Paderewski, Ignacy Jan (1860–1941) Polish pianist, composer and politician. Prime minister of Poland, 1919–1922.
Paget, Francis (1851–1911). Anglican priest. Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, 1892–1901; Bishop of Oxford, 1901–1911.
Paget, Henry Luke (1853–1937). Anglican priest. Bishop (Suffragan) of Ipswich, 1906–1909; Bishop (Suffragan) of Stepney, 1909–1919; Bishop of Chester, 1919–1932.
Paget, Paul Edward (1901–1985). Architect, of Seely and Paget, among the most prominent and prestigious mid-20th-century British architects, noted particularly for ecclesiastical work.
Painter, George Duncan (1914–2005). Biographer and incunabulist. Department of Printed Books, British Museum 1938–1974, Assistant Keeper of 15th-century Printed Books 1954–1974. His biography of Proust in two volumes, 1959 and 1965, was described by The Independent (21 December 2005) as 'one of the great masterpieces of literary biography of our time.'
Pakenham, Francis Aungier (1905–2001). Baron Pakenham, later Earl of Longford. Labour politician, and later earnest but much-mocked campaigner against pornography and homosexuality.
Palairet, Lionel Charles Hamilton (1870–1933). Cricketer. Somerset opening batsman. Played two tests for England in 1902.
Palmer, William (1824–1856). Murderer. Hanged on one charge of poisoning, but thought to be guilty of many other murders.
Palmerston, Henry John Temple (1784–1865), 3rd Viscount. Prime Minister, 1855–1858 and 1859–1865. In government office almost continuously from 1807 until his death in 1865, beginning his parliamentary career as a Tory and concluding it as a Liberal. He was considered a womaniser; The Times named him Lord Cupid, and at the age of 79 he was cited as co-respondent in a divorce case.
Pardon, Sydney Herbert (1855–1925). Cricket writer; editor of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack for 35 editions, from 1891 until his death.
Parker, Dorothy, née Rothschild (1893–1967). American writer of prose and verse, known for her witticisms.
Parks, James Michael (1931–). Cricketer (batsman and wicketkeeper), Somerset, Sussex (1949–1976) and England (intermittently from 1954 to 1968).
Parry, (Charles) Hubert Hastings (1848–1918). Composer, known for his setting of Blake's poem, Jerusalem, the coronation anthem I was glad and the hymn tune Repton ('Dear Lord and Father of Mankind'). His full development as a composer may have been restricted by his other activities as a teacher and administrator.
Pattison, Mark (1813–1884). Anglican priest, academic and author. Publications include works on Isaac Casaubon and John Milton, and an edition of Pope's Essay on Man.
Paul, Princess, of Yugoslavia: née Olga, Princess of Greece and Denmark (1903–1997). Married Prince Paul, Regent of Yugoslavia 1934–1941.
Pavia, (Isidore) Leo (c. 1875–1945). Pianist and composer. For thirty years the 'tried and valued friend' of James Agate.
Pavlova, Anna Pavlovna (1881–1931). Russian ballerina. Her most famous showpiece was 'The Dying Swan', choreographed for her by Fokine, danced to The Swan from Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saëns.
Peace, Charles (1832–1879). Notorious burglar and murderer. Hanged.
Pearson, (Edward) Hesketh Gibbons (1887–1964). Actor and author. Writer of lively biographies which incurred critical disapproval for their tendency to unsupported assertion. His biographies include Gilbert and Sullivan, Boswell and Johnson, Beerbohm Tree, Charles II, Dickens, and Bernard Shaw.
Pellatt, Thomas (d. 1942). Head of Durnford preparatory school, Dorset. Collaborated under the pen name Wilfred T Coleby with the playwright Edward Knoblock. Father of the author Hester Chapman.
Penn, Sir Eric Charles William Mackenzie (1916–1993). Soldier and courtier. Grenadier Guards, 1938–1960; Assistant Comptroller, Lord Chamberlain's Office, 1960–1964, Comptroller, 1964–1981.
Pepys, Samuel (1633–1703). Diarist and public servant.
Perceval, Spencer (1762–1812). Politician. Prime Minister 1809–1812. Assassinated in the lobby of the House of Commons.
Petrarch, Francesco (1304–1374). Italian poet and humanist.
Petrie, Sir Charles (1895–1977). Right-wing historian. His best-known work was The Jacobite Movement, published in 1932, with a new edition in 1959.
Phillimore, Walter George Frank (1845–1929). First Baron Phillimore. Judge, Queen's Bench Division 1897–1913; a lord justice of appeal 1913–16.
Phillips, Sir Lionel (1855–1936). South African mining magnate and art collector.
Phillips, Stephen (1864–1915). Poet and playwright. The DNB's article on him ends, 'That Phillips failed to capitalize on his successes is indicative of his indolent nature, his lack of true talent, and his predilection for strong drink.'
Picasso, Pablo Ruiz (1881–1973). Leading twentieth-century painter. Co-founder, with Georges Braque, of cubism. His resolutely non-representational style did not appeal to conservative tastes.
Pierrepoint, Albert (1905–1992). British executioner from 1932–1956. Hanged more than 400 men and women in England and 200 Nazi war criminals after the Second World War. Became an opponent of capital punishment.
