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Adams, Sarah Flower (1805–1848), poet, was born on 22 February 1805 at Great Harlow, Essex, the daughter of Benjamin Flower (1755–1829), nonconformist editor of the radical Cambridge Intelligencer, and Eliza Gould (1770–1810), a Devon schoolteacher. Her father was famous for going to prison in defence of his right to freedom of expression in 1799, while her mother had been forced out of her school for refusing on principle to cancel her subscription to his ...

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Sarah Flower Adams (1805–1848) after Margaret Gillies © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Aikin, John (1713–1780), tutor and theological scholar, was born on 28 December 1713 in London. His father, John Aikin (1664–1756), a linen draper from Kirkcudbright, Scotland, had settled there some time previously; his mother, Anne Bentall, is described as the daughter of a ...

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Mark Akenside (1721–1770) by Edward Fisher, 1772 (after Arthur Pond, 1754) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Akenside, Mark (1721–1770), poet and physician, was born on 9 November 1721 in Butcher Bank, St Nicholas, Newcastle upon Tyne, the sixth of seven children of Mark Akenside (b. 1676), butcher, and his wife, Mary (1685–1760), daughter of William Lumsden. He was baptized on 30 November in the nonconformist meeting-house which his parents attended in ...

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Amory, Thomas (1690/91–1788), novelist, was according to his son, Dr Robert Amory, the son of Counsellor Amory who, accompanying William III to Ireland, was made secretary for the forfeited estates, and possessed 'very considerable property' in co. Clare (GM, 58.1062, 59.322). Subsequently disputed (...

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Annet, Peter (1693–1769), religious controversialist, was born in Liverpool but nothing further is known about his background and early life. He worked for a time as a schoolmaster and developed a widely used system of shorthand that received some recognition. Joseph Priestley learned it at school and corresponded with ...

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J. M. Scott

revised by Jean Loudon

Barker, Edmund (b. 1720/21), physician, studied medicine at the University of Leiden, taking his doctor's degree in 1747, and set up as a physician in London. In the winter of 1749 Dr Johnson, as yet little known, established the Ivy Lane Club, which met weekly at the ...

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Barnard, John, the younger (1704/5–1784), shipbuilder, was born in Ipswich, the son of John Barnard the elder (1665–1717), shipbuilder of the borough of Ipswich, and his wife, Mary (1666–1733). He probably attended the academy for dissenters in Ipswich. In 1723 he was apprenticed to ...

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Benbow, William (1787–1864), radical and publisher, was born at Middlewich, Cheshire, where he was baptized on 21 February 1787, one of thirteen children of William Benbow (bap. 1750, d. 1817), shoemaker, and his wife, Hannah, née Chear (bap. 1752, d. 1828)...