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Bates, Sir Percy Elly, fourth baronet (1879–1946), merchant and shipowner, was born at Beechenhurst, Wavertree, Liverpool, on 12 May 1879, the second of seven sons of Edward Percy Bates (1845–1899), who became second baronet, and his wife, Constance Elisabeth, daughter of Samuel Robert Graves...

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Sir Percy Elly Bates, fourth baronet (1879–1946) by George Charles Beresford, 1913 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Henry Bell (1767–1830) by James Tannock Scottish National Portrait Gallery

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Bell, Henry (1767–1830), hotelier and developer of steam navigation, was born at Torphichen Mill, Linlithgowshire, on 7 April 1767, the fifth son of Patrick Bell and his wife, Margaret Easton. He was educated at the village school and then in Falkirk. Despite the reputation of Scottish schools, his education served him badly and for the rest of his life he was unable to spell and made many grammatical errors in his extensive correspondence. At the age of thirteen he was apprenticed as a stonemason and then in 1783 as a millwright—two trades much in demand at a time when Scottish industry was growing rapidly. In 1786 he began work in the shipyard of ...

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Booth, Alfred (1834–1914), merchant and shipowner, was born on 3 September 1834 in Liverpool, the eldest son of Charles Booth (1799–1860) of the same city and Emily Fletcher (1803–1853). His father's family ran a corn-factoring business and his mother's side was descended from ...

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See Courten, Sir William

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Croft, Thomas (c. 1435–1488), customs official, shipowner, and patron of Atlantic exploration, was the son of William Croft (d. 1439) of Croft Castle, Herefordshire, and Isabella, presumably a second wife. He was born during the 1430s, the youngest of four brothers, including ...

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Dawes, Sir Edwyn Sandys (1838–1903), merchant and shipowner, was born at Dilhorne, Staffordshire, on 27 January 1838, the second son of the Revd Charles Thomas Dawes (1793–1863) and his wife, Mary Henrietta (1804–1875), daughter of Captain Henry Sherwood, army officer, and Mrs Mary Martha Sherwood (1775–1851)...

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Furness, Christopher, first Baron Furness (1852–1912), shipowner and industrialist, was born on 23 April 1852 at West Hartlepool, the seventh son of John Furness (1808–1885), provision merchant, and his wife, Averill, daughter of John Wilson of Naisbet Hall, co. Durham. John Furness worked as a coal trimmer on the local railway line until 1850 when he founded a grocery and provisioning business in ...

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Christopher Furness, first Baron Furness (1852–1912) by Sir Benjamin Stone, 1902 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Gibson, Walter (b. c. 1645, d. in or after 1717), merchant and shipowner, was the eldest son of John Gibson (d. 1679), portioner of Newtoun (otherwise Overton or Overnewtoun), Lanarkshire. Walter Gibson's brothers John, Andrew, and Ninian were merchants, while another brother, ...

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Henley, Michael (c. 1742–1813), merchant and shipowner, was probably born at Rotherhithe. His origins are obscure though he may well have been the son of a Francis Henley from Ireland, who lived in Rotherhithe before being buried at Bermondsey in February 1785. Michael Henley...

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Jones, Sir Alfred Lewis (1845–1909), shipping entrepreneur and colonial magnate, was born on 24 February 1845 at either Picton Place or Lammas Street, Carmarthen, the only surviving son of Daniel Jones (d. 1869) of Carmarthen, currier, and his wife, Mary, eldest daughter of ...

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J. A. Hamilton

revised by Freda Harcourt

Lyall, George (1779–1853), shipowner and merchant, was born on 1 June 1779 in Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland, where he was baptized at the Hanover Square presbyterian chapel, the eldest son of John Lyall (1752–1805), a merchant and shipowner of London and Findon, Sussex...

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Marryat, Joseph (1757–1824), West Indian slave owner, ship owner, and politician, was born in Southwold, Suffolk, on 8 October 1757, the eldest son of Thomas Marryat and his wife, Sarah, née Davy. His father, initially a Presbyterian minister in Southwold before becoming a physician, practised in ...

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Roydon [Rawdon], Sir Marmaduke (1583–1646), merchant and shipowner, was baptized on 20 March 1583 at Brandsby in Yorkshire, the third of four children of Ralph Roydon of Stearsby and his wife, Jane, daughter of John Brice of Stillington in Yorkshire. At the age of sixteen he went to ...

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Salvesen, (Salve) Christian Fredrik (1827–1911), shipowner and whaling entrepreneur, was born on 8 March 1827 at Mandal, Norway, the eighth of nine children of Thomas Salvesen, merchant shipowner, and Johanna Ross. He was trained as a shipbroker in Stettin and Glasgow before joining his father's firm in 1846. Five years later, he married ...

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Snedden, Sir Richard (1900–1970), shipping industry administrator, was born on 18 April 1900 in Edinburgh, the elder son of George Snedden, lawyer, and his wife, Ada Inkpin (née Wright). He was educated at George Watson's Boys' College. After army service in 1918, he proceeded to the ...

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Swire, John Samuel [called the Senior] (1825–1898), merchant and shipowner, was born in Liverpool on 24 December 1825, the eldest son of John Swire (1793–1847), merchant, and Maria Louisa, née Roose (c.1794–1858). His father had founded the family import–export business in ...

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Vagliano, Panayis Athanase (1814–1902), merchant and shipowner, was born in the village of Keramies on the Greek island of Cephalonia, the fifth of the eight children of Anastase Vagliano (1775–1842) and his wife, Fronia. By the end of the nineteenth century he had become one of the leading Greek businessmen in the ...