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Amherst [formerly Tyssen-Amherst], Alicia Margaret [married name Alicia Margaret Cecil, Lady Rockley] (1865–1941), garden historian, was born on 30 July 1865 at Didlington Hall, Didlington, near Mundford, Norfolk, fifth of the seven children (all daughters) of William Amhurst Tyssen-Amherst (1835–1909), landowner, and his wife, ...

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Bagenal, (Philip) Hope Edward (1888–1979), architectural theorist and acoustician, was born on 11 February 1888 at 9 Mount Street, Dublin, the second of five children of Philip Henry Bagenal (1850–1927), civil servant and journalist, and his wife, Harriot Jocelyn Hore (1851/2–1942). He was always known by his second name, ...

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Banham, (Peter) Reyner (1922–1988), architectural critic and historian, was born on 2 March 1922 in Norwich, the elder son (there were no daughters) of Percy Banham, gas engineer, and his wife, Violet Frances Maud Reyner. Reyner Banham (known to only his close friends as ...

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Kingsley Amis

revised by M. Clare Loughlin-Chow

Betjeman, Sir John (1906–1984), poet, writer, and broadcaster, was born on 28 August 1906 at 52 Parliament Hill Mansions, north London, the only child of Ernest Edward Betjemann (1872–1934), a furniture manufacturer, and his wife, Mabel Bessie Dawson (1879–1952). The family name, of Dutch or German origin, can be traced back to an immigration in the late eighteenth century. The poet adopted his style of it about the age of twenty-one....

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Sir John Betjeman (1906–1984) by Sir Cecil Beaton, 1955 ? Cecil Beaton Archive, Sotheby's

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Bilson, John (1856–1943), architect and architectural historian, was born on 23 September 1856 at Crown Street, Newark, Nottinghamshire, the eldest son of John Bilson (1828/9–1892), maltings clerk, and his wife, Eliza Ann, née Mayston (1827–1910). He was educated at Wesley College, Sheffield, and was placed fifth nationally in the honours division for matriculation for the ...

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Bishop, Sir Frederick Arthur (1915–2005), civil servant and director-general of the National Trust, was born on 4 December 1915 at 118 Hampstead Road, Brislington, Bristol, the son of Alfred John Bishop, foreman for a wholesale stationers, later factory manager, and his wife, Mary Maria, ...

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Bloxam, Matthew Holbeche (1805–1888), architectural historian, was born at midnight on 12 May 1805 in a boarding-house at the corner of Lawrence Sheriff Street and Sheep Street, Rugby, opposite Rugby School, where his father was an assistant master. Matt, as he was known, was the eighth of the ten children of ...

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Matthew Holbeche Bloxam (1805–1888) by E. H. Speight, c. 1880 reproduced with the kind permission of Warwickshire County Council, Warwickshire Library and Information Service

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Bolton, Arthur Thomas (1864–1945), architect and architectural historian, was born on 14 April 1864 at 37 Westbourne Park, Bayswater, London, the second son in a family of five sons and three daughters of Thomas Bolton (1819–1895), solicitor, and his wife, Emily Wildman (1831–1906)...

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Brett, Sir Charles Edward Bainbridge (1928–2005), solicitor and architectural historian, was born on 30 October 1928 at Glenard, Holywood, co. Down, the eldest son of Charles Anthony Brett (1897–1988), solicitor, and his wife, (Elizabeth) Joyce, née Carter. His father was senior partner of ...

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Sir Charles Edward Bainbridge Brett (1928–2005) by Jill Jennings Country Life Picture Library

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Clapham, Sir Alfred William (1883–1950), architectural historian and archaeologist, was born in Dalston, London, on 27 May 1883, the son of the Revd James Ernest Clapham, a Wesleyan minister, and his wife, Lucy Elizabeth Hutchinson. He was educated at Dulwich College and subsequently articled to the architect ...

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L. H. Cust

revised by Annette Peach

Clayton, John (1820–1861), writer on architecture, was born in Eardisley, Hereford, the son of John Clayton, a land steward, and his wife Susan née Harris. He moved to London in 1838, when he entered the Royal Academy Schools at the age of eighteen. He exhibited architectural designs with a recommendation from ...

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Cobb, Gerald (1900–1986), antiquary and architectural historian, was born on 8 June 1900 at Ivy Lodge, Hamilton Road, Reading, one of four sons of Joseph William Cobb, a banker's clerk, and his wife, Florence Kate Arnold.

Cobb studied art in Reading at the ...

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Colvin, Sir Howard Montagu (1919–2007), architectural historian, was born on 15 October 1919 at Inglenook, 4 Longlands Park Road, Foots Cray, Kent, the elder son of Montagu Colvin (1888–1938), an engineer's buyer, and his wife, Annie Winifred, née Randle (1888–1944), daughter of George Beavis Randle...

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Sir Howard Montagu Colvin (1919–2007) by Lucy Anne Dickens, 2001 ? Lucy Dickens / National Portrait Gallery, London

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Cornforth, John Lewley (1937–2004), art historian, was born on 2 September 1937 at Heatherdene, Etchinghill, Staffordshire, the only child of Guy Neville Cornforth (1908–1961), company director, and his wife, Felicia, née Foden (1902–1996), daughter of Edward Foden, a land agent. In ...

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Cox, John Charles (1843–1919), antiquary and ecclesiologist, was born on 29 March 1843 at Parwich, Derbyshire, the sixth of the seven children of Revd Edward Cox (1802–1869) and Anna Horsfall (1803/4–1888). He had two brothers and four sisters. In 1843 his father was vicar of ...

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Edwards, (Arthur) Trystan (1884–1973), architectural critic and town planner, was born on 10 November 1884 at The Court, Merthyr Tudful. His father, William Edwards (1850–1940), was then HM inspector of schools for the Merthyr Tudful district and later chief inspector to the central Welsh school board; his mother was ...