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Anderson, Sir John (1814–1886), inventor of ordnance manufacture machinery and arsenal manager, was born at Woodside, near Aberdeen, on 9 December 1814, the posthumous child of a local merchant, J. Anderson, and his wife, Helen Hosie. His mother remarried and his stepfather, Irvine Kempt...

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William George Armstrong, Baron Armstrong (1810–1900) by W. & D. Downey, pubd 1890 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Armstrong, William George, Baron Armstrong (1810–1900), armaments manufacturer and industrialist, was born on 26 November 1810 at 9 Pleasant Row, Shieldfield, Newcastle upon Tyne, the second child and only son of William Armstrong (1778–1857), corn merchant and local politician, of Tyneside...

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Baude [Bawd, Bawood], Peter (d. 1546), gun-founder, is thought to have been born in France, but nothing is known of his origins or family circumstances. It is said he came to Britain as early as 1509 but the first official reference to him is as a 'gunner' at the ...

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Browne, John (c. 1590–1651), gun-founder, was born in Chiddingstone, Kent, the son of Thomas Browne, founder of iron ordnance to Elizabeth I and James I. He joined his father's thriving business, although not apprenticed in iron making, and took over Thomas's patent in 1615. The ...

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Dawson, Sir (Arthur) Trevor, first baronet (1866–1931), armaments manufacturer, was born on 1 May 1866 at Dalkeith House, Richmond, Surrey, son of Hugh Dawson (1836–1884), landowner and barrister, and his wife, formerly Mary Ann Chaffer. Trevor Dawson (as he was always known) became a naval cadet in 1879 and was educated at the ...

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Falkner, John Meade (1858–1932), armaments manufacturer and writer, was born on 8 May 1858, at Manningford Bruce, Vale of Pewsey, Wiltshire, second but eldest surviving of the four sons (there were also two daughters) of Thomas Alexander Falkner (1819–1887), a penurious curate, and his wife, ...

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Galton, Samuel (1753–1832), gun maker and local politician, was born on 18 June 1753 in Birmingham, the eldest son of Samuel Galton (1720–1799), haberdasher and later gun maker, originally from Bristol, and his wife, Mary, née Farmer (1718–1777). His mother was the daughter of ...

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Grueber, Francis (1658?–1730), gunpowder and leather manufacturer and merchant, was born in Lyons, France, probably in December 1658, the eldest of the three sons and three daughters of Daniel Grueber (d. 1692) and his wife, Susanne (née Monginot). The Huguenot family arrived in ...

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Hale, William (1797–1870), rocket inventor and entrepreneur, was born on 21 October 1797 in Colchester, Essex, the son of Robert Hale, baker, and his wife, Elizabeth, and may have been descended from Sir Matthew Hale, lord chief justice.

Hale's early education is unknown, but his maternal grandfather, ...

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Hogge, Ralph (d. 1585), gun-founder, was a leading figure in the expansion of the iron industry in the Sussex Weald. Nothing is known of his parentage or place of birth, though he was probably born in Sussex. He had business connections with Brian Hogge...

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Hortop, Job (fl. 1550–1591), powder maker and seaman, was born in Bourne, Lincolnshire. From the age of twelve he served the queen's powder maker in Rotherhithe, London, until pressed as a gunner in the Jesus of Lubeck on John Hawkins's third slaving voyage (October 1567). After the disaster at ...

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Kynoch, George (1834–1891), ammunition manufacturer, was born on 22 August 1834 at Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, the youngest son of John Kynoch, a journeyman tailor, and his wife. They lived in humble circumstances and after education at the local national school, Kynoch obtained employment first in an insurance office in ...