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Baynes, John (1758–1787), lawyer and political reformer, was born in April 1758 (probably on the 6th) at Middleham in Yorkshire, the son of William Baynes of Middleham, who later moved to Embsay Kirk in Craven. After attending school at Bradford under Mr Butler...

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Bentham, Jeremy (1748–1832), philosopher, jurist, and reformer, was born on 4 February 1748 in Church Lane, Houndsditch, London, the eldest of the seven children of Jeremiah Bentham (1712–1792), attorney, and Alicia Woodward Whitehorne (d. 1759), the eldest daughter of Thomas Grove, a mercer of ...

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Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832) by Henry William Pickersgill, 1829 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Biggs, John (1801–1871), hosier and political reformer, was born at Leicester, first of the seven children of John Biggs (1774–1827), hosier, and his wife, Elizabeth, née Heggs (1780–1862), of Arnesby, Leicestershire. By the time his father died in 1827 the firm of John Biggs & Sons...

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See Biggs, John

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Bingham, Peregrine (bap. 1788, d. 1864), legal writer and reformer, was baptized at Radclive, Buckinghamshire, on 19 April 1788, the eldest son of the Revd Peregrine Bingham (1754–1826) and his wife, Amy, née Bowles. He was educated at Winchester College and at Magdalen College, Oxford...

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Brown, James (1815–1881), journalist and political reformer, was born in Liverpool on 2 August 1815. His father, James Brown, also known as Cato, was a black Nova Scotian, probably from the loyalist community which had settled there in consequence of the American War of Independence, and had served in the ...

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John Cartwright (1740–1824) by Adam Buck © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Cartwright, John (1740–1824), political reformer, was born on 17 September 1740 at Marnham, Nottinghamshire, the third son of William Cartwright (d. 1781) of Marnham, and Anne (d. 1787), daughter of George Cartwright of Ossington, also in Nottinghamshire. The family had risen to prominence in the sixteenth century owing to the fortuitous marriage of ...

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F. H. Brown

revised by Chandrika Kaul

Digby, William (1849–1904), journalist and social campaigner, the third son of William Digby and his wife, Ann Drake, was born on 1 May 1849 at Walsoken, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. Mostly self-taught, Digby became an apprentice in the office of the Isle of Ely and Wisbech Advertiser...

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Drennan, William (1754–1820), physician, poet, and political reformer, was born in Belfast on 23 May 1754, the child of the Revd Thomas Drennan (1696–1768) and his wife, Anne, née Lennox (1719–1806). Of Thomas Drennan, the minister of Belfast's First Presbyterian Congregation...

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Dyer, George (1755–1841), author and advocate of political reform, was born on 15 March 1755 in east London, the son of John Dyer, a shipwright of Bridewell, London. As a child he attended a charity school, and on 1 July 1762 entered Christ's Hospital...

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George Dyer (1755–1841) by Elizabeth Cristall, pubd 1795 (after Joshua Cristall) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Erskine, David Steuart, eleventh earl of Buchan (1742–1829), antiquary and political reformer, was born on 1 June 1742 in Edinburgh, the second son of Henry David Erskine, tenth earl (1710–1767), and his wife, Agnes (1717–1778), daughter of Sir James Steuart, bt, and the elder brother of ...

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David Steuart Erskine, eleventh earl of Buchan (1742–1829) by John Finlayson, pubd 1765 (after Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1764) [in Van Dyck-style costume] © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Firth, Joseph Firth Bottomley [formerly Joseph Firth Bottomley] (1842–1889), politician and municipal reformer, was born Joseph Firth Bottomley at Dobroyd, Shepley, near Huddersfield, Yorkshire, on 21 February 1842, the eldest son of Joseph Bottomley, woollen manufacturer and merchant, and his wife, Ann, ...

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William Robert Fitzgerald, second duke of Leinster (1749–1804) by Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1774 photograph by courtesy Sotheby's Picture Library, London

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Fitzgerald, William Robert, second duke of Leinster (1749–1804), landowner and political reformer, was born on 12 March 1749 at Arlington Place, Piccadilly, London, the second of nineteen children of James Fitzgerald, first duke of Leinster (1722–1773), politician, and his wife, Lady Emily Mary Lennox (1731–1814)...

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Fletcher, Archibald (1746–1828), advocate and political reformer, was born at Pooble in Glenlyon, Perthshire, the first of the six children of Angus Fletcher, a tacksman, and his second wife, Grace M'Naughton. He was educated at the grammar school of Kenmore, Breadalbane, and the high school of ...

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Gerrald, Joseph (1763–1796), political reformer, was born on 9 February 1763 in St Kitts, West Indies, the only child of Joseph Gerrald (d. 1775), a planter from a wealthy Irish family, and his second wife, Ann Rogers, of English descent. His parents moved to ...