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Abercrombie, Sir (Leslie) Patrick (1879–1957), town planner  

Mervyn Miller

Abercrombie, Sir (Leslie) Patrick (1879–1957), town planner, was born on 6 June 1879 at Green Bank, Sale, Altrincham, one of a family of nine. His father, William Abercrombie (1838–1908), born in Bradford, was a Manchester stockbroker and businessman, with literary and artistic interests; his mother, ...


Abse, Daniel [Dannie] (1923–2014), physician, poet, and author  

Tony Curtis

Abse, Daniel [Dannie] (1923–2014), physician, poet, and author, was born on 22 September 1923 at 161 Whitchurch Road, Gabalfa, Cardiff, the youngest of four children of Rudolf Abse (1887–1964), cinema proprietor, and his wife, Kate, née Shepherd (1890–1981...


Ackling, (Walter) Roger (1947–2014), artist  

Gill Hedley

Ackling, (Walter) Roger (1947–2014), artist, was born on 11 August 1947 at the West Middlesex Hospital, Twickenham Road, Isleworth, the first child and only son of Walter Frederick Ackling (1921–2013), quantity surveyor, and his wife, Alice Jean, née Lockton...


Acland, Sarah Angelina [Angie] (1849–1930), photographer  

Giles Hudson

Acland, Sarah Angelina [Angie] (1849–1930), photographer, was born at Broad Street, Oxford, on 26 June 1849, the second of eight children and only daughter of the physician Henry Wentworth Acland (1815–1900), who was then Lee's reader in anatomy at Christ Church, Oxford, and his wife, ...


Acton, Sir Harold Mario Mitchell (1904–1994), aesthete and author  

Edward Chaney

Acton, Sir Harold Mario Mitchell (1904–1994), aesthete and author, was born at his parents' magnificent villa at La Pietra, a mile north of Florence, on 5 July 1904, the son of Arthur Mario Acton (d. 1953) and his wife, Hortense Mitchell (...


Acton, John Adams- (1830–1910), sculptor  

S. E. Fryer

revised by Anne MacPhee

Acton, John Adams- (1830–1910), sculptor, was born on 11 December 1830 at Acton Hill, Middlesex, one of the two surviving sons and three daughters of William Adams (1778/9–1836), an artist, and his wife, Helen Elizabeth Humphrey (1794–1878). His sister ...


Adam, John (1721–1792), architect  

A. A. Tait

Adam, John (1721–1792), architect, was born in Edinburgh. He was the eldest of the four sons of the entrepreneur and architect William Adam (bap. 1689, d. 1748) and his wife, Mary Robertson (1699–1761). He attended Dalkeith grammar school. His father's sudden death in 1748 propelled him into the main stream of Scottish life during the ...


Adam, Robert (1728–1792), architect  

A. A. Tait

Adam, Robert (1728–1792), architect, was born at Kirkcaldy in Fife on 3 July 1728, the second son of William Adam (bap. 1689, d. 1748), architect, and his wife, Mary Robertson (1699–1761), the daughter of William Robertson of Gladney. He was educated at the high school of ...


Adamson, Joy [née Friederike Viktoria Gessner] (1910–1980), conservationist and artist  

Mary R. S. Creese

Adamson, Joy [née Friederike Viktoria Gessner] (1910–1980), conservationist and artist, was born on 20 January 1910 in Troppau, Silesia, the second of the three children of Viktor Gessner (d. 1933/4), civil servant, and his wife, Traute Greipel (1888?–1973). Her mother's family was well off, owning lands and paper factories. After her parents were divorced in 1922 she was brought up by her maternal grandmother in ...


Agar, Eileen Forrester (1899–1991), artist  

Andrew Lambirth

Agar, Eileen Forrester (1899–1991), artist, was born on 1 December 1899 at Quinta la Lila, Flores, a suburb of Buenos Aires, Argentina, the second of three daughters of James Senior Agar (1860–1925), businessman, and his wife, Mary (Mamie), née Bagley (1875–1943), whose family came from ...


