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Chubb, Charles (1772–1846), locksmith, was born on 16 January 1772, probably at Fordingbridge, Hampshire, the third child of Charles Chubb. He had twelve brothers and sisters, with one of whom, Jeremiah Chubb (1790–1847), born on 10 June 1790, Charles was to set up in business. He served an apprenticeship as a blacksmith and moved to ...

Article

Crapper, Thomas (bap. 1836, d. 1910), plumber, was born at Thorne, Yorkshire, and baptized on 28 September 1836 at St Nicholas's Church, Thorne, the fourth of five sons of Charles Crapper, steamboat captain, and his wife, Sarah. The claim that, aged eleven, he walked the ...

Article

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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Fagon, Alfred (1937–1986), actor, playwright, and poet, was born on 25 June 1937 in Clarendon, Jamaica, where his parents were smallholders and also kept a post office and store. He had eight brothers and two sisters. After leaving school at thirteen he worked with his father as a cultivator on his orange plantation....

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Thompson Cooper

revised by Dorian Gerhold

Hobson, Thomas (1545–1631), carrier, was the elder son of Thomas Hobson and his wife, Elinor. His birthplace has been stated as Buntingford, Hertfordshire, on the strength of his father's having been born there, but a note on the back of a contemporary petition relating to ...

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Patch, Henry John [Harry] (1898–2009), soldier and plumber, and longest surviving British veteran of the First World War, was born on 17 June 1898 at Fonthill Cottage, Combe Down, Somerset, the youngest of three sons (there were no daughters) of William John Patch (1863–1945)...

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Sassoon, Vidal (1928–2012), hairdresser, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, was born on 17 January 1928 at 101 Shepherd's Bush Road, Hammersmith, London, the son of Jack Sassoon, a carpet dealer, originally from Salonika, Greece, and his East End-born wife, Betty, née Belinsky (1900–1997), both Sephardic Jews. After his parents' separation in 1931 his mother found it difficult to bring up ...

Article

William Gee

revised by Frank A. J. L. James

Sturgeon, William (1783–1850), electrician and scientific lecturer, was born on 22 May 1783 at Whittington, Lancashire, near Kirkby Lonsdale, the only son of John Sturgeon, shoemaker, and his wife, Betsy Adcock (d. 1793), the daughter of a small shopkeeper. All accounts of his father, who had migrated from ...