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Acton, Sir Robert (b. before 1497, d. 1558), saddler and member of parliament, was born into a family of Worcestershire gentry, the son of Richard Acton of Sutton and his wife, Margery Dore. How he obtained an entrée to the royal court is unknown, but by 22 October 1518 he was a groom of the chamber, subsequently becoming a page (1526) and a gentleman usher (1528). More important to his advancement, however, was his marriage, by May 1528, to ...

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Banting, William Westbrook (1857–1932), undertaker, was born on 8 November 1857 at 24 Ladbroke Square, Kensington, London, the third of seven children of William Banting (1826–1901) and his wife, Mary (1833–1906), daughter of Richard Thomas Pugh, gentleman. He was baptized on 10 June 1858 at the parish church of ...

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Bickford, William (bap. 1774, d. 1834), currier and inventor of the safety fuse, was baptized in Ashburton, Devon, on 23 January 1774, the son of William and Mary Beckford. He was in business as a currier, dressing and colouring tanned leather, first rather unsuccessfully in ...

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Bracken, Henry (bap. 1697, d. 1764), writer on farriery and surgeon, was baptized on 31 October 1697 at St Mary, Lancaster, the son of Henry Bracken, a local innkeeper who held a number of minor offices with the Lancaster corporation. After a grammar-school education at ...

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Bramah [Bramma], Joseph (1749–1814), engineer and inventor of locks, was born on 2 April 1749 at Stainborough Lane Farm, near Barnsley, Yorkshire; he was the second son in the family of three sons and two daughters of Joseph Bramma (1713–1800), a farmer, and his wife, ...

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See Byfield family

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Caley, George (1770–1829), farrier and botanist, was born on 10 June 1770 in Craven, Yorkshire, the oldest son of William Caley, horse dealer, and Martha Norbury. His parents were married in Manchester in February 1770 but moved to Yorkshire before Caley's birth. After several years, they moved to ...

Image

Charles Chubb (1772–1846) by unknown artist © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Chubb, Charles (1772–1846), locksmith, was born on 16 January 1772, probably at Fordingbridge, Hampshire, the third child of Charles Chubb. He had twelve brothers and sisters, with one of whom, Jeremiah Chubb (1790–1847), born on 10 June 1790, Charles was to set up in business. He served an apprenticeship as a blacksmith and moved to ...

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See Chubb, Charles

Article

Chubb, John (1815–1872), locksmith, was born on 13 November 1815, in Portsea, the eleventh child of Charles Chubb (1772–1846), locksmith, and his wife, Maria Hayter. He served as a locksmith apprentice between about 1829 and 1835 and went into partnership with his father in the company ...

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Clater, Francis (bap. 1754?, d. 1823), farrier and veterinary writer, may have been the son of John and Mary Claytor who was baptized at St Peter's, Nottingham, on 14 April 1754. He described himself in the preface to his first work as 'having served a regular apprenticeship and nearly one year a journeyman to the late ...

Article

Gordon Goodwin

revised by Linda Warden

Clover, Joseph (1725–1811), veterinary surgeon and farrier, son of a blacksmith, was born in Norwich on 12 August 1725. He benefited from some early schooling and learned his trade working alongside his father. When he was seventeen his father died and Joseph took over the family business, providing support for his mother and three siblings. About 1750 he attracted the notice of ...

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Crapper, Thomas (bap. 1836, d. 1910), plumber, was born at Thorne, Yorkshire, and baptized on 28 September 1836 at St Nicholas's Church, Thorne, the fourth of five sons of Charles Crapper, steamboat captain, and his wife, Sarah. The claim that, aged eleven, he walked the ...

Image

Thomas Crapper (bap. 1836, d. 1910) by Edith Bertha Crapper V&A Images, The Victoria and Albert Museum; photograph National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

Robert Hunt

revised by J. A. Secord

Crosse, Andrew (1784–1855), electrician, was born on 17 June 1784 at Fyne Court in the parish of Broomfield, Somerset. He was the son of Richard Crosse (d. 1800), high sheriff of Somerset, and his second wife, Susanna (d. 1805), daughter of ...

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Crowther, James (1768–1847), botanist and porter, was born on 24 June 1768 in a cellar near the Wheat Sheaf inn, Deansgate, Manchester, the youngest of the seven children of Richard Crowther, a labourer, and his wife, Hannah. He attended three schools between the ages of six and nine before starting work as a draw-boy in petticoat weaving. For most of his working life he was employed as a porter, first in ...

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Cure, Thomas (d. 1588), saddler, was the son of the otherwise unknown Stephen Cure of Worcestershire and Joanne Carver. He emerges in the historical record as a supplier of saddlery for Edward VI's funeral in 1553. He was acting in the place of ...

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Day [Daye], Stephen (1593/4–1668), locksmith and first printer in the British American colonies, was born in England, probably at Cambridge, and married Rebecca, née Wright (bap. 1588, d. 1658), widow of Andrew Bordman, on 24 February 1617 at St Mary-the-Less, Cambridge. He was working as a locksmith in ...

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Dodd, Henry (1801–1881), refuse collector and philanthropist, was born in Hackney, Middlesex, on 27 October 1801, the son of William Dodd (c.1761–1846) and his wife, Mary. Little is known of his early years, but he claimed to have worked in his youth as a ploughboy. By the 1820s, however, ...