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Adams, Thomas (1807–1873), lace merchant and manufacturer, was born on 5 February 1807 at Worksop, Nottinghamshire, the son of Thomas Adams, a maltster, and his second wife, Catharine, née Smith, of Sutton-cum-Lound, Nottinghamshire. The elder Adams moved his family to Ware, Hertfordshire, but died while ...

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Allcroft, John Derby (1822–1893), glove manufacturer and entrepreneur, was born in Worcester on 19 July 1822, only son and elder child of Jeremiah Macklin Allcroft (1791–1867), who was a partner in the glove manufacturing firm of J. and W. Dent & Co. His mother, ...

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John Derby Allcroft (1822–1893) by Sir Francis Grant, 1873 photograph by courtesy Sotheby's Picture Library, London

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Anderson, Janet (1697–1761), milliner and maker of graveclothes, was born on 1 January 1697 and baptized in Edinburgh two days later. She was the daughter of James Anderson (1662–1728), clerk to the signet and author of Diplomata Scotiae, and Jean Ellis or Ellies (...

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Andrews, William (1835–1914), industrial designer, entrepreneur, and politician, was born in Coventry on 17 March 1835, the only son of three children of James and Isabella Andrews. His father was a Scot, a former regular soldier, and small businessman of Coventry. Andrews attended ...

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Appold, John George (1800–1865), fur dyer and engineer, was born on 14 April 1800 at 23 Wilson Street, Finsbury Square, London, the only child of Christian Appold, fur dyer. His father, an immigrant of unknown nationality, was naturalized in 1783. Appold's education, at an indifferent establishment, was sparse. While young he left school and joined his father's business over which he assumed control when he was twenty-two. He married ...

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Arkwright, Sir Richard (1732–1792), inventor of cotton-spinning machinery and cotton manufacturer, was born on 23 December 1732 at Preston, Lancashire, the sixth of the seven children of Thomas Arkwright (1691–1753), a tailor, and his wife, Ellen Hodgkinson (1693–1778). The family was rooted in ...

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Arkwright, Richard (1755–1843), cotton manufacturer and landowner, was born on 19 December 1755 at Bolton, Lancashire, the only son of Sir Richard Arkwright (1732–1792), cotton manufacturer, and his wife, Patience (d. 1756), daughter of Robert Holt. In 1780 he married Mary (...

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Sir Richard Arkwright (1732–1792) by Joseph Wright of Derby, 1789–90 private collection; photograph © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Richard Arkwright (1755–1843) by Ramsay Richard Reinagle, 1813 Christie's Images Ltd. (2004)