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Bracken, Henry (bap. 1697, d. 1764), writer on farriery and surgeon, was baptized on 31 October 1697 at St Mary, Lancaster, the son of Henry Bracken, a local innkeeper who held a number of minor offices with the Lancaster corporation. After a grammar-school education at ...

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Clater, Francis (bap. 1754?, d. 1823), farrier and veterinary writer, may have been the son of John and Mary Claytor who was baptized at St Peter's, Nottingham, on 14 April 1754. He described himself in the preface to his first work as 'having served a regular apprenticeship and nearly one year a journeyman to the late ...

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Abraham Esau (1864–1901) by unknown photographer © reserved / Cambridge University Press

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Esau, Abraham (1864–1901), blacksmith and hero, was born on 12 September 1864 in the northern Kenhardt district of Cape Colony, the eldest son of several children of Adam Esau, semi-skilled general labourer, and his only wife, Martha April, domestic farm servant. Nothing is known of his parents, other than that they led an itinerant working existence for many years on farms and in villages in the northern and ...

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Gibson, Samuel (1793–1849), smith and naturalist, was born at Sowerby Bridge, Yorkshire. His father was a whitesmith and Methodist preacher at Butt Green chapel. Gibson attended Sunday school briefly before beginning to work as his father's apprentice. He soon became a skilled whitesmith and mechanic, and in 1814 was employed by a maker of spindles and flies in nearby ...

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Leighton, Thomas of (fl. 1293–1294), blacksmith, took his name from Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire. The earliest medieval blacksmith whose works, name, and contract survive, Thomas may have learnt his outstanding skills at nearby Dunstable Priory, which, in 1283, produced one of the first mechanical clocks in ...