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Blease, (Walter) Lyon (1884–1963), barrister and civic activist, was born on 30 May 1884 at 5 Beech Street, Fairfield, Liverpool, the second son and second of three children of Walter Blease (c.1853–1940), chartered accountant, and his wife, Mary Cecilia (d...

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Cooper, William (1822–1868), promoter of the co-operative movement, was born in Rochdale, the son of James Cooper, a weaver, and his wife, Susan (née Taylor); he was probably the eldest of six children. Cooper had little formal education, but was drawn to discussion of political and economic issues. Influenced by the work of ...

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See Rochdale Pioneers

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Holyoake, George Jacob (1817–1906), freethinker and co-operator, was born at 1 Inge Street, Birmingham, on 13 April 1817, the second of thirteen children and eldest son of George Holyoake (1790–1853), a printer, and Catherine Groves (1792–1867), a horn-button maker. He received a basic education at a dame-school and ...

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George Jacob Holyoake (1817–1906) by Walter Sickert, exh. New English Art Club 1892 © Estate of Walter Sickert / National Portrait Gallery, London

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Marcroft, William (1822–1894), co-operative movement activist and company promoter, was born on 15 July 1822 at Box Cottage, Fog Lane, Middleton, Lancashire, the illegitimate son of Sally Marcroft (1801–1841), a farm servant, and Richard Howarth, a weaver. Shortly after his birth he and his mother moved to ...

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Plowman, Mark [Max] (1883–1941), pacifist and writer, was born on 1 September 1883 at Northumberland Park, Tottenham, the fourth son of Mark Plowman (d. 1929), brickworks owner, and his wife, Anna Maria, née Hunt. He was educated at 'various inferior private schools' (...

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Sir Joseph Rotblat (1908–2005) by Dominick Tyler, 1995 © Dominick Tyler

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Rotblat, Sir Joseph (1908–2005), scientist and peace activist, was born Jósef Rotblat on 4 November 1908 in Warsaw, the eldest of five surviving children (two others died in infancy) of Zygmunt, otherwise Zelman, Rotblat, the owner of a haulage company specializing in the paper trade, and his wife, ...

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Skeffington, Francis Sheehy- (1878–1916), women's rights activist and pacifist, was born on 23 December 1878 in Bailieborough, co. Cavan, and christened Francis Joseph Christopher Skeffington, the only child of Joseph Bartholomew (J. B.) Skeffington (1847–1919), scholar and teacher, and his wife, Rose Magorian (1829–1909)...