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Acland, Sir Richard Thomas Dyke, fifteenth baronet (1906–1990), politician and benefactor, was born on 26 November 1906 at Broadclyst, Devon, his ancestral home, the eldest in the family of three sons and one daughter of Sir Francis Dyke Acland, fourteenth baronet (1874–1939), landowner and liberal politician, and his wife, ...

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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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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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Leslie Stephen

revised by G. F. Bartle

Allen, William (1770–1843), philanthropist and scientist, was born on 29 August 1770 at Stewart Street, the Old Artillery Ground, Spitalfields, London, the eldest of the six sons of Job Allen (1734–1800) and his wife, Margaret Stafford (d. 1830). His father, a silk manufacturer, was a member of the ...

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Alleyn, Edward (1566–1626), actor, theatre entrepreneur, and founder of Dulwich College, was born on 1 September 1566 in the London parish of St Botolph without Bishopsgate, 'near Devonshire House, where now is the sign of the Pye'. He was baptized the following day in the parish church, the son of ...

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Allinson, Thomas Richard (1858–1918), dietitian and businessman, was born at 43 Rumford Street, Hulme, Lancashire, on 29 March 1858, the son of Thomas Allinson, a bookkeeper, and his wife, Ellen (formerly Sims). He left school at fifteen and, aiming to be a doctor, he subsidized his studies by becoming a chemist's assistant. In 1879 he graduated LRCP (...

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Anderson, John (1893–1962), philosopher and social critic, was born in Stonehouse, Lanarkshire, 30 miles south-west of Glasgow, on 1 November 1893, the third of the five children of a radical schoolmaster, Alexander Anderson (1863–1947), and his wife, Elizabeth Brown (d. 1942), teacher, pianist, and poet....

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Armitage, Thomas Rhodes (1824–1890), campaigner for blind people, was born at Tilgate, Sussex, on 2 April 1824, the sixth of seven sons of James Armitage (1793–1872), a prosperous Leeds ironfounder, and his wife, Anne Elizabeth, née Rhodes. Edward Armitage, history painter, was his eldest brother. The family had largely detached itself from its industrial roots, and for much of his early life ...

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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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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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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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Ashley, John [Jack], Baron Ashley of Stoke (1922–2012), politician, was born on 6 December 1922 at 34 Wellington Street, Widnes, Lancashire, the son of John Ashley (d. 1927), a labourer in a chemical works, and a devout Catholic, and his wife, Isabella, ...

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Ashton, Hugh (d. 1522), Catholic ecclesiastic and university benefactor, apparently never himself had a formal university education, his main expertise lying in administration and estate management. He probably first encountered Lady Margaret Beaufort, countess of Richmond and Derby, in Lancashire, his native county, and rose to prominence through this association. On 7 January 1496 he was admitted to the rectory of ...

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Ashton, Mark Christian (1960–1987), communist and gay activist, was born at Woodfield Maternity Home, Oldham, Lancashire, on 19 May 1960, the first of two children and eldest son of Robert Ashton, cotton carder, and his wife, Joan, née Simpson. He grew up and was educated in ...

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Astor, (Francis) David Langhorne (1912–2001), newspaper editor and philanthropist, was born on 5 March 1912 at 4 St James's Square, London, the second of four sons and third of five children of Waldorf Astor, second Viscount Astor (1879–1952), and his wife, Nancy Witcher, ...

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Babington, Thomas (1758–1837), philanthropist and politician, was born on 18 December 1758, the eldest son and heir of Thomas Babington (1715–1776), of Rothley Temple, Rothley, Leicestershire, and his wife, Lydia (1726/7–1791), daughter of Joseph Cardale, vicar of Hinckley. After education at Rugby School...

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Baker, Henry (1698–1774), natural philosopher and teacher of deaf people, was born on 8 May 1698 in Quality Court, Chancery Lane, London, to William Baker, a clerk in chancery, and his wife, Mary, the daughter of Aaron Pengry, comptroller of the petty bag office. His father died when he was very young, and he himself recorded that he was brought up by his paternal grandmother. At the age of fifteen he was apprenticed to a bookseller of ...

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Barnardo, Thomas John (1845–1905), philanthropist and founder of Dr Barnardo's Homes, was born on 4 July 1845 at 4 Dame Street, Dublin, the fourth of five children of John Michaelis Barnardo (1800–1874), a Prussian subject and furrier, and his second wife, Abigail, daughter of ...

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Bass, Michael Arthur, first Baron Burton (1837–1909), brewer and benefactor, was born at Brewery House, High Street, Burton upon Trent, on 12 November 1837, the elder son of Michael Thomas Bass (1799–1884), brewer, and his wife, Eliza Jane (d. 1897), daughter of ...

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Begbie, (Edward) Harold (1871–1929), journalist, Salvationist, and political and social reformer, was born at Fornham St Martin, Suffolk, on 24 June 1871, the fifth son in a family of seven sons and four daughters of the Revd Mars Hamilton Begbie (...