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Sir Robert Anderson (1841–1918) by James Russell & Sons © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Anderson, Sir Robert (1841–1918), spymaster, detective chief, and author, was born on 29 May 1841 in Mountjoy Square, Dublin, the son of Matthew Anderson (1804–1888), crown solicitor, Dublin, and his wife, Mary. He himself described his more distant forebears as 'among the Scotch colonists who made ...

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G. C. Boase

revised by R. V. Comerford

Carey, James (1837–1883), Fenian and informer, was the son of Francis Carey, a bricklayer, who migrated from Celbridge, co. Kildare, to Dublin. There his wife (whose name is not known) kept a lodging-house in James Street, where James was born to them. He had at least one brother. ...

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Maker: Ramsey & Muspratt

Donald Duart Maclean (1913–1983) by Ramsey & Muspratt, 1930s? © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Maclean, Donald Duart (1913–1983), diplomatist and spy, was born in London on 25 May 1913, the third of four sons and five children of Sir Donald Maclean (1864–1932), Liberal politician and cabinet minister, and his wife, Gwendolen Margaret, eldest daughter of Andrew Devitt JP...

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Petrie, Sir David (1879–1961), police officer in India and head of the security service, was born on 9 September 1879 at Inveravon, Banffshire, the second surviving son of Thomas Petrie, master millwright, and his wife, Jane Allan. After taking an MA degree at ...

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Porter, George [known as Captain Porter] (c. 1659–1728), Jacobite conspirator and informer, was probably born in London, the only son of the dramatist Thomas Porter (1636–1680) by his second, legal, marriage to his first wife Anne Blount (c.1637–1659). His paternal grandfather was the courtier ...

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Sir Percy Joseph Sillitoe (1888–1962) by Bassano © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Sillitoe, Sir Percy Joseph (1888–1962), police officer and intelligence officer, was born at Tulse Hill, London, on 22 May 1888, the second son and second child of Joseph Henry Sillitoe, average adjuster, and his wife, Bertha Leontine Smith. There was also a younger sister. The family suffered from the improvidence of ...