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Batchelor, Thomas (1775–1838), farmer and writer on language, was born on 25 September 1775 at Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, the fifth child of Joseph Batchelor (1741–1804) and Ann Brandon (d. 1792), farmers. He was baptized in 1785 at Ampthill where, from the age of ten to thirteen, he went to school. At this time, spelling book fables were the only texts he could read with any real sense of enjoyment, his particular favourite being ...

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William Beckford (1744–1799) by unknown engraver, pubd 1799 (after John? Miers) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Beckford, William (1744–1799), sugar planter and historian, was born in Jamaica in 1744, the son and heir of Richard Beckford (d. 1756) and his common-law wife, Elizabeth Hay. His uncle was William Beckford, lord mayor of London, and his first cousin was ...

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Bridges, Thomas (c. 1842–1898), dictionary compiler, missionary, and sheep farmer, was found abandoned, perhaps on a bridge near Bristol, aged about two and a half, and taken to an orphanage, the name of which remains unknown. He was adopted by the Revd George Pakenham Despard...

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A. H. Bullen

revised by Karl Showler

Butler, Charles (1560–1647), philologist and apiarist, was born at High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire. He entered Magdalen Hall, Oxford, in 1579, and afterwards became a bible-clerk at Magdalen College, where he took his BA in 1584, and MA in 1587. After leaving the university he became rector of ...

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Galton, Dorothy Constance (1901–1992), university administrator and apiculturist, was born on 14 October 1901 at 66 Rathcoole Avenue, Edmonton, Middlesex, the daughter of Frank Wallace Galton, secretary to the Fabian Society and to Sidney and Beatrice Webb, and his wife, Jessie Jane Townsend, ...

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Higgs, Eric Sidney (1908–1976), sheep farmer and archaeologist, was born on 26 November 1908 in Oldbury Wells, near Bridgnorth in Shropshire, the elder son of Sidney Higgs, carpet designer, and his wife, Florence Annie Price, whose family ran a building and haulage firm. He was educated at ...

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Long, Edward (1734–1813), planter and commentator on Jamaican affairs, was born on 23 August 1734 at Rosilion, St Blazey, Cornwall, the fourth son of Samuel Long (1700–1757) of Longville, Jamaica, Tredudwell, Cornwall, and Bloomsbury, London, and Mary (bap. 1701, d. 1765), second daughter and coheir of ...

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Frank Parkinson (1887–1946) by Howard Coster © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Parkinson, Frank (1887–1946), electrical engineer and philanthropist, was born at Springfield, Guiseley, Wharfedale, Yorkshire, on 7 February 1887, the eldest of three children of Joseph Parkinson (1862–1902), stone mason and quarry-owner, and his wife, Ann Elizabeth, née Yeadon (b. 1861). Educated at ...

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Smith, Ronald Gordon [Dick] King- (1922–2011), farmer, teacher, and writer, was born on 27 March 1922 at Homelea, Bitton, Gloucestershire, the eldest of four sons of Ronald King-Smith (1894–1980), owner and manager of Golden Valley Paper Mills, and his wife, Grace, née Boucher (1902–1980)...

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Steele, Joshua (c. 1700–1796), plantation owner and writer on prosody, was born at the start of the eighteenth century but where and to whom is not known. Although his later writings suggest that he was educated, it is not known where or when. He may have lived for a time in ...

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Williamson, Laurence (1855–1936), crofter and antiquary, was born on 11 March 1855 at Linkshouse, Mid Yell, Shetland, the only son and the elder of the two children of James Williamson (1800–1872), postmaster and general merchant, and his wife, Mary, née Gardner (1819–1906), a native of the island of ...