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Charles Booth (1840–1916) by George Frederic Watts, c. 1901 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Booth, Charles (1840–1916), shipowner and social investigator, was born on 30 March 1840 at 27 Bedford North Street, Liverpool. He was the third son of Charles Booth (1799–1860), a prosperous corn merchant, and his first wife, Emily Fletcher (1803–1853). Both his parents were Unitarians, and had wide connections among the commercial, dissenting, and philanthropic ‘aristocracy’ of ...

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Henry Croft (1861–1930) by unknown artist, c.1930 © Mary Evans Picture Library

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Croft, Henry [called the Original Pearly King] (1861–1930), road sweeper and founder of the pearly tradition, was born on 24 May 1861 at St Pancras workhouse, 4 King's Road (later St Pancras Way), Somers Town, London, the son of Henry Croft (1828/9–1871?)...

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Crossley, Francis William (1839–1897), engine manufacturer and philanthropist, and his brother, Sir William John Crossley first baronet (1844–1911), were born in Antrim, the sons of Major Francis Crossley (1787–1846) of Glenburn, Dunmurry, Antrim, and his second wife, Elizabeth Helen Irwin, whom he married in 1837. ...

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Robert McVey Dollar (1844–1932) by unknown photographer © reserved

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Dollar, Robert McVey (1844–1932), shipowner and philanthropist, was born at Falkirk, Stirlingshire, on 20 March 1844 (and baptized there on 5 April), the eldest son of William Dollar (d. 1873) and his wife, Mary Wilson, née Melville (1814/15–1853). His father managed the timber yard of his father-in-law, ...

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Ferres, Thomas (1568/9–1631), master mariner and benefactor, was probably born at Glaisdale near Danby in the North Riding of Yorkshire. Nothing is known of his parents (a brother and two sisters outlived him), but his brother was a yeoman and his background was modest. As a young man ...

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James Burnley

revised by A. W. H. Pearsall

Green, Richard (1803–1863), shipowner and philanthropist, was born on 5 December 1803, probably in the family house in Blackwall Yard, Poplar, London, the fourth child, and third son, of George Green (1767–1849), shipbuilder, and his first wife, Sarah Perry (1774–1805), daughter of John Perry...

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Hills, Arnold Frank (1857–1927), shipbuilder and philanthropist, was born at Denmark Hill, London, on 12 March 1857, the youngest son of Frank Clarke Hills and his wife, Ann Ellen, daughter of James Rawlings. His father had made a fortune as a manufacturing chemist and acquired a large interest in the ...

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Keyzer [née Mitchell], Isabella [Bella] (1922–1992), textile and shipyard worker, and women's activist, was born on 29 August 1922 at 3 Blinshall Street, Dundee, the youngest of three children of Thomas Mitchell (c.1880–c.1949), a baker, and his second wife, ...

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Measom, Sir George Samuel (1818–1901), publisher and philanthropist, was born in Blackheath, Kent, on 3 December 1818, and baptized in St Alfege, Greenwich, on 12 July 1819, perhaps the eldest of the five children of Daniel Measom (b. c.1790), carver and gilder, and his wife, ...

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William Richard Morris, Viscount Nuffield (1877–1963) by Walter Stoneman, 1934 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Morris, William Richard, Viscount Nuffield (1877–1963), motor manufacturer and benefactor, was born on 10 October 1877 in the parish of St John, Worcester, the eldest son of Frederick Morris (1849–1916) from Witney and his wife, Emily Ann (d. 1934), daughter of Richard Pether...

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J. K. Laughton

revised by Randolph Cock

Paulet, Harry (d. 1804), supposed seaman and benefactor, details of whose birth and parentage are unknown, is said to have been the master of a small vessel trading to North America before his capture by the French in 1758. Paulet's knowledge of the ...

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Pearce, Sir William George, second baronet (1861–1907), shipbuilder and philanthropist, was born at Chatham, Kent, on 23 July 1861, the only child of Sir William Pearce, first baronet (1833–1888), and his wife, Dinah Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Socoter of Gravesend, Kent. He was educated at ...

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Pearson, Zachariah Charles (1821–1891), shipowner and philanthropist, was born in Sutton Row, Hull, on 28 August 1821, the eighth of the ten children of Zachariah Pearson, merchant, and his wife, Elizabeth. After the death of his mother in childbirth in 1825 he was taken into his uncle's household, but at the age of twelve he ran away to sea. The stowaway was quickly found and returned to complete his education at ...

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Zachariah Charles Pearson (1821–1891) English School, 19th cent. Hull and East Riding Museum / Bridgeman Art Library

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Plimsoll, Samuel (1824–1898), politician and shipping reformer, was born on 10 February 1824 at 3 Colston's Parade, Bristol, the eighth of thirteen children born to Thomas Plimsoll (1785–1844), clerk in the Excise Office, and his wife, Priscilla (1789–1863), formerly Willing. Soon after his birth ...

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Samuel Plimsoll (1824–1898) by London Stereoscopic Co., c. 1875 © National Portrait Gallery, London