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Acton, John Emerich Edward Dalberg, first Baron Acton (1834–1902), historian and moralist, was born at Naples on 10 January 1834, the only child of Sir Ferdinand Richard Edward Acton, seventh baronet (1801–1837), and Marie Louise Pelline de Dalberg (1812–1860), the French-bred heir of ...

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John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, first Baron Acton (1834–1902) by Eveleen Myers, 1890s © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Aikenhead, Thomas (bap. 1676, d. 1697), freethinker and blasphemer, was baptized on 28 March 1676, the son of James Aikenhead (d. in or before 1683), apothecary and burgess of Edinburgh, and his wife, Helen (d. 1685), daughter of Thomas Ramsey, former minister of ...

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Ball, William Platt (1844–1917), freethinker and author, was born on 28 November 1844 at 12 Regent Row, Birmingham, the son of Abraham Ball, copper plate printer, and his wife, Mary Platt. He was educated at the Birkbeck Institute, London, and was briefly a schoolteacher before resigning in protest against religious instruction. In 1866 he matriculated at the ...

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Beesly, Edward Spencer (1831–1915), positivist and historian, was born on 23 January 1831 in Feckenham, Worcestershire, the eldest son of the Revd James Beesly and his wife, Emily Fitzgerald, of Queen's county, Ireland. After reading Latin and Greek with his father, in the autumn of 1846 he was sent to ...

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Edward Spencer Beesly (1831–1915) by Barraud © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Blount, Charles (1654–1693), freethinker and author, was born at Upper Holloway, Islington, Middlesex, on 27 April 1654 and baptized at Highgate Chapel, Hornsey, on 10 May 1654, the fourth son of Sir Henry Blount (1602–1682), traveller, of Tittenhanger, Hertfordshire, and his wife, Hester (...

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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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Bradlaugh, Charles (1833–1891), politician and freethinker, was born on 26 September 1833 at home at 31 Bacchus Walk, Hoxton, London, the eldest of seven children born to Charles Bradlaugh, a solicitor's clerk, and his wife, Elizabeth Trimby, a former nursemaid. He was baptized at ...