Kenneth (1859–1932), writer and secretary of the Bank of England, was born on 8 March 1859 at 32 Castle Street, Edinburgh, the second son and third of four children of James Cunningham Grahame (1830–1887), advocate, and his wife, Elizabeth (Bessie; 1837–1864), daughter of ...

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Kenneth Grahame (1859–1932) by John Singer Sargent, 1912 © Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

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Hadfield, William (1806–1887), writer and businessman, is a figure about whose early life nothing is known. During his youth he travelled extensively in Brazil, the River Plate republics, and the islands of the south Atlantic, including the Falklands, where, at an early age, he developed modest commercial activities....

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Hill, Aaron (1685–1750), writer and entrepreneur, was born on 10 February 1685 in Beaufort Buildings, the Strand, the eldest son of George Hill, an attorney of Whitchurch Manor, Malmesbury, Wiltshire. Declining family fortunes forced George Hill to sell his estate in 1707. Ann Gregory...

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Imlay, Gilbert (1754–1828), land speculator and author, was born on 9 February 1754 in Monmouth county, New Jersey, the son of Peter Imlay, landowner. His upbringing remains obscure but it is known that he served as a paymaster and lieutenant in the American revolutionary army in the American War of Independence between 1777 and 1778 before being wounded in action. Following his military service ...

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Montgomery, Sir Robert, of Skelmorlie, fifth baronet (1680–1731), property speculator and author in America, was born at Skelmorlie Castle, Ayrshire, the son of Sir James Montgomery of Skelmorlie, fourth baronet (c. 1654–1694), and Lady Margaret (1654–1726), second daughter of James Johnstone, second earl of Annandale...

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Moore [née Gobeil], Jane Elizabeth [Jeanne Elizabet] (b. 1738), writer and businesswoman, was born in London on 30 September 1738, the elder of two daughters of Abraam Gobeil (1711–c.1765), leather manufacturer, and his wife, Jeanne Marie (c.1719–1741), eldest daughter of ...

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O'Duffy, Eimar Ultan (1893–1935), writer and political economist, was born on 29 September 1893 at 26 Gardiner Place, Dublin, the elder son of Kevin Emmet O'Duffy, a prominent dentist, and his wife, Pauline, née Campbell. His grandfather John O'Duffy had been the founder (with others) of the ...

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Eimar Ultan O'Duffy (1893–1935) by Lafayette, 1926 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Povey, Charles (bap. 1651?, d. 1743), writer and entrepreneur, may have been the Charles Povey, son of John and Elizabeth Povey, baptized at St Andrew's, Holborn, on 27 July 1651. Povey himself was ambiguous about his ancestry, claiming only that his birth was neither noble nor ignoble. His brother, ...

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See Reynolds, Nancie Clifton [real name Agnes Margaret Warden Hardie; married name Reynolds]

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Roby, John (1793–1850), writer and banker, was born in Wigan, Lancashire, on 5 January 1793 and baptized on 30 January in St Paul's Independent Chapel, Standishgate, Wigan, the youngest child of Nehemiah Roby (bap. 1737, d. 1815) and his second wife, Mary Aspull...

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White, James (bap. 1775, d. 1820), author and advertising agent, was baptized on 17 April 1775 in Worcester, the third son of Samuel White of Bewdley, Worcestershire, and his wife, Mary, née Willes. He spent 'many of the earliest days of [his] youth' 'in the Neighbourhood' of the ...