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Chester, Charles (c. 1554–1604), informer and wit, probably born in Bristol, was one of ten children of Dominic Chester (d. 1575), merchant and MP, and his wife, Mary (d. 1572), the daughter of Roger Barlow, merchant and explorer, and his wife, ...


Healy, James (1824–1894), Roman Catholic priest and wit, one of twenty-three children of John Healy, a provision dealer, and his first wife, Mary Meyler, was born in Francis Street, Dublin, on 15 December 1824. From 1834 he was educated at the Vincentian School...


P. A. Landon

revised by Mark Pottle

Mathew, Theobald (1866–1939), lawyer and wit, was born in London on 5 December 1866, the elder son of the judge Sir James Charles Mathew (1830–1908) and his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Edwin Biron, vicar of Lympne, Kent. The family hailed from Tipperary and ...


Maker: Howard Coster

(John) Douglas Woodruff (1897–1978) by Howard Coster, 1936 © National Portrait Gallery, London


Woodruff, (John) Douglas (1897–1978), journalist and wit, was born at Wimbledon on 8 May 1897, the second of three children and the younger son of Cumberland Woodruff, a barrister employed in the Public Record Office, and his wife, Emily Louisa, daughter of William Hewett...