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Abbensetts, Michael John (1938–2016), playwright and television screenwriter, was born on 8 June 1938 in Georgetown, British Guiana, the son of Neville John Abbensetts, a doctor, and his wife, Elaine. They were a middle-class family of mixed African and European heritage. Abbensetts attended ...

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À Beckett, Arthur William (1844–1909), humorist and journalist, the third son of Gilbert Abbott À Beckett (1811–1856) and Mary Anne Glossop (1817–1863), was born at Portland House, North End, Fulham, on 25 October 1844. He was educated at Honiton, then at Felsted School...

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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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À Beckett, Gilbert Arthur (1837–1891), playwright and satirist, born at Portland House, Fulham, Middlesex, on 7 April 1837, was the eldest son of Gilbert Abbott À Beckett (1811–1856), journalist and Metropolitan Police magistrate, and his wife, Mary Anne (1817–1863), composer, daughter of Joseph Glossop...

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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...

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Ackermann, Rudolph (1764–1834), publisher, was born on 20 April 1764 at Stollberg, near Leipzig, in Saxony, the sixth child of Barthel Ackermann (1723–1798), a saddler, and his wife, Justina Scharschmidt (1732–1808). He was educated at the Latin school at Stollberg and then at ...

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Adams, Douglas Noël (1952–2001), writer, was born on 11 March 1952 at the maternity hospital in Cambridge, the son of Christopher Douglas Adams (d. 1985) and his wife, Janet Dora Sydney, née Donovan.

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Adams, Richard George (1920–2016), author, was born on 10 May 1920 at Oakdene, Andover Road, Newbury, Berkshire, the youngest child of Evelyn George Beadon Adams (1870–1946), doctor, and his wife Lilian Rosa, née Button (1881–1957). Adams had three elder siblings: a sister, ...

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Adams, Sarah Flower (1805–1848), poet, was born on 22 February 1805 at Great Harlow, Essex, the daughter of Benjamin Flower (1755–1829), nonconformist editor of the radical Cambridge Intelligencer, and Eliza Gould (1770–1810), a Devon schoolteacher. Her father was famous for going to prison in defence of his right to freedom of expression in 1799, while her mother had been forced out of her school for refusing on principle to cancel her subscription to his ...

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Addison, Joseph (1672–1719), writer and politician, was born on 1 May 1672 at the rectory, Milston, a hamlet north of Amesbury in Wiltshire, the son of Lancelot Addison (1632–1703) and his wife, Jane, née Gulston (c.1635?–1684). His father was at that time vicar of ...

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Aickman, Robert Fordyce (1914–1981), writer and campaigner for inland waterways, was born on 27 June 1914 at 77 Fellows Road, Hampstead, London, the only child of William Arthur Aickman (1858-1941), an architect, and his wife, Mabel Violet (1890–1943), daughter of ...

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Ainger, Alfred [pseud. Doubleday] (1837–1904), writer and Church of England clergyman, was born at 10 Doughty Street, London, on 9 February 1837, the youngest of the four children of Alfred Ainger (1798–1859) and his first wife, Marianne Jagger (1799–1839...

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Ainsworth, William Harrison (1805–1882), novelist, was born on 4 February 1805 at 21 King Street, Manchester, the elder of two sons of Thomas Ainsworth (1778–1824), a solicitor, and his wife, Ann (1778–1842), daughter of the Revd Ralph Harrison (1748–1810), a nonconformist minister and tutor of languages and literature at the ...

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Aitken, William Maxwell, first Baron Beaverbrook (1879–1964), newspaper proprietor and politician, was born on 25 May 1879 at the manse, Vaughan, Maple, Ontario, Canada. He was the third son and fifth member of a family of ten children, whose father, William Cuthbert Aitken (1834–1913)...

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Akenside, Mark (1721–1770), poet and physician, was born on 9 November 1721 in Butcher Bank, St Nicholas, Newcastle upon Tyne, the sixth of seven children of Mark Akenside (b. 1676), butcher, and his wife, Mary (1685–1760), daughter of William Lumsden. He was baptized on 30 November in the nonconformist meeting-house which his parents attended in ...

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Alexander, Alexander (b. 1781/2), soldier and writer, was born in Dundonald, Ayrshire, the illegitimate son of a wealthy Scottish merchant. Almost everything known about him comes from his remarkable autobiography, published in Edinburgh in 1830. After what he recalled as an unhappy childhood marred by physical violence, at the age of eighteen he was sent to work as an overseer on slave plantations in ...

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