Agasse, Jacques-Laurent (1767–1849), painter  

H. J. Bracegirdle

Agasse, Jacques-Laurent (1767–1849), painter, was born on 24 March 1767 at Geneva, and baptized there at the Temple Neuf on 21 April, the son of Philippe Agasse (1739–1827), merchant, and his wife, Catherine Audeoud (1737–1818). His family were merchants of Huguenot origin who had been established in ...


Aikman, William, of Cairnie (1682–1731), portrait painter  

Rosalind K. Marshall

Aikman, William, of Cairnie (1682–1731), portrait painter, was born on 24 October 1682 at Cairnie, Forfarshire, the second son and fifth child of William Aikman (1646–1699), laird of Cairnie and advocate, and his wife, Margaret Clerk (d. after 1729), daughter of John Clerk...


Aislabie, William (1699/1700–1781), landscape designer and landowner  

Michael Symes

Aislabie, William (1699/1700–1781), landscape designer and landowner, was probably born at Studley Royal in the West Riding of Yorkshire, the son of John Aislabie (1670–1742), politician, and his first wife, Anne (d. 1700), daughter of Sir William Rawlinson of Hendon, Middlesex. Details of his education are unknown, beyond that he went on a grand tour in 1720. In 1721 he was returned as an MP for ...


Aitchison, George (1825–1910), architect  

J. Mordaunt Crook

Aitchison, George (1825–1910), architect, was born in London on 7 November 1825, the son of George Aitchison (1792–1861) and his wife, Maria Freeman. After education at Merchant Taylors' School, London (1835–41), he was articled in 1841 to his father, then architect to the ...


Aitchison, (John Ronald) Craigie (1926–2009), artist  

Duncan Macmillan

Aitchison, (John Ronald) Craigie (1926–2009), artist, was born at 12 India Street, Edinburgh, on 13 January 1926, the second son of Craigie Mason Aitchison, later Lord Aitchison (1882–1941), and his wife, Charlotte Mary Forbes, née Jones (d. 1970). Craigie was his paternal grandmother's maiden name. His father was a distinguished Scottish lawyer, Labour then National Labour MP for ...


Aiton [married name Tollenaar], Norah (1903–1988), architect  

Lynne Walker

Aiton [married name Tollenaar], Norah (1903–1988), architect, was born on 13 June 1903, at St. Nicholas, Hanger Lane, Ealing, London, the third and youngest child of John Arthur Aiton (1864–1950), a mechanical engineer and manufacturer who became governing director of ...


Alexander, Cosmo (1724–1772), portrait painter and traveller  

Patricia R. Andrew

Alexander, Cosmo (1724–1772), portrait painter and traveller, was born probably in Aberdeen, the son and pupil of the Aberdonian painter and engraver John Alexander (1686–c.1766), who had worked in Rome from 1711 to 1719, and his wife, Isobel Innes. John Alexander...


Alison, Archibald (1757–1839), Scottish Episcopal clergyman and writer on aesthetics  

Philip Carter

Alison, Archibald (1757–1839), Scottish Episcopal clergyman and writer on aesthetics, was born in Edinburgh, the son of Archibald Alison (1730–1794), lord provost of the city, originally of Newhall, Coupar Angus, and Margaret Harte (d. 1811), of Listerick, near Edinburgh. Alison was educated at ...


Allan, David (1744–1796), portrait and genre painter  

W. C. Monkhouse

revised by Duncan Macmillan

Allan, David (1744–1796), portrait and genre painter, was born at Alloa, Clackmannanshire, on 13 February 1744, the son of David Allan, shoremaster, and Janet Gullan. Allan, who was born prematurely, seems to have been asthmatic and never enjoyed good health. He showed an early proclivity to art, and was dismissed from school for caricaturing his teacher. At eleven, on 23 February 1755, he was apprenticed to the ...


Allan, Sir William (1782–1850), painter  

Jeremy Howard

Allan, Sir William (1782–1850), painter, was born on 4 October 1782 and baptized on 11 October in the Old Kirk, Edinburgh, one of the three children of William Allan, the macer at the court of session and his wife, Mary, née Cram. The family lived at ...