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Birkett, (William) Norman, first Baron Birkett (1883–1962), barrister and judge, was born at Ulverston, Lancashire, on 6 September 1883, the fourth of the five children of Thomas Birkett (d. 1913) and his first wife, Agnes (d. 1886), daughter of Moses Tyson...

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Davidson, William (1786–1820), conspirator, was born in Jamaica, the second son of the attorney-general of Jamaica and an unnamed black woman. Educated there until age fourteen, William was sent to England, despite his mother's protests, to complete his education. Arriving in a country seething with revolutionary fervour, ...

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Ellis, John (1874–1932), executioner, was born on 4 October 1874 at Buersil, Rochdale, the eldest child of Joseph James Ellis, a hairdresser, and his wife, Sarah Ann, née Dawson. He left school to work for the local Eagle Spinning Company. When he was twenty, he married ...

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Foot, Sir Dingle Mackintosh (1905–1978), politician and lawyer, was born on 24 August 1905 in Plymouth, the eldest child in the family of five sons and two daughters of Isaac Foot (1880–1960), MP and solicitor, and his wife, Eva Mackintosh (1878–1946). She was a Scot of Cornish descent and he was given her father's family name. He was educated at ...

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Hardy, Herbert Hardy Cozens-, first Baron Cozens-Hardy (1838–1920), judge, was born Herbert Hardy Cozens on 22 November 1838 at The Lodge, Letheringsett, Holt, Norfolk, the second son of William Hardy Cozens-Hardy (1806–1895), a former solicitor with a large practice at Norwich, and his wife, ...

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Jennings, Sir Robert Yewdall (1913–2004), jurist, international lawyer, and judge, was born on 19 October 1913 at 25 Sherborne Villas, Town Lane, Idle, near Bradford, Yorkshire, the only son of Arthur Jennings and his wife, Edith Schofield, née Brotherton. He was brought up in solid but simple circumstances. His mother was a mill worker; her father, a butcher, could neither read nor write, but was a lively character with an affectionate relationship with his grandson. His paternal grandfather was a clerk at the mill, and his father, ...

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Lawrence, Stephen Adrian (1974–1993), murder victim, was born on 13 September 1974 at Greenwich District Hospital, the son of Neville George Lawrence (b. 1942), a jobbing tailor, builder's labourer, plasterer, and decorator, and his wife, Doreen Delcitia Graham (b. 1952), a bank clerk, part-time care assistant, office cleaner, and guide for schoolchildren with special needs. He had one younger brother and one younger sister. His parents, who had been born in ...

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Peacock, Sir Robert (1859–1926), police officer, was born at Hutts, Ryal, Northumberland, on 30 April 1859, the third son in the family of at least six sons and three daughters of William Peacock (b. 1829/30), miner, and his wife, Ellen, née Greagley (...

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Herbert Burton

revised by Elizabeth Baigent

Quick, Sir John (1852–1932), lawyer and politician in Australia, was born at Trevega, Towednack, near St Ives, Cornwall, on 22 April 1852, the only child of John Quick, a farmer, and his wife, Mary, the daughter of James Quick, of Trevega. The family arrived in ...

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Warren, Samuel (1807–1877), lawyer and writer, was born on 23 May 1807 near Wrexham, Denbighshire, the elder son of Dr Samuel Warren (1781–1862), clergyman, and his first wife, Anne (1778–1823), daughter of Richard and Elizabeth Williams. Little is known about Samuel Warren's early education except his statement in the preface to ...

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Wright, Thomas (1789–1875), prison visitor, was born in Manchester, of a Scottish father and Manchester mother, on 20 September 1789. He had two sisters, one of whom died young and one outlived him. Wright was educated at a Wesleyan Sunday school and was apprenticed at the age of fifteen to the ...