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Alison, William Pulteney (1790–1859), physician and social reformer, born at Boroughmuirhead near Edinburgh on 12 November 1790, was the son of Archibald Alison (1757–1839), who was in charge of the Episcopal congregation in Edinburgh as well as being a noted author, and his wife, ...

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William Pulteney Alison (1790–1859) by John Henry Robinson, pubd 1849 (after George Richmond, 1847) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Biggs, Noah (fl. 1651), medical practitioner and social reformer, was active in the 1650s, though his identity and background remain obscure. It is possible that he was Henry Biggs, a surgeon employed at the dockyards of Deptford and Woolwich in 1649–53 to work with his father, ...

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Blake, (Robert) Andrew (1963–2002), medical research campaigner, was born on 22 March 1963 at Nash Farm, Common Road, Kensworth, Bedfordshire, the son of Robert Blake, farmer, and his wife, Barbara Elizabeth, née Preston. He was educated at St George's preparatory school, Dunstable, and ...

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Chesser, Eustace [formerly Isaac Chesarkie] (1902–1973), psychiatrist and social reformer, was born on 22 March 1902 at 3 Dalkeith Road, Edinburgh, second son of Arthur Chesarkie, a jeweller, and his wife, Rebecca Solomon, whose families had fled Russian pogroms. He was educated at ...

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Clark, Hilda (1881–1955), physician and humanitarian aid worker, was born on 12 January 1881 at Green Bank, Street, Somerset, the youngest of the six children of William Stephens Clark (1839–1925), shoe manufacturer and social reformer, and Helen Priestman Clark (1840–1927), daughter of John Bright (1811–1889)...

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Fairfield, (Josephine) Letitia Denny (1885–1978), public health physician and campaigner for social reform, was born on 10 March 1885 at 26 Acland Street, St Kilda, Melbourne, Australia, the eldest of three daughters of Charles Fairfield (c.1842–1906), journalist, and his wife, Isabella Campbell Mackenzie (...

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Grenfell, Sir Wilfred Thomason (1865–1940), medical missionary and social reformer, was born at Parkgate, Cheshire, on 28 February 1865, the second of the four sons of the Revd Algernon Sidney Grenfell (1836–1887), headmaster and proprietor of Mostyn House School, Parkgate, and later chaplain of the ...

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Sir Wilfred Thomason Grenfell (1865–1940) by Walter Stoneman, 1928 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Heaton, John Deakin (1817–1880), physician and advocate of provincial civic pride, was born at 7 Briggate, Leeds, Yorkshire, on 23 November 1817, the younger of the two children of John Heaton (1769–1852), bookseller and stationer, and his second wife, Ann (1774–1841), daughter of ...

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Thomas Hodgkin (1798–1866) by unknown photographer © reserved

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Hodgkin, Thomas (1798–1866), physician and social reformer, was born on 17 August 1798 in Pentonville, London, the third of the four sons (two died young) of John Hodgkin (1766–1845), calligrapher and teacher, and his wife, Elizabeth (1768–1833), daughter of Richard Peters Rickman and his wife, ...

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Hoggan [née Morgan], Frances Elizabeth (1843–1927), physician and social reformer, was born on 20 December 1843 at the vicarage, Brecon, the eldest of the five children of Richard Morgan (d. 1851) and his wife, Georgiana Catherina Philipps. Her early childhood was spent mainly in ...

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Roberton, John (1797–1876), obstetrician and social reformer, was born on 20 March 1797 at Kennedies, Earnock, near Hamilton, Lanarkshire, the fourth of the five children of William Roberton (1749?–1833), yeoman, and his wife, Elizabeth Lennox, of Darruchnar, Ayrshire. He grew up at Kennedies...

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Rogers, Joseph (1820–1889), medical practitioner and social reformer, was born on 6 August 1820 at West Meon, Petersfield, Hampshire, the thirteenth of the sixteen children of George Vining Rogers and his wife, Mary Anne, formerly Blyth. James Edwin Thorold Rogers (1823–1890), political economist, was a younger brother. Their great-grandfather, grandfather, and father had been in medical practice in ...

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Dame Cicely Mary Strode Saunders (1918–2005) by Carolyn Djanogly, 1999 © Carolyn Djanogly; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Saunders, Dame Cicely Mary Strode (1918–2005), physician and founder of the modern hospice movement, was born on 22 June 1918 at Linden Lodge, Bedford Avenue, Barnet, Hertfordshire, the daughter of (Philip) Gordon Saunders (d. 1961), land surveyor, and his wife, Mary Christian, ...

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Smith, Edward (1819–1874), physiologist and social reformer, was born at Heanor, Derbyshire, the son of Joseph Smith, a successful hosier, and his wife, Martha. He was a medical student at Birmingham medical school and graduated MB (1841), BA, and LLB (1848) at Queen's College, Birmingham...

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Smith [née Veitch], Zepherina Philadelphia (1836–1894), nurse and social reformer, was born on 1 April 1836 at Sopley, Hampshire, the elder daughter of the Revd William Douglas Veitch (1802?–1884), vicar of St Saviour's, Paddington, London (1862–73). Both her parents took an interest in the social welfare of the working class and, like many young women of her class and generation, ...

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Tebb, William (1830–1917), businessman and social reformer, was born in Manchester on 22 October 1830, the son of William Tebb, currier, and his wife Eleanor née Hewetson, and was baptized at the Rusholme Road Independent chapel, Chorlton-upon-Medlock. He was privately, if meagrely, educated. As a child he suffered from scarlet fever, and was bled and leeched as a treatment, which affected his health throughout his life. In 1844 he witnessed the economic depression in ...