British nobleman John Poulett, 1st Earl Poulett, and his wife Bridget had eight children in the early 1700s:
- Bridget (born in 1702)
- Catherine (b. 1706)
- John (b. 1708)
- Peregrine (b. 1708)
- Vere (b. 1710)
- Anne (b. 1711)
- Susannah (b. 1714)
- Rebecca (b. 1716)
Looks like five girls and three boys, right?
Except…Anne was a boy. (In fact, he was a member of the all-male House of Commons during the last sixteen years of his life.)
So, why did Anne have a feminine first name?
Because Queen Anne, who reigned from 1702 to 1714, just happened to be his baptismal sponsor.
(In contrast, American author Anne Rice was born with the name Howard…)