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Barthélémon, François Hippolyte (1741–1808), violinist and composer, was born at Bordeaux, France, on 27 July 1741. He was the eldest of sixteen children of the wig maker Emmanuel Barthélémon and Françoise Laroche. Charles Higham has said that he may have been an officer in the ...

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Bragge, William (1823–1884), civil engineer and steel manufacturer, was born at Birmingham on 31 May 1823, the third son of Thomas Perry Bragge, a manufacturing jeweller. After some years of general tuition, Bragge studied practical engineering with two Birmingham firms, and in his leisure applied himself closely to the study of mechanics and mathematics. In 1845 he entered the office of a civil engineer, and soon after engaged in railway surveying. He acted first as assistant engineer and then as engineer-in-chief of part of the line from ...

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Brothers, Richard (1757–1824), self-styled prophet, was born on 25 December 1757 at Placentia, Newfoundland. His father was a gunner, and his family continued to live at Placentia long after Richard was sent as a boy to Woolwich, where he went to school, and from where in 1772 he entered the ...

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Richard Brothers (1757–1824) by William Sharp, pubd 1795 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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W. E. A. Axon

revised by M. C. Curthoys

Brotherton, Edward (1814–1866), educational reformer, was born at Manchester. He had at least two sisters, Martha and Elizabeth, and a brother, Joseph Hamilton Brotherton, all of whom settled in the United States. Early in life he entered the silk trade, and became a manufacturer. He wrote frequently as ...

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Bruce, William Speirs (1867–1921), polar scientist and explorer, was born at 43 Kensington Gardens Square, Paddington, London, on 1 August 1867. He was the fourth child of a family of eight children and had one younger brother and six sisters. His father, Samuel Noble Bruce MRCS...