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Addenbrooke, John (bap. 1681, d. 1719), physician and benefactor, was born at Kingswinford in Staffordshire, and baptized on 13 June 1681 at the parish church in West Bromwich, the only son of Samuel Addenbrooke, vicar of West Bromwich, and Matilda Porry of Wolverhampton...

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Aldis, Charles James Berridge (1808–1872), physician and public health reformer, and the eldest son of Sir Charles Aldis (1776–1863), surgeon, was born in London on 16 January 1808. He was educated at St Paul's School and matriculated from Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1828; he graduated BA (1831), MB (1832), and MA (1834). ...

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Neil Arnott (1788–1874) by Smyth (after Jabez Hogg) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Arnott, Neil (1788–1874), physician and public health reformer, the son of William Arnott, a manufacturer and farmer, and his wife, Ann Maclean, was born at Arbroath in Forfarshire, Scotland, on 15 May 1788. A Roman Catholic by upbringing, he was educated by his mother, at the parish school of ...

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Bentley, Charlotte Eliza (1915–1996), nurse and nursing activist, was born on 15 December 1915 at 63 Portland Court, Great Portland Street, London, the daughter of John Richard Bentley, hosier, and Charlotte Emma Redard. After education at a Swiss convent school and secretarial training ...

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Sir Henry Charles Burdett (1847–1920) by Bassano, 1897 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Burdett, Sir Henry Charles (1847–1920), philanthropist and hospital reformer, was born on 18 March 1847 at Broughton, Northamptonshire, the son of Halford Robert Burdett (1813–1864), a clergyman in the parish of Gilmorton, Leicestershire, and his wife, Alsina, née Brailsford, from Lincolnshire. The Burdett...

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Carnegie [née Scott], Susan (1743–1821), writer and benefactor, was born on 7 August 1743 in Edinburgh, the daughter of David Scott of Benholm (1700–1768), director and treasurer of the Bank of Scotland, and Mary Brown (1712–1794). She was tutored at home and gained a wide and deep knowledge of French and Italian literature and of philosophy, a proficiency in drawing (which she was taught by a relative ...

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Carpenter, Alfred John (1825–1892), physician and propagandist for the cause of sewage farming, the son of John William Carpenter, surgeon, of Rothwell, Northamptonshire, was born at Rothwell on 28 May 1825. He attended Moulton grammar school in Lincolnshire, before becoming a pupil of ...

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Chetham, Humphrey (bap. 1580, d. 1653), financier and philanthropist, the sixth child of Henry Chetham (c.1540–1603) of Crumpsall Hall, near Manchester, and his wife, Jane (c.1542–1616), the daughter of Robert Wroe of Heaton, was born at Crumpsall Hall, and baptized at ...

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Cox, William Sands (1802–1875), surgeon and a founder of Queen's College, Birmingham, was the eldest son of Edward Townsend Cox (1769–1863), a well-known Birmingham surgeon. After being educated locally at the King Edward VI Grammar School, he was articled to his father and began to study medicine at ...

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Donaldson, James (1751–1830), newspaper editor and philanthropist, was born on 3 December 1751 at 7 West Bow, Edinburgh, and baptized the same day. He was the eldest son of Alexander Donaldson (bap. 1727, d. 1794), an Edinburgh bookseller, and his wife, Ann, née...

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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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John Glaister (1856–1932) by William Somerville Shanks, 1917 © reserved / Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow

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Glaister, John (1856–1932), expert in medical jurisprudence and public health, was born on 9 March 1856 in the county town of Lanark, the eldest of four children born to Joseph Glaister (1830–1871) and Marion Hamilton Weir (1832–1871), small property owners, grocers, and spirit merchants. ...

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Gordon, Robert (bap. 1668, d. 1731), benefactor, the eldest son of Arthur Gordon (1625–1680), advocate, and his wife, Isobel Menzies, was baptized on 18 August 1668 in Aberdeen. Gordon was left an inheritance of around £1100 at his father's death, which he seems to have spent in travelling in ...

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Greenhill, William Alexander (1814–1894), physician and sanitary reformer, was born at Stationers' Hall, London, on 1 January 1814, the youngest of the three sons of George Greenhill (1766–1850), secretary to the Stationers' Company, and his wife, Sarah Ann. The Greenhill family had a long-standing association with the ...

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Guy, Thomas (1644/5?–1724), philanthropist and founder of Guy's Hospital, the eldest of three children of Thomas Guy (d. 1652×4), lighterman, coalmonger, and carpenter, and his wife, Anne Vaughton of Tamworth, Staffordshire, was born in London in Pritchard's Alley, Fair Street, Horsleydown, Southwark...

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Haliday, Charles (1789–1866), public health reformer and antiquary, was born at Carrick-on-Suir, co. Tipperary, the second son of William Haliday, an apothecary. In 1809 he was sent by his father to London to work as a clerk in Lubbock's Bank. He returned to ...

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George Heriot (1563–1624) by David Scougall (after Paul van Somer) courtesy of George Heriot Trust, Edinburgh