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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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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 ...

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

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Boyd, Andrew (1921–2011), trade unionist and historian, was born on 28 March 1921 at 38 Kingswood Street, Belfast, in the shadow of the city's shipyards, the son of John Boyd, a professional soldier who had served in the South African War and in ...

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See Crowne, John

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Dalzel [formerly Dalziel], Archibald (1740–1818), historian and slave trader, was born in Kirkliston, Linlithgowshire, Scotland, on 23 October 1740, the eldest of the five children of William Dalziel (d. 1751) and his wife, Alice Linn. After being educated as a medical doctor in ...

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Ellison, Thomas (1833–1904), historian and statistician of the cotton trade, was born in Liverpool, possibly the son of Joseph Ellison, bookkeeper. He left school at sixteen and was apprenticed to Maurice Williams (1825–1878), who had himself just begun business as a cotton broker. ...

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Felkin, William (1795–1874), manufacturer and historian of the lace and hosiery industries, was born on 24 April 1795 in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, the son of William Felkin (1772–1824), a framework knitter who became a Baptist minister, and his wife, Sarah, née Harrison. The family moved to ...

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Morse, Hosea Ballou (1855–1934), customs official and historian of China, was born on 18 July 1855 in South Brookfield, Queens county, Nova Scotia, the first of the four children of Albert David Morse (1832–1900) and his wife, née Mercey Dexter Park (c...

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Orme, Robert (1728–1801), historian of India and East India Company servant, was born on 25 December 1728 at Anjengo in Travancore, India. One of four children, he was the second son of Alexander Orme (d. 1736), chief of the settlement at Anjengo...

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Robert Orme (1728–1801) by Joseph Nollekens, 1774 The British Library

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Ward, Caesar (bap. 1710, d. 1759), bookseller and historian, was baptized on 2 June 1710 in the parish of St Sepulchre, Holborn, London, the son of Caesar Ward (1675–1712), apothecary, and his wife, Ann. He married first Mary Kilsha (b. c.1715)...

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Wotton, Thomas (c. 1695–1766), bookseller and genealogist, probably born in London, was the son of Matthew Wotton (b. in or before 1661), bookseller, whose shop was at the Three Daggers and Queen's Head, near St Dunstan-in-the-West, Fleet Street. Matthew was the son of a grocer, ...

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Yan-kit So (1933–2001), food scholar and writer on cookery, was born on 13 July 1933, the only one of eight children of a tea merchant, Yin Moo So, born in the family's home city of Zhongshan in Guangdong province. Like her siblings, she was brought up and educated in ...