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Borthwick, Sir Thomas (1835–1912), meat importer, was born at Musselburgh, near Edinburgh, on 11 January 1835, the son of Thomas Borthwick of Edinburgh. He worked his way up from apprentice butcher in the family business at nearby Ratho, and at an early age it was clear that his real talent lay in assessing livestock. He was soon an acknowledged expert: it was said that he could walk into a pen holding 500 or more sheep and tell the weight and value of any of them at a glance; he was later to become a judge at the Royal Agricultural Show. He was only twenty-two when he established himself as a livestock agent, initially in ...

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Fyffe, Edward Wathen (1853–1935), tea and fruit importer, was born on 31 December 1853 in Woodchester, Gloucestershire, the younger son of Ebenezer Wathen Fyffe and his wife, Martha, née Dunn. His father was head of a long established tea trading business in London...

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Paul, William Francis (1850–1928), grain importer and maltster, was born on 11 February 1850 at 39 Bank Street, Ipswich, the youngest of the seven children of Robert Paul (c.1806–1864), maltster and wharfinger, and his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of James Woods, ironmonger, of ...

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William Francis Paul (1850–1928) by unknown photographer courtesy of BOCM Pauls; photograph © Eric Palmer

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See Vestey, William, first Baron Vestey

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Vestey, William, first Baron Vestey (1859–1940), industrialist and food importer, and his business partner, Sir Edmund Hoyle Vestey first baronet (1866–1953), were both born in Liverpool. William was the eldest (b. 21 January 1859), and Edmund was the fifth child (...

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William Vestey, first Baron Vestey (1859–1940) by Walter Stoneman, 1924 © National Portrait Gallery, London