The Elder and the Younger Booth

By Asia Booth Clarke | Go to book overview
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JUNIUS BRUTUS BOOTH was born on the first day of May, 1796, in the parish of St. Pancras, London. His grandmother, Elizabeth Wilkes, was a relative of John Wilkes, and through his mother he inherited the blood of the Welsh Llewellyns.

The Booths and Wilkes of Clerkenwell were honorably known in their time; the house of Bishop Burnet, an historical old building, was the birthplace of many of the Booths, and the yard of the ancient church of St. John of Jerusalem still contains the gravestones of their descendants, on which the names of the two families are frequently intermingled. Ruin and demolition have been busy, the black mould of years is over the narrow streets and byways; but the little court keeps its name of "Booth," and the graves in the narrow slip of church-ground seem likely to last till doomsday.

Richard Booth, the father of the subject of the present sketch, was educated for the law; but, becoming infatuated with Republicanism, he left home, in company with his cousin John Brevitt, to embark for America (then at war with England), determined to fight in her cause. Booth was taken prisoner and brought back to England, where he subsequently devoted him


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