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William Almack (d. 1781) by Richard Josey (after Thomas Gainsborough) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Almack, William (d. 1781), founder of club and assembly rooms, was born in Thirsk, in the North Riding of Yorkshire—not, as was sometimes stated by his contemporaries, in Scotland. In his youth he moved to London to work as a valet to the ...

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Henry Bell (1767–1830) by James Tannock Scottish National Portrait Gallery

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Bell, Henry (1767–1830), hotelier and developer of steam navigation, was born at Torphichen Mill, Linlithgowshire, on 7 April 1767, the fifth son of Patrick Bell and his wife, Margaret Easton. He was educated at the village school and then in Falkirk. Despite the reputation of Scottish schools, his education served him badly and for the rest of his life he was unable to spell and made many grammatical errors in his extensive correspondence. At the age of thirteen he was apprenticed as a stonemason and then in 1783 as a millwright—two trades much in demand at a time when Scottish industry was growing rapidly. In 1786 he began work in the shipyard of ...

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Bellamy, John (fl. 1773), caterer, is a figure about whom little is known other than through his association with the houses of parliament, where he held the office of deputy housekeeper and, later, housekeeper. He was also a wine merchant in his own right. ...

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Berlemont, Gaston Roger (1914–1999), publican, was born on 26 April 1914 in the Middlesex Hospital, London, the son of Victorien (Victor) Aimé Berlemont (d. 1951) and his wife, Victorine Marie Potbon. His father ran the Restaurant Européen in Dean Street, and at the outbreak of the First World War he bought the pub next door, then called the ...

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Aldo Berni (1909–1997) by unknown photographer Bristol Evening Post

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Berni, Aldo (1909–1997), restaurateur, was born on 14 March 1909 in Bardi in northern Italy, the youngest of three sons of Louis Berni, the owner of the Louis Café in Ebbw Vale, Monmouthshire, which served meals consisting of soup, a joint, and two vegetables. ...

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See Berni, Aldo

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Bertorelli, Joe [Giuseppe Domenico] (1893–1994), restaurateur, was born on 10 June 1893 at Bergazzi di Bardi, Piacenza, Liguria, Italy, the youngest of the four sons of Lazzaro and Marianna Bertorelli. By the time of his birth his father and three elder brothers were already living and working in ...

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Birley, Marcus Oswald Hornby Lecky [Mark] (1930–2007), club owner, was born at midnight on 29–30 May 1930 (his birth was recorded as 30 May), at the Corner House, 62 Wellington Road, St John's Wood, London, the only son of Sir Oswald Hornby Joseph Birley (1880–1952)...

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Bloom, Solomon [Sidney] (1921–2003), restaurateur, was born on 1 January 1921 at 58 Brick Lane, Spitalfields, London, the son of Morris Bloom (d. 1951), and his wife, Becky, née Krisman. His father had arrived in London from Lithuania eleven years earlier. A latecomer who managed to enter the country despite the impact of the 1905 ...

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See Women traders and artisans in London

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(Xavier) Marcel Boulestin (1878–1943) by Marcel Gromaire, 1925 © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2016

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Boulestin, (Xavier) Marcel (1878–1943), restaurateur and writer on cookery, was born at Poitiers, France, where his mother, the daughter of a former lycée teacher, shared the house of his widowed maternal grandmother. Boulestin grew up and attended school in Poitiers, developing strong interests in music and the theatre. He visited his father, who maintained a largely separate existence, only for a month each summer, at the property that he owned at ...

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Broadhead, William (1815–1879), trade unionist and publican, was born at Whirlow, near Sheffield, in September 1815. As a boy he worked with his father, who was a foreman in a saw-grinding workshop in Garden Street in Sheffield. On leaving his father, he worked for a time as a saw grinder at ...

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Sir William Heygate Edmund Colborne Butlin (1899–1980) by Elliott & Fry, 1961 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Butlin, Sir William Heygate Edmund Colborne [Billy] (1899–1980), fairground proprietor and founder of holiday camps, was born in Cape Town, Cape Colony, where his parents had emigrated, on 29 September 1899, the elder child of William Butlin and Bertha Hill (d. 1933)...

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Careless, Elizabeth [Betty] (d. 1752), actress and prostitute, was known as Mrs or Miss Betty Careless. It is probable that she was acting before her name first appeared in the extant bills for the role of Polly in John Gray's The Beggar's Opera...

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Robert Carrier (1923–2006) by Barry Marsden, 1998 © National Portrait Gallery, London