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(Elizabeth) Ruth Naomi Belville (1854–1943) by Samuel A. Walker, c. 1890 [Image of Maria Belville, Ruth Belville's mother, who was also a ‘time lady’] National Maritime Museum, London

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Belville, (Elizabeth) Ruth Naomi (1854–1943), horologist and merchant, was born on 5 March 1854 at 9 Hyde Vale Cottages, Greenwich, Kent, the only child of Belville, John Henry (1795?–1856), horologist and assistant astronomer at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, and his third wife, ...

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See Women in trade and industry in York

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Dant, Joan (1631–1715), pedlar and benefactor, was the wife of a weaver in New Paternoster Row, Spitalfields, London, but little else is known about her early life. She had a half-brother called John Allen.

Left facing destitution on her husband's early death, Joan...

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Hepburn, Margaret (bap. 1726, d. in or after 1758), shopkeeper, was baptized on 4 September 1726 at St Giles, Edinburgh, the second daughter of the four children of John Hepburn (d. 1771), minister of Old Greyfriars Church, Edinburgh, and of Margaret Fenton...

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Hutton, Sibilla (d. 1808), milliner and shopkeeper, was the daughter of the Revd William Hutton, minister of the Secession church at Dalkeith, Edinburghshire, and Sibilla Tunnock, daughter of William Tunnock, an Edinburgh brewer; they married on 7 November 1742. Sibilla was well known as a milliner in ...

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See Women traders and artisans in London

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Learmonth, Christian (bap. 1718, d. 1762), milliner and shopkeeper, was baptized at Bo'ness, Linlithgowshire, on 21 October 1718, the daughter of John Learmonth, schoolmaster and postmaster at Bo'ness, and of his first wife, Christian Livingston (d. in or before 1726), third daughter of ...

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Macaulay [née Young], Carola (b. 1682), milliner and shopkeeper, was born on 19 February 1682 at Kippen, Stirlingshire, one of three children of the Revd Robert Young, minister at Kippen, and Margaret MacFarlane. She is a good example of an eighteenth-century woman from a professional family background who, even after her marriage, continued in business. She had no inherited right to trade but was allowed to do so on payment of an annual due to the ...

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Jane Packer (1959–2011) by Peter Brooker, 1986 © Peter Brooker/ Rex Features

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Packer, Jane (1959–2011), florist and floral artist, was born on 22 September 1959 at 11 St Francis Way, Chadwell St Mary, Grays, Essex, the younger daughter of Maurice Leslie Packer (b. 1930), a motor repairman at Ford's in Dagenham, and his wife, ...

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See Women traders and artisans in London

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Ramsay, Katherine (1720s–1808), milliner and shopkeeper, was one of eight children of Gilbert Ramsay (d. before 1743), solicitor, and factor to the duke of Roxburghe, and of Katherine Kerr, daughter of Andrew Kerr of Kippilaw, near Kelso, Roxburghshire. Katherine Ramsay and her five sisters were involved in selling millinery and haberdashery, and all seem to have been in business together initially. ...

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Dame Anita Lucia Roddick (1942–2007) by Gareth Davies, 2002 Getty Images

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Roddick [née Perella], Dame Anita Lucia (1942–2007), businesswoman, was born on 23 October 1942 in a bomb shelter at 32 New Road, Littlehampton, Sussex, one of the four children of Gilda (b. 1914/15), daughter of Domenico de Vito, farmer, and wife of ...