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Attlee [née Millar], Violet Helen, Countess Attlee (1895–1965), charity fund-raiser and prime minister’s wife, was born at Heathdown, East Heath Road, Hampstead, on 20 November 1895, the youngest of eleven children of Henry Edward Millar (1856–1912), a commission merchant in import/export trade, and his wife, ...

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Bonner, Hypatia Bradlaugh (1858–1935), freethinker and radical, was born in London on 30 March 1858 at 3 Hedger's Terrace, Hackney, the second child of Charles Bradlaugh (1833–1891), politician and freethinker, and Susannah Lamb Hooper (d. 1877). Her elder sister, Alice Bradlaugh (...

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See Bonner, Hypatia Bradlaugh

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Carlile, Elizabeth Sharples (1803–1852), freethought lecturer and advocate of women's rights, was one of six children born to Ann and Richard Sharples, a counterpane manufacturer, in Bolton, Lancashire, probably late in 1803. The family was pious and prosperous, the children received a good education, and ...

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Chamberlain, Annie Vere [Anne] (1882–1967), political wife, was born Annie Vere Cole (though often later known as Anne) at 63 Great King Street, Edinburgh, on 1 June 1882, the daughter of William Utting Cole (1851–1892), captain in the ...

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Anne Chamberlain (1882–1967), by Bassano Ltd, 1939

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Chaplin [née Schofield; other married name Walpole], (Sybil) Judith (1939–1993), politician, was born at 12 Clarence Road, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, on 19 August 1939, the daughter of Theodore Thomas Schofield (1911–1981), a dental surgeon, and his wife, Sybil Elsie, ...

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David [née Blakesley], Nora Ratcliff, Baroness David (1913–2009), politician, was born at Burton Road, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire, on 23 September 1913, the second and only surviving daughter of George Blockley Blakesley (1854–1934), brick and sanitary pipe manufacturer, and his second wife, ...

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Nora David (1913–2009), by Julia Hedgecoe, 1998

© Julia Hedgecoe / National Portrait Gallery, London

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Fisher [née Satchwell], Doris Mary Gertrude, Baroness Fisher of Rednal (1919–2005), politician, was born at 15 Wyndcliff Road, Birmingham, on 13 September 1919, the daughter of Frederick James Satchwell (1891–1967), a glass polisher, who had served as a sergeant in the ...

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Dacre Fox [née Doherty; later name Elam], Norah (1878–1961), suffragette and political activist, was born at 13 Waltham Road Terrace, Blackrock, Dublin, on 5 March 1878, the daughter of John Doherty (1849–1929), a master printer, and his second wife, ...

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Lloyd George [née Owen], Margaret (1866–1941), politician and charity worker, was born on her family’s farm, Mynydd Ednyfed Fawr, near Cricieth, Caernarfonshire, on 3 November 1864. She was the only child of Richard Owen, a prosperous tenant farmer and ‘offspring of landed gentry stock’ (Lloyd George, 37), and his wife ...

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Harrison, Ethel Bertha (1851–1916), positivist and essayist, was born at Highgate Hill, London, on 27 October 1851, the only daughter of William Harrison (1805–1883), a wealthy West India merchant, and his wife, Anne Tonge Lake (1819–1876), who had four older sons. Ethel grew up in ...

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Law [née Frost], Harriet Teresa (1831–1897), secularist, was born in Ongar, Essex, on 5 November 1831, the daughter of Henry Frost, a butcher, farmer, and contractor. She was reared as a Strict Baptist in the severe Calvinist tradition. When her family moved to ...

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Martin [née Bullock], Emma (1811/12–1851), socialist and freethinker, was born in Bristol, the fourth child of William Bullock, a cooper, and his wife, Hannah Jones, whose family owned a tea-dealing business in the city. Emma's father died in her infancy, and a year later her mother married her second husband, ...

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McElhone [née Brown], Helen Margaret (1933–2013), politician, was born at 90 Jamieson Street, Glasgow on 10 April 1933, the daughter of John Brown, a newspaper despatch labourer, and his wife Helen, née Gourlay. Her father was a Roman Catholic. Most of her life was spent in the working-class ...

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McEwan [née Selkirk], Janet Landells (Jenny) (1860–1920), suffragist and politician, was born in Glasgow, Lanarkshire, on 26 November 1860, the eldest of six children of James Landells Selkirk (1838–1904), a chartered accountant from Fife, and his wife, ...

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Miller [née Haring], Millie (1922–1977), social worker and politician, was born at 9 Windsor Terrace, Hoxton, London, on 8 April 1922, the fourth of five children of Barney Haring (1881–1947), diamond polisher, and his wife, Sarah, née Zomerplaag (...

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Plummer [née Lapsker], Beatrice [Beattie], Baroness Plummer (1903–1972), farmer and politician, was born in Russia, probably in Kiev, on 14 April 1903, one of several children of Meyer (or Morris) Lapsker (or Lipsker; (1871–1940), furniture dealer, and his wife, ...

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Quennell, Joan Mary (1923–2006), politician, was born at Greenaway House, Turner Drive, Golders Green, London, on 23 December 1923, the only child of Walter Quennell (1886–1966) and his second wife, Ellen Mary, née Parr (1888–1974). The architect and writer ...