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Akroyd, Edward (1810–1887), industrialist and philanthropist, was born on 28 November 1810 at Brockholes, near Brookhouse, Ovenden, Halifax, the eldest of the ten children of Jonathan Akroyd (1782–1847) and his wife, Sarah, daughter of David Wright of Ovenden. Educated locally by an Anglican clergyman and at the ...

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Ashton, Thomas (1818–1898), cotton manufacturer and philanthropist, was born on 8 December 1818 at Flowery Fields House, Hyde, Cheshire, sixth child to Thomas Ashton (1775–1845) of Flowery Fields and his wife, Harriet, née Booth. He was educated first at a Liverpool academy and then at the ...

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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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Austin, Henry (1811/12–1861), civil engineer and sanitarian, was the son of William Austin, medical practitioner, of Bloomsbury Square, London. Two sisters and at least one brother survived to adulthood. Austin was a pupil of Robert Stephenson, with whom he worked on the London and Birmingham and London and Blackwall railways...

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Bader, Ernest (1890–1982), chemical manufacturer and industrial reformer, was born in Regensdorf, Switzerland, on 24 November 1890, the youngest of thirteen children of a protestant farmer, Gottlieb Bader, and his wife, Barbara Meier. He was expelled from school at the age of twelve and went to work as a menial in a ...

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Arthur H. Grant

revised by Iain F. Russell

Baird, James (1802–1876), ironmaster and philanthropist, was born at Kirkwood in Lanarkshire on 5 December 1802, the fourth son of Alexander Baird (d. 1833), farmer, and Jean, the daughter of James Moffat. He attended the Old Monkland parish school, and may have attended classes at ...

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Baker, Robert (1803–1880), surgeon and factory inspector, was born on 15 August 1803 in York, the second son of John Baker, druggist, of High Ousegate, York, and his wife, Hannah. His career shows many parallels with that of the better-known Charles Turner Thackrah...

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Balme, Matthew (1813–1884), factory reformer, was born in Tong, Yorkshire, on 8 July 1813, the third son of Francis Balme (1742–1819), a yeoman farmer, and his wife, Elizabeth West (d. 1846), of Redhill Farm, Dudley Hill, Bradford. He was baptized at St James's Church, Tong...

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Bamber [née Balmuth], Helen Rae (1925–2014), human rights advocate and psychotherapist, was born at Westminster Hospital, London, on 1 May 1925, the only child of Louis Balmuth (1887–1961), accountant, and his wife Marie, née Bader (1895–1969), a singer. At the time of her birth registration her parents, both of Polish-Jewish descent, lived at ...

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Alice Barnham (1523–1604) by unknown artist, c. 1557 [Alice Barnham and her sons Martin and Steven] Berger Collection at the Denver Art Museum, photo courtesy of the Denver Art Museum

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Barnham [née Bradbridge], Alice (1523–1604), silkwoman and benefactor, was born on 7 September 1523 at Chichester, Sussex, one of the youngest of the fourteen children of William Bradbridge (d. 1546), a successful and prosperous mercer, and his wife, Alice. Alice Barnham...

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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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Baron, Bernhard (1850–1929), tobacco manufacturer and philanthropist, was born on 5 December 1850 in the Russian town of Brest Litovsk. His parents were both Jewish and he was probably of French descent. In 1867 he emigrated to New York, where he worked in a tobacco factory, sleeping at night in the tobacco sheds; with tobacco lent to him by one of the foremen, he started to manufacture handmade cigarettes. He then moved to ...

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Michael Arthur Bass, first Baron Burton (1837–1909) by C. Keene, pubd 1907 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bass, Michael Arthur, first Baron Burton (1837–1909), brewer and benefactor, was born at Brewery House, High Street, Burton upon Trent, on 12 November 1837, the elder son of Michael Thomas Bass (1799–1884), brewer, and his wife, Eliza Jane (d. 1897), daughter of ...

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Baxter, Sir David, baronet (bap. 1793, d. 1872), linen manufacturer and benefactor, was born in Dundee and baptized there on 24 March 1793, the second son of William Baxter (1767–1854), linen merchant, of Balgavies, and his wife, Elisabeth (Betty) Gorell (d. 1804)...

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Beckett [née Bousfield; other married name Thomas], Frances Sarah [Fanny] (bap. 1821, d. 1902), philanthropist and a founder of Scottish Home Industries, was baptized on 27 June 1821, at Frimley, Surrey, the only child of George Thomas Frederick Bousfield, solicitor, and his wife, ...

Article

See Bell, Arthur

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Timothy Bennett (1676/77–1756) by James Macardell, 1752 (after G. Budd) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bennett, Timothy (1676/7–1756), cordwainer and public access campaigner, is of obscure origins; details of his birth, family, and upbringing are unknown. On 19 July 1716, at All Hallows, London Wall, he married Katherine Magitt (1673/4–1749), of Kingston upon Thames, Surrey; the parish register—which also gives his wife's name as ...