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Ashford, Mary Ann (1787–1870), domestic servant and autobiographer, was born on 30 October 1787 in London, where she was baptized at St Mary Woolnoth on 2 December 1787, the second child of Joseph Ashford (d. 1800), tanner, and his wife, Jane, née...

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Farley, John (1755/6–1827), cook and writer on cookery, is a figure about whom little is known apart from his highly successful book, The London Art of Cookery published in 1783; it went into twelve editions by 1811. It includes a handsome and youthful likeness of ...

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Forbes [née St Clair-Erskine], Lady Angela Selina Bianca (1876–1950), wartime catering organizer, was born at 8 Grafton Street, Mayfair, London, on 11 June 1876, the fifth of the five children of Robert Francis St Clair-Erskine, fourth earl of Rosslyn (1833–1890), and seventh child of his wife, ...

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Lemon, Denis Edward (1945–1994), newspaper proprietor and restaurateur, was born on 11 August 1945 at Berryfield House, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, the eldest child and only son of Albert Edward Lemon, an executive officer with the Assistance Board, and his partner, Jane Kenyon, formerly Unsworth (1912–1988)...

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Denis Edward Lemon (1945–1994) by unknown photographer, 1977 Getty Images

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Deen Mahomed (1759–1851) by Thomas Mann Baynes Wellcome Library, London

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Mahomed, Deen [formerly Deen Mahomet] (1759–1851), shampooing surgeon and restaurateur, was born Deen Mahomet in May 1759, in Patna, Bihar, India, the younger son of an Indian officer in the East India Company's Bengal army. Both parents were Shi'i Muslims claiming descent from ...

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Raffald [née Whitaker], Elizabeth (bap. 1733, d. 1781), cook and writer on cookery, was born at Doncaster and baptized there on 8 July 1733. She was one of at least three daughters born to Joshua Whitaker, a man of some property in the town which the daughters inherited. After receiving a fair education, she passed about fifteen years (1748–63) in service, rising to become housekeeper at ...

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Elizabeth Raffald (bap. 1733, d. 1781) by unknown engraver, pubd 1782 (after P. McMorland) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Elizabeth Longford

Thornton, James (1787–1854), cook, was born on 15 March 1787, the sixth of the seven children of William Thornton (1747–1814) and Ann Morris, at 17 Bryanston Street, Portman Square, London. After attending a local school he was apprenticed to a Mr Farrance, a prosperous cook at ...

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Twigg, John (1748/9–1816), cook and fruiterer, is a figure about whose early life nothing is known. He was cook at the Shakespeare's Head tavern, in Covent Garden, London, having been apprenticed there, it is presumed in the 1760s. He was reputedly responsible for ...

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Wolley [other married name Challiner], Hannah (b. 1622?, d. in or after 1674), author of works on cookery, medicine, and household affairs, never mentions her father in her writings, and his name is unknown. Her mother and elder sisters 'were very well skilled in Physick and Chirurgery', and she learned a little about medical practice from them, and more under the patronage of a noblewoman, almost certainly ...

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Christian Edington Guthrie Wright (1844–1907) by unknown photographer [detail] Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh; photograph © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Wright, Christian Edington Guthrie (1844–1907), founder of the Edinburgh School of Cookery, was born on 19 April 1844 in Glasgow, the only child of Harry Guthrie Wright, manager of the Glasgow and South-Western Railway Company. Her mother died following her birth, and father and daughter eventually settled in ...