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Thomas Baines (1806–1881) by unknown engraver, pubd 1868 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Baines, Thomas (1806–1881), journalist, newspaper proprietor, and local historian, was born in Leeds, the third son of Edward Baines (1774–1848) and Charlotte Talbot, and younger brother of Matthew Talbot Baines and Sir Edward Baines. Both his father and brother represented Leeds in parliament...

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Baker, George (1781–1851), county historian, the son of Richard Baker and his wife, Ann, was born in Northampton and lived there all his life. As a thirteen-year-old schoolboy at Mr Comfield's establishment in Horsemarket, Northampton, he wrote a manuscript history of Northampton and a life of ...

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Barley, Maurice Willmore (1909–1991), archaeologist and local historian, was born at 52 Lindum Avenue, Lincoln, on 19 August 1909, the son of Levi Baldwin Barley (1885–1971), a worker in a local engineering firm, and his wife, Alice, née Willmore (1886–1968). Both parents were working class. However, his was the sort of Edwardian working-class background in which education played an important part. It included attendance at university extension lectures and tutorial classes of the ...

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Maurice Willmore Barley (1909–1991) by Simon I. Hill York Archaeological Trust for Excavation and Research Ltd; photograph by Simon I. Hill

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Benson, Robert (1797–1844), judge and local historian of Salisbury, was born in the cathedral close, Salisbury, on 5 February 1797, the youngest son of the Revd Edmund Benson (d. 1835), vicar of Salisbury Cathedral, and his wife, Anne Hunt Grubbe. He was educated at a private school in ...

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Blackner, John (1770?–1816), radical and county historian, was born in Ilkeston, Derbyshire. He served an apprenticeship to a stocking maker in his native town, and there married Sarah, née Brown, sister of a 'respectable' farmer in Kirk Hallam, Derbyshire, with whom he had four sons and three daughters. Illiterate at the time of his marriage, he taught himself to read and write soon after moving to ...

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Blore, Thomas (1764–1818), county historian, was born in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, on 1 December 1764, the son of John Blore and his wife, Elizabeth, and educated at Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School in Ashbourne. He married Margaret (1761–1791), daughter of John and Martha Blore, also of ...

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Bridges, John (bap. 1666, d. 1724), county historian, was baptized at Binfield, Berkshire, on 24 June 1666. He was the eldest of the twelve children of John Bridges (1642–1712), squire of Barton Seagrave in Northamptonshire, and his wife, Elizabeth (1642–1712), daughter of William Trumbull...

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John Bridges (bap. 1666, d. 1724) by George Vertue, 1726 (after Sir Godfrey Kneller, 1706) © National Portrait Gallery, London