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Breakwell, Thomas (1872–1902), the first English Baha?i convert, was born at Ellen Street, Woking, Surrey, on 31 May 1872, the youngest of the five children of Edward Breakwell, blacksmith, and his wife, Elizabeth, née Knight. He received his elementary education at the local school, and subsequently emigrated with his family to the ...

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Campbell, Sybil (1889–1977), barrister and first woman stipendiary magistrate, was born on 9 October 1889 in Ceylon, the eldest of the three daughters and a son of Neill Graeme Campbell (1859–1940) of Auchendarroch, tea company agent, and his wife, Maude Georgiana (d...

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Sybil Campbell (1889–1977) by unknown photographer, c. 1940 The Mistress and Fellows, Girton College, Cambridge

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Cardale, John Bate (1802–1877), first apostle of the Catholic Apostolic church, was born at 28 Lamb's Conduit Street, Holborn, London, on 7 November 1802, the eldest of five children. His father, William Cardale, a solicitor and Worcestershire landowner, was born on 17 July 1777 and died at ...

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Coltman [née Todd], Constance Mary (1889–1969), Congregational minister and the first woman to be ordained to the Christian ministry in Britain, was born in Putney, London, on 23 May 1889, the oldest of the four children of George Todd (1844–1912), headmaster and educational administrator, and ...

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Frost, Georgina [Georgie] (1879–1939), first woman to hold public office in the United Kingdom, was born in Sixmilebridge, co. Clare, Ireland, on 29 December 1879, one of the five children born to Thomas Frost (1841/2–1938) and his wife, Margaret Kett (d. 1888)...

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Higgins, Terrence Lionel Seymour (1945–1982), first publicly identified AIDS victim in the United Kingdom, was born on 10 June 1945 in Priory Mount Hospital, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, the son of Marjorie Irene Higgins (formerly Phillips), a railway porter in Haverfordwest. Remembered through the manner of his death, and the work of the trust that bears his name, the life of ...

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Lee Boo (c. 1764–1784) by Henry Kingsbury, pubd 1788 (after Georgiana Keate) ? National Portrait Gallery, London

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Lee Boo (c. 1764–1784), first visitor to Britain from Palau, was the second son (possibly the adoptive son) of the ibedul or ruler of Palau (fl. 1764–1791), whose name is unknown. On 9 August 1783 on her return journey from China, the ...

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Constance Georgine Markievicz, Countess Markievicz in the Polish nobility (1868–1927) by Keogh Brothers courtesy of the National Library of Ireland

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Markievicz [née Gore-Booth], Constance Georgine, Countess Markievicz in the Polish nobility (1868–1927), Irish republican and first woman elected to parliament, was born on 4 February 1868 at 7 Buckingham Gate, Pimlico, London, the eldest of the three daughters and two sons of ...

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Omai (c. 1753–c. 1780), first Tahitian to visit England, was taken to England in July 1774 by Captain Furneaux, commander of the Adventure (sister ship of Cook's Resolution), and returned by Cook in November 1777, having left England the previous July. He appears to have been born about 1753 on the island of ...

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Omai (c. 1753–c. 1780) by Sir Joshua Reynolds, c. 1776 ? reserved

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See Pickersgill, Henry William

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Red Lady of Paviland (fl. 33,000 bc ?), recipient of ceremonial burial, is not a historical character but an incomplete prehistoric human skeleton. The biography of the once living person can therefore only be recovered through the historical interpretations of the skeleton as a scientific object and of the context in which it was found. The remains were discovered in January 1823 by the ...

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Russell, Edward Southwell, twenty-sixth Baron de Clifford (1907–1982), racing driver, dog-food salesman, and the last peer to be tried by the House of Lords, was born on 31 January 1907, the only son of Jack Southwell Russell, twenty-fifth Baron de Clifford (1884–1909), an Irish landowner, and his wife, ...

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Shanawdithit [called Nancy] (c. 1801–1829), the last of the Beothuk, was the daughter of Doodebewshet and granddaughter of Moo-meshduck. Her people, the Beothuk, were a small population of Algonquian hunter-gatherers who were the aboriginal occupants of the island of Newfoundland.

When Europeans arrived in ...

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Wenham, Jane (d. 1730), last person convicted of witchcraft in England, details of whose upbringing are unknown, lived in Church Lane, Walkern, Hertfordshire, and for many years endured a reputation in the village not only for witchcraft but also for swearing, cursing, idleness, thievery, and whoredom. She was married twice, and had a number of children, but was a widow by the time of her prosecution in March 1712. Earlier that year a farmer named ...

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Ivy Williams (1877–1966) by unknown photographer The Principal and Fellows of St Anne's College, Oxford

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Williams, Ivy (1877–1966), first woman barrister in England, was born on 7 September 1877 at 21 Devon Square, Newton Abbot, Devon, the daughter of George St Swithin Williams, solicitor of 12 King Edward Street, Oxford, and of his wife, Emma Ewers (d...