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Adamson, Daniel (1820–1890), engineer and entrepreneur, was born on 30 April 1820 at Shildon, co. Durham. He was the thirteenth of fifteen children, seven sons and eight daughters, born to Daniel Adamson, landlord of the Grey Horse at Shildon, and his wife, Ann...

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John Derby Allcroft (1822–1893) by Sir Francis Grant, 1873 photograph by courtesy Sotheby's Picture Library, London

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Allcroft, John Derby (1822–1893), glove manufacturer and entrepreneur, was born in Worcester on 19 July 1822, only son and elder child of Jeremiah Macklin Allcroft (1791–1867), who was a partner in the glove manufacturing firm of J. and W. Dent & Co. His mother, ...

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Allen, William Edward David [pseuds. James Drennan, Liam Pawle] (1901–1973), historian and businessman, was born on 6 January 1901 at 12 Sussex Place, Regent's Park, London, the eldest of the three sons of William Edward Allen (1860–1919), printer and theatre owner, and his wife, ...

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Thomas Richard Allinson (1858–1918) by Ray, pubd 1911 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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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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Alsager, Thomas Massa (1779–1846), financial journalist and businessman, was born on 27 September 1779, probably at Southwark, Surrey, the fifth of the nine or ten children of Thomas Alsager (1738?–1790), a setter in the cloth trade, and his wife, Mary, née Crosby (...

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See Industrial spies

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Anderson, Adam (1692–1765), historian of commerce, was born in Aberdeen, and was baptized on 2 May 1692 at St Nicholas's Church, Aberdeen, the son of James Anderson and his wife, Jean, née Campbell, but nothing else is known about his origins or early life, although he did take university arts classes at ...

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Andrews, William (1835–1914), industrial designer, entrepreneur, and politician, was born in Coventry on 17 March 1835, the only son of three children of James and Isabella Andrews. His father was a Scot, a former regular soldier, and small businessman of Coventry. Andrews attended ...

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Assheton, Ralph, first Baron Clitheroe (1901–1984), politician and businessman, was born at Downham Hall, Clitheroe, on 24 February 1901, the second of four children and only son of Sir Ralph Cockayne Assheton, first baronet (1860–1955), of Downham Hall, and his wife, Mildred Estelle Sybella (...

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Balfour, Jabez Spencer (1843–1916), company promoter and politician, was born in Marylebone, Middlesex, on 4 September 1843, the younger son of James Balfour (1796–1884) and Clara Lucas Balfour (1808–1878), who were prominent workers in the mid-Victorian temperance movement. Balfour's career is best understood in the context of the increasingly prominent part played by militant middle-class nonconformists in the business world, in the ...

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Bamford, Joseph Cyril (1916–2001), engineer and businessman, was born on 21 June 1916 at The Parks, New Road, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, the son of Cyril Joseph Bamford, agricultural engineer, and his wife, Dolores Alice, née Turner. His family controlled and managed a long-established farm machinery business. The company, which manufactured balers and other equipment, had been started by his great-great-grandfather in 1812. He was brought up a Roman Catholic. After education at ...

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Joseph Cyril Bamford (1916–2001) by Lucinda Douglas-Menzies, 1989 © Lucinda Douglas-Menzies; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Barnes, Isaac Edmestone (1857–1930), land surveyor and businessman, was born on 2 June 1857 in Highholborn Street, Kingston, Jamaica, the eldest legitimate son of William Barnes (1832–1891) and his wife, Amelia, née Johnson (c.1834–1893), coffee planters of Kraal district in the mountains of ...

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Barratt, Thomas James (1841–1914), soap manufacturer and pioneer of advertising, was born on 16 May 1841 at 25 Tottenham Place, St Pancras, London, the son of Thomas Barratt, a piano maker, and his wife, Emma Price. He was educated at a private day school, and at fifteen was apprenticed to a firm of ...

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Barrington, John (1764–1824), businessman and philanthropist, was born on 9 October 1764 in Dublin, the first of three children of John Barrington (1723–1784) and his second wife, Mary Anne (fl. 1763–1789), daughter of William Plummer of Enniscorthy, co. Wexford. He was brought up in the Quaker faith to which the ...

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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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Batchelor, John (1820–1883), politician and businessman, was born on 10 April in Newport, Monmouthshire, the second son among the twelve children of Benjamin Batchelor, a timber merchant and shipbuilder. He was educated locally in a private school before being apprenticed to his father. He subsequently visited shipyards in ...

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Batley, Lawrence (1911–2002), businessman, was born on 15 February 1911 at 37 Bland Street, Lockwood, Huddersfield, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, the elder son of John Arthur Batley, iron moulder, and his wife, Beatrice, née Fawley, weaver. Although he passed the entrance examination for ...