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

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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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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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Arthur H. Grant

revised by Eric Metcalfe

Brunton, George (1799–1836), lawyer and journalist, was born on 31 January 1799 in St Cuthberts, Midlothian, the son of George Brunton and his wife, Agnes Baxter, and was educated at the Canongate high school, Edinburgh. He was admitted a solicitor in 1831, and in the following year, with ...

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Chapman, Henry Samuel (1803–1881), journalist and colonial judge, was born at Kennington, Surrey, on 21 July 1803, the son of Henry Chapman, a civil servant, and his wife, Ann Hart, née Davies. After attending schools in Bromley and London, he emigrated to Canada...

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C. E. A. Bedwell

revised by Joseph Coohill

Clifford, Frederick (1828–1904), journalist and legal writer, was born at Gillingham, Kent, on 22 June 1828, the fifth son of Jesse Clifford and his wife, Mary Pearse. After private schooling he engaged in provincial journalism, but settled in London in 1852, and joined the parliamentary staff of ...

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Crawford, George Morland (1812–1885), lawyer and journalist, was born on 6 December 1812 at Chelsfield Court Lodge, Kent, the eldest of the three sons and six daughters of Robert Crawford (1789–1860) and Elizabeth (1788–1850), eldest daughter of Samuel and Sussanah Elvy. Little is known about his education, but he was known to be well-versed in the Latin classics and a competent French speaker. He began work at fifteen in the counting-house of ...

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Dubois, Edward (1774–1850), author, journalist, and barrister, was born in Love Lane, London, on 4 January 1774, and baptized at St Mary Woolnoth on 29 January 1774. His parents were William DuBois, a merchant originally from near Neuchâtel, and his wife, Jane. Edward Dubois...

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Edward Dubois (1774–1850), by William Ridley, 1839

© National Portrait Gallery

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Edwards, (Allen) Clement (1869–1938), trade unionist, barrister, and journalist, was born on 7 June 1869 in Knighton, Radnorshire, the third of seven children born to George Benjamin Edwards, auctioneer, master tailor, and draper, and Sarah Ellen (née Tudge). Both parents came from farming, nonconformist, and radical families in the border areas. ...

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Finlason, William Francis (1818–1895), legal writer and journalist, was the son of Thomas Finlason of Camberwell, Surrey. He entered the Middle Temple as a student on 5 January 1841. He practised for some years as a special pleader under the bar, and reported as a member of the ...

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Jackson, William [pseud. Scrutineer] (1737?–1795), journalist and spy, was born in Dublin, the son of an officer in the prerogative court. After studying at Oxford he was ordained and he moved to London, where he acted as a curate at St Mary-le-Strand...

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Kempster, John (1836–1916), police journalist and temperance campaigner, was born in Congleton, Cheshire, on 3 April 1836, the son of John Joseph James Kempster, a minister in the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion, and his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Captain Joseph Westbeech RN.

After attending schools at ...

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C. A. H. Crosse

revised by Joseph Coohill

Knox, Alexander Andrew (1818–1891), journalist and police magistrate, the second son of George Knox, a landowner in Jamaica, was born in London on 5 February 1818. He was educated at Blundell's School, Tiverton, and went with a scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge (BA 1844, MA 1847). He was called to the ...

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W. P. Courtney

revised by Eric Metcalfe

Lawrence, Frederick (1821–1867), barrister and journalist, was born at Bisham, Berkshire, the eldest son of John Lawrence, a substantial farmer at Bisham, and his wife, Mary, daughter of John Jennings of Windsor. After education in a private school at St John's Wood, London...

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Pears, Sir Edwin (1835–1919), barrister, publicist, and historian, was born in York on 18 March 1835, the son of Robert Pears, a descendant of a younger branch of the Piers family of Piers Hall, Ingleton, Yorkshire, and his wife, Elizabeth, née Barnett. After being educated privately, he graduated from ...

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Peltier, Jean-Gabriel (bap. 1760, d. 1825), journalist and political exile, was baptized on 21 October 1760 in the church of St Pierre, Gonnord, in the French province of Anjou, the eldest surviving son of Jean Peltier (c.1734–1803), a merchant and slave trader, and his first wife, ...

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Pigott, Richard (1828–1889), journalist and blackmailer, was born at Ratoath, co. Meath, the youngest son of George Pigott; his mother is believed to have come from Roscommon. His father, initially a clerk to a Dublin coach proprietor, worked for The Tablet newspaper. Richard Pigott's...

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See Ross, Alexander