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Abel, John (1578/9–1675), master carpenter, was probably born and lived at Sarnesfield, Herefordshire. A Catholic recusant, he was brought before a church court in 1618 for contracting a secret marriage with his wife, Johanna. She was still alive in 1640, when she appeared in a list of recusants with her husband. Few other facts are known about ...

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Adam, George (fl. 1826–1828), journeyman carpenter and trade unionist, is a figure about whose personal life nothing is known. He became one of the leaders of a group of radical artisan trade unionists in London who campaigned for political reform, workers' education, and legislation in the interests of labour over strikes, wages, machinery, and free trade. The chief episode which brought them together was the agitation led by ...

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Sir John Aird, first baronet (1833–1911) by Sir Benjamin Stone, 1897 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Aird, Sir John, first baronet (1833–1911), civil engineering contractor, was born on 3 December 1833 in Greenwich, the second son of eight children of John Aird (1800–1876), contractor, and Agnes (d. 1869), daughter of Charles Bennett of Lambeth. His grandfather Robert Aird...

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See Alken family

Article

Anderson, Alfred (1896–2005), joiner and soldier, was born on 25 June 1896 at 20 Kinloch Street, Dundee, the third son of Andrew Anderson (1864–1945) and his wife, Christina, née Emmerson (1868–1945). His parents had emigrated to Chicago, Illinois, and were married there in 1888. However, nostalgia for ...

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Andrews, Robert (1703–1763), lawyer and property developer, was born in London, probably at Upper John Street, Golden Square, on 3 September 1703, the fifth but second surviving son of Richard Andrews (1664–1734), a scrivener, and his wife, Elizabeth (1664–1749), daughter of Hugh Pigot...

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Atkinson, Thomas (bap. 1729, d. 1798), architect and mason, was baptized on 22 June 1729 at Holy Trinity Church, King's Court, York, the son of Thomas Atkinson (d. 1765), a mason, and his wife, Jane Marshall. He worked with his father on ...

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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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Baldwin, Thomas (c. 1750–1820), architect and property developer, of unknown parentage, was mainly active in Bath, although not born there. He married Elizabeth, daughter of John Chapman, alderman of the city, on 15 September 1779, at St James's Church. They had at least one daughter and one son. He began his career as clerk to the Palladian local architect ...

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Barnsley family (per. 1885–1987), architects, designers, and craftspeople, came to prominence with (Arthur) Ernest Barnsley (1863–1926), architect and designer, and Sidney Howard Barnsley (1865–1926), architect and furniture maker. Ernest Barnsley was born on 17 February 1863, the sixth child of ...

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Barratt, Sir Lawrence Arthur [Lawrie] (1927–2012), house builder, was born on 14 November 1927 at Eskville, Warrington Road, Fawdon, Newcastle upon Tyne, the son of William Arthur Barratt (1893–1971), an electrical engineer on the municipal trams, and his wife, Florence Mary, née Jagger (1900–1987)...

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Sir Lawrence Arthur Barratt (1927–2012) by Mike Owen, c.1985 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Betts, Edward Ladd (1815–1872), railway contractor, was born on 5 June 1815 at Buckland, near Dover, the eldest son of William Betts (d. 1867), contractor's agent, of Sandown, Kent, and his first wife, Elizabeth Hayward, daughter of Edward Ladd of Buckland. Betts...

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Sir Cyril Wilson Black (1902–1991) by Walter Bird, 1959 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Black, Sir Cyril Wilson (1902–1991), property developer and politician, was born on 8 April 1902 at 11 Langham Mansions, Kensington, London, one of four sons (three surviving) and two daughters of Robert Wilson Black (1871–1951), property developer, of 11 Langham Mansions, and his wife, ...

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Brand, James (1831–1909), public works contractor, was born on 20 September 1831 in Montrose, Forfarshire, the son of Charles Brand (d. 1885), mason and contractor, from a Kincardine family, and his wife, Margaret Falconer. He had at least one brother. After leaving school in ...

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Brassey, Thomas (1805–1870), civil engineering contractor, was born on 7 November 1805 at Buerton, near Audlem, Cheshire, the son of John Brassey, landowner, and his wife, Elizabeth. He had two brothers and one sister. Brassey attended Mr Harting's school in Chester and then, at the age of sixteen, was apprenticed to a land surveyor and agent named ...

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Thomas Brassey (1805–1870) by George Zobel (after Frederick Newenham, in or before 1850) courtesy of the Institution of Civil Engineers Archives