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Abadam, Alice (1856–1940), suffrage activist and women’s right’s campaigner, was born in St John’s Wood, London, on 2 January 1856 (census returns 1891, 1939 Register). Her birth was not registered and she was not baptised. She was the youngest of seven children (four daughters and two sons) of ...

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Alcindor, John (1873–1924), general practitioner and leader of the African Progress Union, was born on 8 or 9 July 1873 in Port of Spain, Trinidad, the son of Francis Alcindor, cocoa planter. Almost nothing is known of his parents, though there were funds to pay for his schooling and medical studies. The family's African ancestry was suggested by ...

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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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Atkinson [née Gaynor], Sarah (1823–1893), philanthropist and writer, was born on 13 October 1823 in Athlone, co. Westmeath, Ireland, the eldest of five daughters and one son of John and Anne Gaynor. She was educated at home; the family moved to Dublin...

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Aylward, Margaret Louisa (1810–1889), philanthropist and Roman Catholic nun, was born on 23 November 1810 in Thomas Street, Waterford, the fifth child of William Aylward (d. 1840), merchant, and his wife, Ellen Mullowney, née Murphy (c.1781–c.1860). There were ten children born of the marriage, and a half-brother, from ...

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Bates [née Dwyer], Daisy May (1859–1951), anthropologist and social worker among Aboriginal Australians, was born around 16 October 1859, at Roscrea, co. Tipperary, Ireland, the third of four children of Edward Dwyer, shopkeeper and small farmer, and his wife Bridget, née Hunt...

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Baxter [née Young], (Mary) Kathleen (1901–1988), advocate of women's rights, was born on 30 May 1901 to a Roman Catholic family in Bradford, Yorkshire, the eighth child in the family of three daughters and five sons (one of whom died in infancy) of ...

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Peter James Henry Benenson (1921–2005) by Carolyn Djanogly, 1999 © Carolyn Djanogly; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Benenson, Peter James Henry (1921–2005), barrister and human rights campaigner, was born on 31 July 1921 at 6 Albert Court, Knightsbridge, London, the only child of Lieutenant-Colonel Harold Josiah Solomon (1885–1930), army officer, and his wife, Flora (1895–1984), daughter of the Jewish Russian banker ...

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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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Antonin Besse (1877–1951) by unknown photographer courtesy of St Antony's College, Oxford

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Besse, Antonin (1877–1951), entrepreneur and benefactor, was born on 26 June 1877 at Carcassonne in southern France, the third son and fourth child in the family of four boys and three girls of Pierre Besse, leather merchant, and his wife, Marie Bonnafous. In failing health ...

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Sara Louisa Blomfield (1859–1939) by unknown photographer The Bahá'í Publishing Trust

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Blomfield [née Ryan], Sara Louisa [Sitárih Khánum] (1859–1939), Bahء‎i promoter and philanthropist, was born in Knockaneven, near Limerick, the daughter of Matthew John Ryan. She received a convent education in England. On 21 April 1887 she married Arthur William Blomfield (1829–1899)...

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Blount, Edward (1769–1843), campaigner for Roman Catholic civil rights, was born on 18 July 1769, the second of the three children of Sir Walter Blount, sixth baronet (d. 1785), of Sodington, and his wife, Mary Aston, daughter of James, fifth Lord Aston of Forfar...

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Boulton, Sir Harold Edwin, second baronet (1859–1935), songwriter and philanthropist, was born at Lower Woolwich Road, Charlton, Kent, on 7 August 1859, the elder son and third of eight children of Samuel Bagster Boulton (1830–1918), of Copped Hall, Totteridge, Hertfordshire, who was created baronet in 1905, and his wife, ...

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Brame [née Law], Charlotte Mary (1836–1884), novelist and benefactor, was born on 1 November 1836, at Rosary House, 35 Castle Street, Hinckley, Leicestershire, the eldest of the nine children of Benjamin Law (1814–1859), superintendent registrar and clerk to the Poor Law Union...

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Helen Grace Brook, Lady Brook (1907–1997) by Elisabeth Novick, 1968 © News International Newspapers Ltd

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Brook [née Knewstub], Helen Grace, Lady Brook (1907–1997), advocate of birth control, was born on 12 October 1907 at the Chenil Gallery, 183a Kings Road, Chelsea, London. She was the eldest among the six children of John Knewstub, who ran the gallery, and ...