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Adams, Fanny (1859–1867), murder victim and source of a colloquial expression, was born on 30 April 1859 in Tanhouse Lane, Alton, Hampshire, the fourth of seven children of George Adams (b. 1830), a labourer, later a bricklayer, and his wife, Harriet Mills (...

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See Henry Frederick, Prince, duke of Cumberland and Strathearn

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Astor [née Langhorne], Nancy Witcher, Viscountess Astor (1879–1964), society hostess and politician, was born at Danville, Virginia, on 19 May 1879, the eighth child in a family of eleven. Her father, Chiswell Dabney Langhorne (1843–1919), a veteran of the American Civil War, had made his fortune in railway construction and bought an estate at ...

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Nancy Witcher Astor, Viscountess Astor (1879–1964) by George Charles Beresford, 1920 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Baartman, Sara [performing name the Hottentot Venus] (1777x88–1815/16), celebrity and subject of scientific speculation, was born in the Cape of Good Hope and was a member of the Khoisan people, who were also called Hottentot. Altick claims she was a daughter of a drover who had been killed by Bushmen, though nothing more is known of her parents. Her original name is not known, but as a servant of the Dutch farmer ...

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Balfour [née Lytton], Elizabeth Edith [Betty], countess of Balfour (1867–1942), social hostess and biographer, was born on 12 June 1867 at Hyde Park Gate, London, the eldest of the five surviving children of Edward Robert Bulwer-Lytton, first earl of Lytton (1831–1891), viceroy, diplomat, and poet, and his wife, ...

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Bowes, Mary Eleanor, countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne (1749–1800), heiress and victim of kidnapping, was born on 24 February 1749, the only child of George Bowes MP (1701–1760), of Streatlam Castle and Gibside, co. Durham, and his second wife, Mary (d. 1781)...

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Brookes [née Emmerton], Dame Mabel Balcombe (1890–1975), socialite and charity worker, was born on 15 June 1890 at Raveloe, South Yarra, Melbourne, Australia, the only child of Harry Emmerton (1845–1927), an English born solicitor, and his wife, Alice Mabel Maude (1865–1923), a daughter of ...

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See Bunsen, Christian Karl Josias von, Baron von Bunsen in the Prussian nobility

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Butler, Lady (Charlotte) Eleanor (1739–1829), elder of the two Ladies of Llangollen, was born at Cambrai, the youngest daughter of Walter Butler of Garryricken (1703–1783) and his wife, Eleanor (d. 1794), daughter of Nicholas Morres of Latargh, co. Tipperary. Her father was the only lineal representative of ...

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Lady (Charlotte) Eleanor Butler (1739–1829) by unknown artist, c. 1810–23 [Ladies of Llangollen [left to right]: and Sarah Ponsonby (1755-1831)] © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Elizabeth Christiana Cavendish, duchess of Devonshire (1757–1824) by Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1787 Chatsworth House. Photograph: Photographic Survey, Courtauld Institute of Art, London

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Cavendish [née Hervey; other married name Foster], Elizabeth Christiana, duchess of Devonshire (1757–1824), society hostess and patron of the arts, was the middle daughter of Frederick Augustus Hervey, fourth earl of Bristol (1730–1803), and his wife, Elizabeth Davers (1730–1800), and was known for most her life as ...

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Mary Constance Charteris, countess of Wemyss (1862–1937) by Sir Edward John Poynter, 1886 in a private Scottish collection; photograph courtesy the Scottish National Portrait Gallery

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Charteris [née Wyndham], Mary Constance, countess of Wemyss (1862–1937), hostess, was born on 3 August 1862 at 44 Belgrave Square, London, the eldest of the five children of the Hon. Percy Wyndham (1835–1911), second son of the first Lord Leconfield, and his wife, ...

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Gladys Marie Spencer- Churchill, duchess of Marlborough (1881–1977) by Sir Jacob Epstein, 1917 © Tate, London, 2004; photograph courtesy Sotheby's Picture Library, London

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Churchill, Gladys Marie Spencer- [née Gladys Marie Deacon], duchess of Marlborough (1881–1977), society beauty, was born on 7 February 1881 at the Hotel Brighton in Paris, the eldest of five children of Edward Parker Deacon of Boston (1844–1901) and his wife, Florence Mary (1859–1918)...

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Jeanette Churchill [Lady Randolph Churchill] (1854–1921) by Barraud, pubd 1888 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Churchill [née Jerome], Jeanette [Jennie] [Lady Randolph Churchill] (1854–1921), society hostess and writer, was born in Brooklyn, New York, on 9 January 1854, the second of four daughters of Leonard Jerome, American sportsman and speculator, of New York, and his wife, Clarissa...

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Clive [née Maskelyne], Margaret, Lady Clive of Plassey (1735–1817), society figure, was born on 24 October 1735 at Kensington Gore in London, the fourth of the four children of Edmund Maskelyne (1698–1744), a civil servant, and his wife, Elizabeth, née Booth (...