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Edward Baines (1774–1848) by John Cochran, pubd 1834 (after Thomas Hargreaves) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Baines, Edward (1774–1848), newspaper proprietor, politician, and historian, was born at Walton-le-Dale, near Preston, Lancashire, on 5 February 1774, the second son of Richard Baines (d. 1811) and his wife, Jane (née Chew). Richard Baines, who was born near Ripon and came from a farming family, had moved to ...

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George Buchanan (1506–1582) after Arnold Bronckorst, 1581 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Buchanan, George (1506–1582), poet, historian, and administrator, was born about 1 February 1506 at a farm called The Moss in Killearn parish, Stirlingshire, the fifth of eight children of Thomas Buchanan (d. c.1512) and Agnes Heriot, traditionally said to be of the ...

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Louise Hume Creighton (1850–1936) by Glyn Philpot, 1918 © Estate of Glyn Philpot

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Creighton [née von Glehn], Louise Hume (1850–1936), social activist and writer of popular history and biography, was born on 7 July 1850 at Peak Hill Lodge, Sydenham, on the outskirts of London, tenth child of Robert William von Glehn (1801–1885) and Agnes Duncan (...

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Roy Harris Jenkins, Baron Jenkins of Hillhead (1920–2003) by Jane Bown, 1977 © Jane Bown; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Jenkins, Roy Harris, Baron Jenkins of Hillhead (1920–2003), politician and author, was born at Greenlands, Snatchwood Road, Abersychan, Monmouthshire, on 11 November 1920, the only child of Arthur Jenkins (1882–1946), assistant miners' agent, and his wife, Harriet (Hattie), née Harris (1886–1953), music shop assistant and subsequently magistrate and county councillor....

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O'Brien, Conor Cruise (1917–2008), diplomatist, politician, and author, was born Donal Conor David Dermod Donat Cruise O'Brien at 44 Leinster Road, Dublin, on 3 November 1917, the son of Francis Cruise O'Brien (d. 1927), journalist, and his wife, Kathleen (Katherine), née Sheehy (...

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Conor Cruise O'Brien (1917–2008) by unknown photographer, 1968 Getty Images