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Samuel Waring Cavenagh was born in Donnybrook, Dublin, on 7 September 1856, the son of Ewan Cavenagh, a bookbinder, and his wife Sarah Jane. His father had died by 1891, by which time the family was living in Camberwell, London, where his mother was working as an organist and music teacher. Samuel at this time worked as an ornamental leather manufacturer.
By 1897 he was drawing strips like "Mr Bodger" for the Amalgamated Press' Funny Wonder. He also drew cartoons for The Windsor Magazine. He is listed as an "artist, black and white" in the 1901 and 1911 censuses, when he was living in Billericay, Essex. He died in Rochford, Essex, in the second quarter of 1926, aged 69.