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Edward Alleyn (1566–1626) by unknown artist by permission of the Trustees of Dulwich Picture Gallery

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Alleyn, Edward (1566–1626), actor, theatre entrepreneur, and founder of Dulwich College, was born on 1 September 1566 in the London parish of St Botolph without Bishopsgate, 'near Devonshire House, where now is the sign of the Pye'. He was baptized the following day in the parish church, the son of ...

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Badham, Molly Winifred (1914–2007), zoo proprietor and conservationist, was born on 12 May 1914 at 3 Waterside, Evesham, Worcestershire, the daughter of Arthur James Badham (1889–1965), then a boot shop assistant and later a homeopath, and his wife, Edith Annie, née Sharp (1889–1980)...

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Bartlett, Abraham Dee (1812–1897), taxidermist and zoo superintendent, was born in London on 27 October 1812, second son of John Bartlett, hairdresser and brush maker, and Jane Dunster. As a boy he was allowed to play in the beast room of the Royal Menagerie, Exeter 'Change, London...

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Bedingfeild [née Draper], Anne (1560–1641), theatre landlord and benefactor, was born in August 1560, the daughter of John Draper (d. 1576) and his wife, Margery, née Wilkes (d. 1600/01), of the parish of St Dunstan-in-the-West, London. Her father was a rich city brewer who owned various freehold properties in the ...

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Brown, Henry [known as Henry Box Brown] (b. c. 1815, d. in or after 1878), slavery abolitionist and magician, was born a slave on a plantation in Louisa county, about forty-five miles from Richmond, Virginia, USA, about 1815. His first master was relatively kind but when he died ...

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Buxton, Aubrey Leland Oakes, Baron Buxton of Alsa (1918–2009), television executive and conservationist, was born at 153 Banbury Road, Oxford, on 15 July 1918, the younger son and third of four children of Leland William Wilberforce Buxton (1884–1967), army officer and farmer, and his wife, ...

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Castle, Roy (1932–1994), entertainer and charity campaigner, was born on 31 August 1932 in Holme Valley Memorial Hospital, Holmfirth, West Riding of Yorkshire, the only child of Hubert Castle, an insurance agent, and his wife, Eliza Alice Swallow, a mill worker. His childhood was spent in ...

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Cons, Emma (1838–1912), social reformer and theatre manager, was born in London on 4 March 1838, the second daughter in the family of seven children of Frederick Cons (1810–1870), piano-case maker for Broadwoods, and his wife, Esther Goodair (d. 1882), daughter of a ...

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Conti, Italia Emily Stella (1873–1946), actress and founder of the Italia Conti academy of theatre arts, was born on 9 September 1873 at 265 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London, the eldest child of Luigi Conti (d. 1884), lyric singer, and his wife, Emily Mary (1844–1914)...

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Denis [née Holdsworth], Michaela [other married name Michaela Lindsay, Lady Lindsay] (1914–2003), writer and wildlife film-maker, is thought to have been born in London on 28 August 1914. According to her own account she was an only child, as her father, whom she described as an archaeologist from ...

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Michaela Denis (1914–2003) by Thurston Hopkins, 1952 Getty Images

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Dutton, Emily Courtier- [known as Mrs Charles L. Carson; performing name Kittie Claremont] (1862?–1919), theatrical philanthropist, was, according to the age recorded on her death certificate, born in 1862 or 1863, though other sources point to dates as early as 1852/3 (...

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Fogerty, Elsie (1865–1945), founder and principal of the Central School of Speech and Drama, was born at Sydenham, London, on 16 December 1865, the daughter of Joseph Fogerty (d. 1899), engineer and architect, of Dublin, and his wife, Hannah Cochrane (d...

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Elsie Fogerty (1865–1945) by Reginald Grenville Eves, 1937 ? reserved; reproduced by courtesy of Central School of Speech and Drama, Embassy Theatre, London

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Gray [married name Rix], Elspet Jeans MacGregor-, Lady Rix [known as Elspet Gray] (1929–2013), actress and charity campaigner, was born on 12 April 1929 at 35 Southside Road, Inverness, the daughter of James MacGregor-Gray (1896–1954), bank official, and his wife, Elspet Eleanor, ...

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Hilton, John (1880–1943), social scientist and broadcaster, was born at 14 Rumworth Street, Bolton, Lancashire, on 28 December 1880, the first son and the last of seven children of John Hilton (b. 1841) and his wife, Mary, née Bowden. He avoided much of the poverty that the rest of his family had had to endure. His father had risen steadily from spindle polisher to become ...

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Jarman, (Michael) Derek Elworthy (1942–1994), film-maker, painter, and campaigner for homosexual rights, was born on 31 January 1942 at the Victoria Nursing Home, Pinner Hill, Middlesex, the elder child of Wing Commander Lancelot Elworthy Jarman (1907–1986), RAF officer, and his wife, Elizabeth Evelyn (Betts; 1918–1978)...

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(Michael) Derek Elworthy Jarman (1942–1994) by David Thompson, 1992 ? David Thompson; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Kelly, Mary Elfreda (1888–1951), founder of the Village Drama Society, was born on 25 March 1888 at Salcombe vicarage, Devon, the second of the four children of the Revd Maitland Kelly (1842–1929), from 1900 squire of Kelly, Devon, and his second wife, Elfreda Blanche Carey (...