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Barlow, Sir Thomas, first baronet (1845–1945), physician, was born at Brantwood Fold, Edgworth, near Bolton, Lancashire, on 4 September 1845; he was the eldest of seven children of James Barlow (1821–1887) of Greenthorne, Edgworth, who established the cotton mills of Barlow and Jones...

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Sir Thomas Barlow, first baronet (1845–1945) by Catharine Dodgson, 1936 from the collection of the Athenaeum, London

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James Barry (c. 1799–1865) by unknown photographer, c. 1860 [left, with a servant] Trustees of the Army Medical Services Museum

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Barry, James (c. 1799–1865), army medical officer and transvestite, was probably born Margaret, the youngest daughter of Mrs Mary Ann Bulkley or Bulkeley, the sister of the artist James Barry; her paternity is in doubt. From the age of ten she dressed and presented herself as a man, but the woman who laid out her corpse declared that she was female: 'The Devil, a General,' said the attendant. 'It's a woman. And a woman that has had a child' (...

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Bowker, Agnes (b. 1541/2), servant and alleged mother of a cat, was the daughter of Henry Bowker, a yeoman or butcher of Market Harborough, Leicestershire, and suffered from fits of 'the falling sickness' or epilepsy. Although she described being once sent to live in ...

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Edith Louisa Cavell (1865–1915) by unknown photographer, 1915 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Cavell, Edith Louisa (1865–1915), nurse and war heroine, was born on 4 December 1865, the first child of the Revd Frederick Cavell (1825–1910), Church of England clergyman, and his wife, Louisa Sophia (1835–1918), née Warming, in Swardeston vicarage, Norfolk. Her father, a graduate of ...

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Dame Harriette Chick (1875–1977) by Elliott & Fry © National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

H. M. Sinclair

revised by David F. Smith

Chick, Dame Harriette (1875–1977), nutritionist, was born at 5 Newman Street, London, on 6 January 1875, the fifth child and third daughter of the eleven children (four boys and seven girls) of Samuel Chick, a prosperous lace merchant and property owner, and his wife, ...

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Christophers, Sir (Samuel) Rickard (1873–1978), protozoologist and tropical medicine specialist, was born on 27 November 1873 in Liverpool, the elder son and eldest of three children of Samuel Hunt Christophers and his wife, Mary Selina, daughter of William Rickard, a mining expert in ...

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FitzGerald, Mabel Purefoy (1872–1973), physiologist and clinical pathologist, was born on 3 August 1872 at North Hall, Preston Candover, Hampshire, the last of the seven children of Richard Purefoy FitzGerald (1837–1895) and his wife, Henrietta Mary (d. 1895), daughter of the Revd Anthony Chester...

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Margaret Hamilton, Lady Belhaven and Stenton (b. in or before 1625, d. in or after 1694) by Sir Anthony Van Dyck [with John Hamilton, first Lord Belhaven and Stenton] Scottish National Portrait Gallery

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Hamilton, Margaret, Lady Belhaven and Stenton (b. in or before 1625, d. in or after 1694), royalist heroine and medical practitioner, was the illegitimate daughter of James Hamilton, second marquess of Hamilton (1589–1625). It has been plausibly suggested that her mother was Anne...

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Higgins, Terrence Lionel Seymour (1945–1982), first publicly identified AIDS victim in the United Kingdom, was born on 10 June 1945 in Priory Mount Hospital, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, the son of Marjorie Irene Higgins (formerly Phillips), a railway porter in Haverfordwest. Remembered through the manner of his death, and the work of the trust that bears his name, the life of ...

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Martel, Linda (1956–1961), healer, was born on 21 August 1956 at Amherst Maternity Home, St Peter Port, Guernsey, the fifth of the six children of John Royston (Roy) Martel (1916–1979), commercial traveller, and his wife, Eileen Ethel, née Allchin (b. 1926). At birth she was suffering from water on the brain and spina bifida, and her legs were paralysed. The doctor in charge of the case, ...

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Gordon Goodwin

revised by H. C. G. Matthew

M'Avoy, Margaret (1800–1820), impostor, was born at Liverpool of respectable parentage on 28 June 1800. Of sickly constitution, she appeared to become totally blind in June 1816. Her case attracted considerable contemporary attention from the readiness with which she was alleged to distinguish, by touch, colours of cloth, silk, and stained glass. She could also accurately describe the height, dress, bearing, and other characteristics of her visitors, and even decipher letters in a printed book or manuscript with her fingers' ends, so as to be able to read with tolerable fluency. ...

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Joseph Carey Merrick [the Elephant Man] (1862–1890) by unknown photographer, c. 1889 Royal London Hospital Archives and Museum

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Merrick, Joseph Carey [called the Elephant Man] (1862–1890), freak show novelty and medical curiosity, was born at 50 Lee Street, Leicester, on 5 August 1862, the elder son (there was also a daughter) of Joseph Rockley Merrick (b. 1835/6), a warehouseman and machine operator in a cotton factory, and ...

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Moore [née Peg], Ann (b. 1761), the fasting woman of Tutbury, was born on 31 October 1761 at Rosliston, Derbyshire, the daughter of a labourer and sawyer, William Peg. She went into domestic service, and in 1788 married a fellow farm servant, ...

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Nolan, Anthony Edward (1971–1979), inspiration of a medical charity, was born at the Memorial Hospital, North Adelaide, South Australia, on 2 December 1971, the only son of Shirley Nolan [née Oakey] (1942–2002). She had been born at the Maternity Hospital Annexe, Cookridge, Leeds...