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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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Chamberlain, Joseph [Joe] (1836–1914), industrialist and politician, was born on 8 July 1836 at 3 Grove Hill Terrace, Camberwell, Surrey, the first of the nine children of Joseph Chamberlain (1796–1874), cordwainer and metal manufacturer, and his wife, Caroline (1808–1875), daughter of Henry Harben...

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Fielden, Joshua (1827–1887), cotton manufacturer and politician, was born on 8 March 1827 at Dawson Weir, Todmorden, Lancashire, the sixth of the seven surviving children of John Fielden (1784–1849) and his first wife, Ann Grindrod (d. 1832), the daughter of a Rochdale...

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Thomas Ryder Johnson (1872–1963) by Keogh Brothers courtesy of the National Library of Ireland

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Johnson, Thomas Ryder (1872–1963), trade unionist and politician, was born on 17 May 1872 at 10 South Hunter Street, off Maryland Street, Liverpool, the only child of Thomas Johnson, foreman sailmaker, and his wife, Margaret Boardman. His parents were both English. Although his father was Anglican by upbringing, ...

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Maddison, Fred (1856–1937), trade unionist and politician, was born on 17 August 1856 at Boston, Lincolnshire, the son of Richard Maddinson (1816/17-1877), groom, and his wife, Mary, née Yates (d. 1860). Following his mother's death, her sister Amy Yates was housekeeper to his father who, by 1871, had settled in ...

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Melly, George (1830–1894), politician and merchant, was born in Tuebrook, Liverpool, on 20 August 1830, the second son of André Melly (1802–1851), a Swiss merchant who had settled in Liverpool in 1824 when he became agent to the Egyptian government in England, and his wife, ...

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Morse, Hosea Ballou (1855–1934), customs official and historian of China, was born on 18 July 1855 in South Brookfield, Queens county, Nova Scotia, the first of the four children of Albert David Morse (1832–1900) and his wife, née Mercey Dexter Park (c...

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Potter, Edmund (1802–1883), calico printer and politician, was born on 25 January 1802 at Ardwick, Manchester, the second of six children of James Potter, merchant, and his wife, Mary, and was baptized at Cross Street Unitarian Chapel on 28 April 1802. On 3 October 1829 he married ...

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Sir Cyril Smith (1928–2010) by Sefton Samuels, 1980 © Sefton Samuels / National Portrait Gallery, London

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Smith, Sir Cyril (1928–2010), politician and manufacturer, was born at Birch Hill House, Wardle, Rochdale, Lancashire, on 28 June 1928, the second of three children of Eva Smith (1904–1994), who was unmarried. At the time of his birth registration she lived at 6 Falinge Road, Rochdale...

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Smith, John Benjamin (1794–1879), promoter of free trade, was born in Manchester, the eldest son of Benjamin Smith, a cotton merchant there. A brother, Thomas Smith (d. 1864), settled at Colebrooke Park, Kent. Smith married Jemina, daughter of William Durning of Liverpool...