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Johnstone, Andrew James Cochrane- (1767–1833?), politician and fraudster, was born on 24 May 1767 at Belleville, a house in Edinburgh, the eighth surviving son of Thomas Cochrane, eighth earl of Dundonald (1691–1778), and his wife, Jean, née Stewart, of Torrance, Lanarkshire (1722?–1808).

The eighth earl's debts stood at ...

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Thomas Kennedy, ninth earl of Cassillis (1726–1775) by William Mosman, 1746 Culzean Castle collection; courtesy of The National Trust for Scotland

Article

Kennedy, Thomas, ninth earl of Cassillis (1726–1775), smuggler and landowner, was born on 12 February 1726, the seventeenth child and second surviving son of Sir John Kennedy of Culzean, second baronet (d. 1742), and Jean Douglas (d. 1767), daughter of Andrew Douglas...

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Sir William Sharington (c. 1495–1553) by Hans Holbein the younger The Royal Collection © 2004 HM Queen Elizabeth II

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Sharington, Sir William (c. 1495–1553), administrator and embezzler, was the first son of Thomas Sharington (d. 1527?) of Norfolk and his wife, Katherine, daughter and heir of William Pyrton of Little Bentley, Essex. Despite the obscurity of his early years, it seems clear that two men were instrumental in his rise to importance: ...

Article

Speckman [alias Brown], Charles (1734?–1763), confidence trickster, was probably born in London in 1734, although one account reports a slightly earlier birth about 1728 in either Antigua or Barbados (The Ordinary of Newgate). In keeping with his chosen profession he adopted various aliases, and it is therefore difficult to be entirely confident that his name really was ...