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Ashworth, Edmund (1800–1881), cotton manufacturer and free-trade activist, was born on 17 November 1800 at Birtenshaw, Turton, near Bolton, the fifth of the eleven children of John Ashworth (1772–1855), farmer, land agent, and cotton spinner, and his wife, Isabel Thomasson (1772–1852). Edmund was a younger brother of ...

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See Bindon, Francis

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Brewster, Sir Francis (d. 1704/5), merchant and writer on trade, was born to unknown parents, possibly from co. Kerry or co. Westmeath, where he later certainly owned land. He is first recorded in 1671, when he was accused of illegally exporting timber and wool to ...

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Dobbs, Arthur (1689–1765), colonial governor and writer on trade, was born at Girvan in Ayrshire on 2 April 1689, the son of Richard Dobbs, army officer and future high sheriff of Antrim, and his first wife, Mary (d. before 1711), daughter of ...

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Arthur Dobbs (1689–1765) by James Macardell (after William Hoare) Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

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Ellison, Thomas (1833–1904), historian and statistician of the cotton trade, was born in Liverpool, possibly the son of Joseph Ellison, bookkeeper. He left school at sixteen and was apprenticed to Maurice Williams (1825–1878), who had himself just begun business as a cotton broker. ...

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See Industrial spies

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Gee, Joshua (1667–1730), writer on trade and merchant, was the son of John Gee (1635–1704) of Moyvoughley, co. Westmeath. His father was a Quaker, originally from Yorkshire. Nothing is known of Joshua Gee's education. By 1694 Gee was in London, where he became a master of the ...

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Hippisley, John (bap. 1729, d. 1766), writer on trade and administrator in west Africa, was baptized on 21 June 1729 at St Andrew's, Holborn, London, the son of John Hippisley (1696–1748), an actor and theatre manager, and his partner, Mary Charley. Little is known of his early life and education. He played Tom Thumb in ...

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Hume, James Deacon (1774–1842), civil servant and free-trader, was born on 28 April 1774 at Newington, Surrey, the son of James Hume, a customs official, and his wife, Elizabeth Capps. He had four sisters. Hume was educated at Westminster School and became a customs clerk in 1791. He rose steadily to reach the grade of comptroller in 1821, with a salary of ...

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Ivens, Michael William (1924–2001), free-enterprise propagandist and poet, was born at Leonora, Nicholas Lane, Laindon, Essex, on 15 March 1924, the son of Harry Guest Ivens, a boiler salesman, and his wife, Selena (Nina), née Ailion. His father was a Roman Catholic, and his mother was Jewish; in later life ...

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Jacob, William (1761/2–1851), merchant and writer on the corn trade, was by the early 1790s well established in business as a merchant, in partnership with John Jacob, in premises in Newgate Street, London. According to Joshua Wilson he had become a 'commercial man of considerable credit' and was 'one of the few Englishmen who, in the present day, has carried on a direct trade with ...

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Keymer, John (fl. 1584–1622), vintner and writer on commerce, is first heard of as a vintner in Cambridge. In 1583 Queen Elizabeth had granted Sir Walter Ralegh the farm of wines, each retailer to pay him £1 annually for a licence, and Keymer...

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John MacGregor (1797–1857) by unknown engraver, pubd 1848 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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MacGregor, John (1797–1857), civil servant and free-trader, was born at Drynie, near Stornoway, the eldest son of David MacGregor and Janet Ross. He had at least two brothers. In 1803 his parents took him to Canada, where they lived in Nova Scotia before moving to ...

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Massie, Joseph (d. 1784), writer on trade and economics, was of unknown origins. Likewise it is not known if he married or had children. Several of his early writings exhibit an in-depth familiarity and interested concern with the West Indian sugar trade which suggests that he was a merchant or factor in this branch of business for some years. In the 1750s he began to establish a reputation as a writer, statistician, and economic theorist. During the Seven Years' War and its aftermath he was particularly active as a pamphleteer in support of, and probably in the pay of, ...

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McCarthy, William Edward John [Bill], Baron McCarthy (1925–2012), industrial relations scholar and politician, was born on 30 July 1925 at the City of London Lying-in Hospital, 102 City Road, Holborn, London, the son of Edward McCarthy (1890–1954), shipping clerk, and his wife, (Hyland) Louisa Eliza, ...

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McIntosh, Andrew Robert, Baron McIntosh of Haringey (1933–2010), market researcher and politician, was born on 30 April 1933 in the Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead, London, the elder of two children of Albert William McIntosh (1904–1994), then a clerk for a business consultant, and his wife, ...

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Christabel Osborne

revised by Anne Pimlott Baker

Mortimer, Thomas (1730–1810), writer on trade and finance, was born on 9 December 1730 in Carey Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, the only son of Thomas Mortimer (1706–1741), principal secretary to Sir Joseph Jekyll, master of the rolls, and grandson of John Mortimer (1656?–1736)...

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Murray, Robert (bap. 1633, d. 1725?), financier and writer on trade, was born in the Strand, London, and baptized on 12 December 1633, the son of Robert Murray, a Scot, a citizen and tailor of London, and his English wife. Entered as an apprentice in the books of the ...