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Ablett, Noah (1883–1935), miners' leader and adult educator, was born on 4 October 1883 in Ynys-hir, near Porth, Rhondda, Glamorgan, the tenth of eleven children of John Ablett, miner, and his wife, Jane, née Williams. Educated at Ferndale higher grade school, he was a boy preacher. He followed his father and elder brothers and started work in the ...

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Aldersey, William (1543–1616), merchant and antiquary, was baptized at St Oswald's, Chester, on 15 December 1543, the son of Ralph Aldersey (d. 1555) and Jane Goodman (d. c.1555). He followed in his father's footsteps as a successful merchant ironmonger. He married ...

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Allen, John (1789–1829), bookseller and antiquary, was born 'about' 27 July 1789, and baptized on 4 August 1789 at Hereford, the eldest son of John Allen (c.1754–1828), a leading bookseller in the city, and his wife, Mary (c.1754–1827), daughter of ...

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Arnold, Richard (d. c. 1521), merchant and chronicler, was a citizen of London, resident in the parish of St Magnus the Martyr, who seems to have made his living primarily by trading with Flanders. Nothing is known of his parentage. In 1473 he was an executor of the will of ...

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Aske, Robert (1619–1689), silk merchant and benefactor, was born on 24 February 1619, the son of Robert Aske of the parish of St Mary Woolchurch, London, and his second wife, Margery Middleton, the widowed daughter of John Hill of Wendover, whom he married in 1611. The two ...

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Bagford, John (1650/51–1716), bookseller and antiquary, was born in Fetter Lane, London, the son of John Bagford. Very little is known about his early life and family background. He was trained and worked as a shoemaker and wrote a little tract about this trade (...

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John Bagford (1650/5151–1716) by George Vertue, 1728 (after Hugh Howard) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Barnham, Benedict (bap. 1559, d. 1598), merchant and benefactor, was baptized on 2 June 1559 at St Mildred Poultry, London, the fourth and youngest son of Alice Barnham, silkwoman and benefactor, and her husband, Francis Barnham [see under Barnham, Alice], draper and local politician. From 1559 the family lived at ...

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See Beasley [née James], (Catherine) Eileen

Article

See Bell, Thomas

Article

Beveridge, Erskine (1851–1920), textile manufacturer and antiquary, was born on 27 December 1851 at Priory House, Dunfermline, Fife, the eldest of the four children of Erskine Beveridge (1803–1864) and his second wife, Maria Elizabeth Wilson (1816–1873). He was educated at the Free Abbey School, Dunfermline...

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Bigland, Ralph (1712–1784), herald and cheesemonger, was born on 29 January 1712 at Stepney, Middlesex, the only son of Richard Bigland (1658–1725) of Wapping, tallow chandler, and his second wife, Mary (1676–1736), daughter of George Errington of Benwell, Northumberland. His father was a native of ...

Image

Ralph Bigland (1712–1784) by Charles Townley, 1771 (after Richard Brompton) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Billingsley, Sir Henry (d. 1606), merchant and translator, was the third son of William Billingsley (d. 1553), haberdasher, and his wife, Elizabeth Hardy (or Harlow). The Roger Billingsley named by Wood as his father was in fact his grandfather. He matriculated pensioner at ...

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Blount [Blunt], Edward (bap. 1562, d. in or before 1632), bookseller and translator, was baptized on 31 January 1562 in the parish of St Laurence Pountney, London, probably the sixth of eight known children of Ralph (Rafe) Blount (Blunt or Blonte; d. 1571)...

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Blundell, Peter (c. 1520–1601), clothier and philanthropist, was born in Tiverton, Devon, of humble parentage. As a boy he saw the little community freed from the dominance of the Courtenay earls of Devon, and he lived to see it, untrammelled by either civic or industrial regulation, and somewhat encouraged by the protestant ethic, enter a period of considerable growth and prosperity based on the manufacture of kerseys, the woollen cloths in which the town and its immediate hinterland specialized. Whether the young ...

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Boevey, James (1622–1696), merchant and philosopher, was born at 6 a.m. on 7 May 1622 at Mincing Lane, in the parish of St Dunstan-in-the-East, London, the first of two children of Andreas Boevey (1566?–1625), financier and elder of the Dutch church at Austin Friars...

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Bohn, James George Stuart Burges (1803–1880), bookseller and bibliographer, was born on 20 December 1803 in London, the son of (John) Henry Martin Bohn (c.1757–1843), bookseller of London, and his wife, Elizabeth, niece of James Watt. The translator and publisher Henry George Bohn (1796–1884)...

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W. P. Courtney

revised by A. S. G. Edwards

Botfield, Beriah (1807–1863), antiquary and industrialist, was born at Earl's Ditton, Shropshire, on 5 March 1807, the eldest son of Beriah Botfield (1768–1813) of Norton Hall, Northamptonshire, and Charlotte, daughter of William Withering MD. Botfield was educated first at Harrow School, where he subsequently established a medal for the encouragement of foreign languages, and then privately. He matriculated at ...

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Bowrey, Thomas (d. 1713), merchant and compiler of the first Malay–English dictionary, is of obscure origins. It may be that he was the son of one Thomas Bowrey of Wapping, Middlesex, mariner, and he was certainly kin to some of the Wapping Bowreys...