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William Aikman of Cairnie (1682–1731) self-portrait Scottish National Portrait Gallery

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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...

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Aitken, Laurel [real name Oliver Anthony Stephens] (1925–2005), singer, songwriter, and record producer, was born on 22 April 1925, in Jamaica, one of six children of a Jamaican father and a Cuban mother. His early years were spent in Havana, Cuba, but the family moved to ...

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Arbuthnot, Marriot (1711–1794), naval officer and colonial governor, was born in Weymouth, the son of John Arbuthnott. He entered the navy about 1727, and passed his lieutenant's examination in August 1739 when he was described as upwards of twenty-seven (TNA: PRO, ADM 107/3, p. 334...

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See Arnald, Richard

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Arnold, Thomas (c. 1742–1816), physician and mad-doctor, was born about 1742 in Leicester, the second son of William Arnold (c.1695–c.1770), a baker, who was also an eminent local Anabaptist and mad-house proprietor, and his wife, Sarah, née Freer (...

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Barclay, Oliver Rainsford (1919–2013), zoologist and evangelical society administrator, was born in Kobe, Japan, on 22 February 1919, the son of Joseph Gurney Barclay (1879–1976) and his second wife, Gwendoline Rose, née Watney (1885–1976). His family connections included prominent Quakers and Anglicans employed in banking and evangelical missions, notably the ...

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Beler, Sir Roger (d. 1326), justice, was the son of William and Amice Beler and the grandson of Roger Beler, sheriff of Lincolnshire in 1255–6. His family was of only local importance, but he achieved a significant social rise. Nothing is known about his training and early career. He successfully served ...

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Biggs, John (1801–1871), hosier and political reformer, was born at Leicester, first of the seven children of John Biggs (1774–1827), hosier, and his wife, Elizabeth, née Heggs (1780–1862), of Arnesby, Leicestershire. By the time his father died in 1827 the firm of John Biggs & Sons...

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[Anon.]

revised by Michael Bevan

Bland, Robert (1740–1816), man-midwife, was born at King's Lynn, Norfolk, the son of David Bland, an attorney in the town, and was educated at the London hospitals. He married some time about 1774; the classical scholar Robert Bland (1779?–1825) and the politician William Bland (1789–1868)...