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Joseph Ashby (1859–1919) by unknown photographer © reserved

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Ashby, Joseph (1859–1919), farmer and social reformer, was born in Tysoe in Warwickshire on 13 June 1859, the son of an unmarried servant, Elizabeth Ashby. His father was the husband of Elizabeth's mistress, yet, common as such births were, Ashby's was in some ways different. His father provided for him but his mother, a fiercely independent woman, refused to use the money. More importantly his mother's branch of the ...

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John Clare (1793–1864) by William Hilton, 1820 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Clare, John (1793–1864), poet, farm labourer, and naturalist, was born on 13 July 1793 in West Street, Helpston, Northamptonshire, the son of Parker Clare (1765–1846), a thresher and local wrestler, known as 'the lame man of Helpstone', and his wife, Ann (1757–1835)...

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Henson, Josiah (1789–1883), escaped slave, slavery abolitionist, and Methodist minister, was born on 15 June 1789 in Charles county, Maryland, USA, one of six children of slave parents. He experienced the harsh realities of slavery early in life. He saw his father receive 100 lashes and then have his ear cut off as punishment for defending his mother from the plantation overseer. His father was then sold south and was never heard from again. ...

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Hosier, Arthur Julius (1877–1963), farmer and engineer, was born on 16 October 1877 at Shawford, Somerset, the twelfth and youngest child of Joshua Hosier, tenant dairy farmer, and his second wife, Sarah Fricker, a farmer's daughter from Frome. His was the fourth generation of farmers in the family but his father did not prosper in the profession. Having failed as an arable farmer in the difficult years of the 1880s, ...

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Howard, James (1821–1889), agriculturist and manufacturer of agricultural implements, was born on 16 October 1821, the eldest son of John Howard, maker of agricultural implements, of Bedford. He was educated at Bedford School, and as a boy he also gained much practical knowledge of agriculture from visiting his grandfather at ...

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Kerruish, Sir (Henry) Charles (1917–2003), politician and farmer, was born on 23 July 1917 at Ballafayle, Maughold, Isle of Man, the only child of Henry Howard Kerruish (bap. 1872, d. 1938), farmer, and his wife, Clara May, née Kewin (1877–1961). Ballafayle, Kerruish's...

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Loveless, George (1797–1874), leader of the ‘Tolpuddle martyrs’, was born in Tolpuddle, Dorset, on 2 February 1797, the seventh of the ten surviving children of Thomas Loveless (1762–1838), a labourer, and his wife, Dinah, née Stickland (1768–1809). From boyhood he worked on local farms and became a Methodist lay preacher. He married, on 26 December 1824, ...

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See Tolpuddle Martyrs