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À Beckett, Gilbert Abbott (1811–1856), comic writer and police magistrate, was born at The Grange, Hampstead, Middlesex, on 17 February 1811, the third son of William A'Beckett (1777–1855), a reform solicitor, and his wife, Sarah Abbott. His forebears were an ancient Wiltshire family, who traced their ancestry back to the fourteenth century and claimed descent from ...

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Gilbert Abbott À Beckett (1811–1856) attrib. Charles Couzens, 1855 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Abercromby, Alexander, Lord Abercromby (1745–1795), judge and essayist, was born on 15 October 1745, probably at Menstrie, Clackmannanshire, the fourth and youngest son of George Abercromby of Tullibody, Clackmannanshire (1705–1800), who had trained as an advocate, and his wife, Mary (d. 1767)...

Article

Edward Dowden

revised by Catherine Pease-Watkin

Anster, John (1793–1867), jurist and poet, was born in Charleville, co. Cork, the son of John Anster. He entered Trinity College, Dublin, in 1810, and obtained a scholarship in 1814. In Easter term 1824 Anster was called to the Irish bar; in the following year he took the degree of doctor of laws. In 1832 he married ...

Article

Austin Dobson

revised by Rebecca Mills

Anstey, John (bap. 1757, d. 1819), poet and barrister, the second son of Christopher Anstey (1724–1805) and Ann, third daughter of Felix Calvert of Albury Hall, Hertfordshire, was born at Anstey Hall, Trumpington, Cambridgeshire, and baptized on 7 November 1757. A scholar at ...

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Ayloffe [Ayliffe], John (c. 1645–1685), satirist and conspirator, was born in Foxley, Wiltshire, the younger son of John Ayliffe (b. 1611?). He matriculated at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, in July 1662 and was admitted to the Inner Temple in 1664. An unyielding opponent of the ...

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Barry, Lording (bap. 1580, d. 1629), playwright and pirate, was baptized on 17 April 1580 in St Laurence Pountney, St Laurence Pountney Lane, London, the fifth of eleven children of Nicholas Barry (d. 1607), citizen and fishmonger, and his second wife, Anne (...

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Barry, Lording (bap. 1580, d. 1629)

Article

Barry, Michael Joseph (1817–1889), writer and lawyer, was born in Cork City, the eldest son of Michael Joseph Barry, a barrister and later professor of English law in the then Queen's College, Cork (now University College, Cork), and his wife, Anne England...

Article

Sidney Lee

revised by Jonathan Harris

Battine, William (1765–1836), lawyer and poet, was born at East Marden, Sussex, on 25 January 1765, the only son of William Battine. Through his mother's family he was one of the coheirs of the dormant barony of Bray, but he never publicly urged his claim. He was educated at ...

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Bell, Henry Glassford (1803–1874), writer and sheriff, was born in Glasgow on 8 November 1803, the eldest son of James Bell (d. 1826), advocate, and his wife Janet (1780–1855), daughter of the Revd James Hamilton of Cathcart. Jonathan Anderson Bell, the architect, was his brother and ...

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H. F. Oxbury

revised by Myfanwy Lloyd

Boase, Frederic (1843–1916), lawyer and biographer, was born on 7 October 1843 in Larrigan, near Penzance, the youngest in the family of four sons and two daughters of John Josias Arthur Boase (1801–1896), banker, and his wife, Charlotte (1802–1873), daughter of Robert Sholl...

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James Boswell (1740–1795) by Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1785 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Boswell, James (1778–1822), barrister and literary scholar, was born on 15 September 1778 at James's Court, Edinburgh. He was the fourth child and second surviving son of James Boswell (1740–1795) of Auchinleck, advocate, diarist, and biographer of Samuel Johnson, and his wife, Margaret...

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Boswell, James (1740–1795), lawyer, diarist, and biographer of Samuel Johnson, was born in Edinburgh on 29 October 1740, probably at the family's house on the fourth storey of Blair's Land, Parliament Close, the eldest son of Alexander Boswell, Lord Auchinleck (1707–1782), and his first wife, ...

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Horatio William Bottomley (1860–1933) by Bassano, 1918 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bottomley, Horatio William (1860–1933), journalist and swindler, was the only son of William King Bottomley (1827–1863), a tailor's cutter, and his wife, Elizabeth, née Holyoake. He was born on 23 March 1860 at 16 St Peter's Street, Bethnal Green, London. Orphaned by the age of four, ...

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Brackenridge, Hugh Henry [formerly Hugh Montgomery Breckenridge] (1748–1816), writer and judge, was born Hugh Montgomery Breckenridge, probably at Ballivulune, near Campbeltown, Argyll, the only son of William Breckenridge, a farmer. Impoverished following the Jacobite rising, the family emigrated to the Barrens, York county, Pennsylvania...

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George William Wilshere Bramwell, Baron Bramwell (1808–1892) by London Stereoscopic Co., after 1862 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bramwell, George William Wilshere, Baron Bramwell (1808–1892), judge and political pamphleteer, was born at 22 Finch Lane, Cornhill, London, on 12 June 1808, the son of George Bramwell, banker, and his wife, Elizabeth Martha, née Frith. Frederick Joseph Bramwell was his younger brother. He was educated at the Revd Martin Ready's school at Peckham, and then at the ...