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Nicholas Bronson Albery (1948–2001) by David Cohen, 2000 © David Cohen

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Albery, Nicholas Bronson (1948–2001), social activist and charity founder, was born on 28 July 1948 at Bricket House, Bricket Road, St Albans, Hertfordshire, the second of three children of Sir Donald Arthur Rolleston Albery (1914–1988), theatre owner and theatrical manager, and his second 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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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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Charles Robert Ashbee (1863–1942) by Frank Lloyd Wright, 1900 in the possession of the Ashbee family

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Ashbee, Charles Robert (1863–1942), architect, designer, and social reformer, was born on 17 May 1863 at Spring Grove, Heston, Isleworth, Middlesex, the first of the four children of Henry Spencer Ashbee (1834–1900), merchant and book collector, and his wife, Elizabeth Josephine Jenny (1841–1919)...

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Joseph Ashby (1859–1919) by unknown photographer © reserved

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Ashby, Joseph (1859–1919), farmer and social reformer, was born in Tysoe in Warwickshire on 13 June 1859, the son of an unmarried servant, Elizabeth Ashby. His father was the husband of Elizabeth's mistress, yet, common as such births were, Ashby's was in some ways different. His father provided for him but his mother, a fiercely independent woman, refused to use the money. More importantly his mother's branch of the ...

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Bannerman, Patrick (1715–1798), Church of Scotland minister and writer on religious and civil liberties, was born at Inveravon, the son of James Bannerman (1670–1758), minister of Inveravon and then of Forglen, Banffshire, and his wife, Ann Cunningham (d. 1758), a minister's daughter. Educated at ...

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Barclay, Sir Peter Maurice (1926–2014), solicitor and social reformer, was born on 6 March 1926 at 2 Walerand Road, Lewisham, London, the only child of George Ronald Barclay (1894–1974), chartered secretary and businessman, and his wife, Josephine Maria Stephanie, née Lambert...

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Barnett, Samuel Augustus (1844–1913), Church of England clergyman and social reformer, the elder son of Francis Augustus Barnett (d. 27 Dec 1883) and his wife, Mary Gilmore (d. 6 Nov 1880) of Bristol, was born at 5 Portland Square, Bristol, on 8 February 1844. His father was a wealthy manufacturer of iron bedsteads; his mother came from a long-established ...

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Barrington, Sir Vincent Hunter Barrington Kennett- (1844–1903), humanitarian worker and businessman, was born on 3 September 1844 at Bagna di Lucca, Italy, the eldest son of Vincent Frederick Kennett (b. 1799), a retired captain of the East India Company army, and his wife, ...

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Bedi, Sir Khem Singh [Khem Singh Bedi Baba] (1832–1905), religious leader and social reformer, was born on 21 February 1832 in the village of Kallar, the Punjab, India, the second son of Baba Atar Singh Bedi (d. 1839), holy man and landowner. The family was descended from ...

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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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Besant, Sir Walter (1836–1901), writer and campaigner for authors' rights, was born on 14 August 1836 at 3 St George's Square, Portsea, the fifth child and third son in a family of six sons and four daughters of William Besant (1800–1879), a wine merchant of ...

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William Henry Beveridge, Baron Beveridge (1879–1963) by Helen Muspratt, 1938 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Beveridge, William Henry, Baron Beveridge (1879–1963), social reformer and economist, was born at Rangpur in Bengal on 5 March 1879.

Beveridge was the second child and elder son of ...

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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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Blackham, John (1834–1923), founder of the Pleasant Sunday Afternoon movement, was born at Dudley, in the area later known as the Black Country, on 7 September 1834, and was one of three sons baptized jointly at St Thomas's in Dudley on 19 October 1834. He was the fifth son of eight children of ...