Pinero, Arthur Wing (1855–1934). Playwright, enormously successful in his time, but few of his plays have been much revived after his death.
Piper, John Egerton Christmas (1903–1992). Artist and designer. Designed the stained glass for Coventry and Liverpool (RC) cathedrals. Stage designs included The Rape of Lucretia (Glyndebourne, 1946), Albert Herring (Glyndebourne, 1947), Billy Budd (Covent Garden, 1951), Gloriana (Covent Garden, 1953), The Turn of the Screw and Death in Venice (Snape, 1973).
Pitman, Sir Isaac James (1901–1985). Politician and advocate of spelling reform. Conservative MP for Bath, 1945–1964. Grandson of the inventor of Pitman's shorthand.
Pitoeff, Ludmilla (1895–1951). Actress. Russian-born but active in France (Comédie-française). Played Shaw's St Joan to great acclaim in Paris.
Pitter, Ruth (1897–1992). Poet. Traditionalist in style.
Plato (c. 428–348 BC). Greek philosopher.
Playfair, Sir Nigel Ross (1874–1934), actor and theatre manager.
Plomer, William (1903–1973). Poet, novelist, librettist, biographer and editor.
Poe, Edgar Allan (1809–1849). American writer, best known for his tales of mystery.
Poggio. Gian Francesco Poggio Bracciolini (1380–1459). Italian humanist and scholar. Recovered and disseminated a great number of classical texts.
Pollock, Sir Frederick (1845–1937). English jurist best known for his History of English Law before Edward I, written with F W Maitland, and his lifelong correspondence with the American Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes.
Pollok, Robert (c. 1798–1827). Scottish poet best known for The Course of Time, published in the year of his death.
Ponsford, William Harold (1900–1991). Cricketer. Batsman for Victoria (1920–1934) and Australia (1924–1934). In 1934 at the Oval he and D G Bradman added 451 for the second wicket in only 316 minutes. The first batsman to reach 400 runs twice in first class cricket.
Pooley, Sir Ernest Henry (1876–1966). Member of the Council of King Edward's Hospital Fund for London. Member of the Hambledon Committee on Industrial Design, 1936; of the Goodenough Committee on Medical Education, and the Fleming Committee on Public Schools, 1944. Chairman Arts Council of Great Britain, 1946–53. Married, 1953, Christabel, widow of H C Marillier, and daughter of the late Arthur Hopkins.
Pope, Alexander (1688–1744). Poet known for his satirical verse and for his translation of Homer.
Pope-Hennessy, (Richard) James Arthur. (1916–1974). Biographer and travel writer. His authorised biography of Queen Mary remains the standard work.
Porson, Richard (1759–1808), English classical scholar. Regius professor of Greek at Cambridge. The phrase, 'he could hiccup Greek like a Helot' is by Byron, in a letter of 1818.
Porter, Thomas Cunningham ('Tubby') (1860–1933). Eton master (science and mathematics), 1885–1930.
Potter, Stephen (1900–1969). Comic writer. Creator of Gamesmanship ('the art of winning games without actually cheating') 1947, followed by Lifemanship ('the art of getting away with it'), 1950; One-upmanship, 1952; and Supermanship, 1958, all published by RH-D.
Pound, Ezra Weston Loomis (1895–1972). American poet, influential in experimental forms of poetry including Vorticism. His supposed insanity may have been an invention to escape a charge of treason for collaborating with Mussolini's régime.
Powell, Anthony Dymoke (1905–2000) Novelist, best known for his twelve-volume work A Dance to the Music of Time, published between 1951 and 1975.
Powell, Dilys (1901–1995). Writer, broadcaster, and film critic. Governor of the British Film Institute from 1948 to 1952. Wrote for The Sunday Times from 1928, continuing to write weekly reviews until 1976.
Powell, Laurence Fitzroy (1881–1975). Literary scholar. Librarian of the Taylor Institution, Oxford, 1921–49. Leading authority on Samuel Johnson and James Boswell.
Prescot, Henry Kelsall (1898–1996). Eton master 1930–1967.
Priestley, John Boynton (1894–1984). Novelist, playwright and broadcaster. Novels include The Good Companions, 1929; Angel Pavement, 1930; Eden End, 1934; and Lost Empires, 1965. Plays include Dangerous Corner, 1932; Time and the Conways, 1937; When We Are Married, 1938; and An Inspector Calls, 1946.
Pritchett, Sir Victor Sawdon (1900–1997). Author, critic and memoirist.
Pryce-Jones, Alan Payan (1908–2000). Writer and critic. Editor of The Times Literary Supplement, 1948–1959. Publications include, The Spring Journey, 1931; People in the South, 1932; Beethoven, 1933; 27 Poems, 1935; Private Opinion, 1936; Nelson, an opera, 1954; (with Robin Miller and Julian Slade) Vanity Fair, a musical play, 1962; The Bonus of Laughter (autobiography), 1987.
Pusey, Edward Bouverie (1800–1882). Anglican priest and theologian; leader of the high church Oxford Movement.
Pye, Henry James (1745–1813). Poet Laureate from 1790 until his death.