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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 ...

Article

Gillespie, James, of Spylaw (1726–1797), tobacconist and benefactor, was born in 1726, probably at Roslin, near Edinburgh. He had one sister and a younger brother. His family were members of the Cameronians, or reformed Presbyterians, a strict nonconformist sect. Gillespie began his career as a tobacconist and, in partnership with his brother, ...

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Sir George Alfred Wills, first baronet (1854–1928) by unknown photographer by kind permission of Imperial Tobacco

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Wills, Sir George Alfred, first baronet (1854–1928), tobacco manufacturer and benefactor, was born at Rusholme Villas, Victoria Road, Kingsdown, Bristol, on 3 June 1854, the eldest son of Henry Overton Wills (1828–1911), tobacco manufacturer, of Kelston Knoll, near Bath, and his wife, Alice Hopkinson...

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Wills, William Henry, first Baron Winterstoke (1830–1911), tobacco manufacturer and philanthropist, was born at Bristol on 1 September 1830, the second son and only surviving child of William Day Wills (1797–1865) [see under Wills family (per. c. 1786-1928)], tobacco manufacturer, and his wife, ...