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Abrahams, Sir Lionel Barnett (1869–1919), economist and civil servant, was born in London on 9 December 1869, the only son of Mordecai Abrahams, secretary to the Initiation Society. Educated at the City of London School and Balliol College, Oxford, where he was an exhibitioner between 1892 and 1896 and won the Arnold historical essay prize in 1894, he headed the ...

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Addis, Sir Charles Stewart (1861–1945), banker and government adviser, was born on 23 November 1861 in Edinburgh, the youngest of twelve children of the Revd Thomas Addis (1813–1899), a Free Church of Scotland minister, and his wife, Robina, daughter of a tea merchant in ...

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Alexander, Sir Kenneth John Wilson [Ken] (1922–2001), economist, university administrator, and public servant, was born on 14 March 1922 at 12 Kilmaurs Terrace, Edinburgh, the only son of William Wilson Alexander (1888–1930), lawyer, and his wife, Mary Logan Grahame, née Wilson (1888–1975), tailoress. He won a scholarship to ...

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James Anderson (1739–1808) by Samuel Freeman, pubd 1809 (after J. Anderson) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Anderson, James (1739–1808), agriculturist and political economist, born at Hermiston, near Edinburgh, inherited the tenancy of a large farm there at the age of fifteen when his parents (whose names are unknown) died. He had already prepared himself for the position by attending ...

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Sir Thomas Andrewes (d. 1659) by unknown artist private collection

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Andrewes, Sir Thomas (d. 1659), financier and regicide, was the son of Robert Andrewes of Feltham, Middlesex, a Plymouth adventurer and subscriber to the Massachusetts Bay Company, and his wife, Margaret. He was a member of the Leathersellers' Company (and its master in 1638–9), and from 1631 ran a wholesale linen drapery business at the ...

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Ansell, Gertrude Mary (1861–1932), suffragette and businesswoman, was born on 2 June 1861 at 1 Vernon Place, Bloomsbury, London, the third child and only daughter of George Frederick Ansell (1826–1880) and his wife, Sarah Cook. Her father, a scientific chemist, had in 1856 been appointed to a clerkship in the ...

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Gertrude Mary Ansell (1861–1932) by unknown photographer, 1914 [police identification photograph issued by New Scotland Yard] © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Armstrong, William, Baron Armstrong of Sanderstead (1915–1980), civil servant and banker, was born in the Salvation Mothers' Home, Mare Street, Clapton, London, on 3 March 1915, the elder son of William Armstrong, of Stirling, and his wife, Priscilla Hopkins. Both his parents were ...

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William Armstrong, Baron Armstrong of Sanderstead (1915–1980) by Arnold Newman, 1978 Arnold Newman / Getty Images; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Ashworth [married name Jewill-Rogers], Mary Howard [May] (1863–1928), businesswoman and official typist to the houses of parliament, was born in the vicarage at Holme Abbey, Cumberland, on 10 February 1863, the eldest of seven children of Arthur Ashworth (1834–1874), vicar of Holme Cultram...

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Assheton, Ralph, first Baron Clitheroe (1901–1984), politician and businessman, was born at Downham Hall, Clitheroe, on 24 February 1901, the second of four children and only son of Sir Ralph Cockayne Assheton, first baronet (1860–1955), of Downham Hall, and his wife, Mildred Estelle Sybella (...

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Attwood, Thomas (1783–1856), politician and currency theorist, was born on 6 October 1783 at Hawne House, near Halesowen, Shropshire, the third son and fifth child of Matthias Attwood (1746–1836), banker, and his wife, Ann Adams (1752–1835), the daughter of Thomas Adams of Cakemore...

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Thomas Attwood (1783–1856) by Benjamin Robert Haydon, 1832 Birmingham Library Services, on loan to Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery

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Bagehot, Walter (1826–1877), political commentator, economist, and journalist, was born on 3 February 1826 at Langport, Somerset, the second son of Thomas Watson Bagehot (1795–1881), banker, and Edith Stuckey (1786–1870), a niece of Samuel Stuckey, founder in 1772 of Stuckey's Bank, which issued its own banknotes and enjoyed considerable prominence and respect in the west country. The first born, ...

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Walter Bagehot (1826–1877) by Norman Hirst, pubd 1891 (after Adolphe Beau, 1864) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bailey, Sir Abraham [Abe], first baronet (1864–1940), financier and politician in South Africa, was born at Cradock, Cape Colony, on 6 November 1864, the only son of Thomas Bailey (d. 1905) of Keighley, Yorkshire, a shopkeeper of Queenstown, which he represented in the ...

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Baillie, James Evan (1781?–1863), merchant, banker, and politician, was born in Bristol, probably in 1781, into a successful Scottish merchant-planter family that had settled in Bristol in the 1770s. He was baptized at St Augustine-the-Less, Bristol, on 26 June 1782, the third but second surviving son of ...

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Balfour, Harold Harington, first Baron Balfour of Inchrye (1897–1988), airman, businessman, and politician, was born on 1 November 1897 in Farnham, Surrey, the younger son and second of the three children of Colonel Nigel Harington Balfour OBE, a serving officer, of Belton, Camberley, Surrey...