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Anderson, Sir John (1814–1886), inventor of ordnance manufacture machinery and arsenal manager, was born at Woodside, near Aberdeen, on 9 December 1814, the posthumous child of a local merchant, J. Anderson, and his wife, Helen Hosie. His mother remarried and his stepfather, Irvine Kempt...

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Anderson, Sir William (1835–1898), director-general of the Royal Ordnance factories, was born in St Petersburg on 5 January 1835, the fourth son of John Anderson, a member of the firm of Matthews, Anderson & Co., bankers and merchants of St Petersburg, and his wife, ...

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William George Armstrong, Baron Armstrong (1810–1900) by W. & D. Downey, pubd 1890 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Armstrong, William George, Baron Armstrong (1810–1900), armaments manufacturer and industrialist, was born on 26 November 1810 at 9 Pleasant Row, Shieldfield, Newcastle upon Tyne, the second child and only son of William Armstrong (1778–1857), corn merchant and local politician, of Tyneside...

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Baude [Bawd, Bawood], Peter (d. 1546), gun-founder, is thought to have been born in France, but nothing is known of his origins or family circumstances. It is said he came to Britain as early as 1509 but the first official reference to him is as a 'gunner' at the ...

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Browne, John (c. 1590–1651), gun-founder, was born in Chiddingstone, Kent, the son of Thomas Browne, founder of iron ordnance to Elizabeth I and James I. He joined his father's thriving business, although not apprenticed in iron making, and took over Thomas's patent in 1615. The ...

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Chetwynd, Godfrey John Boyle, eighth Viscount Chetwynd (1863–1936), munitions manufacturer, was born in Mundersley, Norfolk on 3 October 1863, the second son of Henry Weyland Chetwynd (1829–1893), and his wife, Julia Bosville née Davidson (1823–1901). His father, the third son of the sixth Viscount Chetwynd in the Irish peerage...

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Godfrey John Boyle Chetwynd, eighth Viscount Chetwynd (1863–1936) by Walter Stoneman, 1924 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Dawson, Sir (Arthur) Trevor, first baronet (1866–1931), armaments manufacturer, was born on 1 May 1866 at Dalkeith House, Richmond, Surrey, son of Hugh Dawson (1836–1884), landowner and barrister, and his wife, formerly Mary Ann Chaffer. Trevor Dawson (as he was always known) became a naval cadet in 1879 and was educated at the ...

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Falkner, John Meade (1858–1932), armaments manufacturer and writer, was born on 8 May 1858, at Manningford Bruce, Vale of Pewsey, Wiltshire, second but eldest surviving of the four sons (there were also two daughters) of Thomas Alexander Falkner (1819–1887), a penurious curate, and his wife, ...

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Fenton, Richard (1761/2–1815), gun maker and radical, was the son of Richard Fenton, husbandman, of Wigan, Lancashire. Details of his birth and upbringing are unknown, but it appears that by 1780 Fenton had moved to London, where he found employment as a gun maker. On 20 February 1786 at ...

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Galton, Samuel (1753–1832), gun maker and local politician, was born on 18 June 1753 in Birmingham, the eldest son of Samuel Galton (1720–1799), haberdasher and later gun maker, originally from Bristol, and his wife, Mary, née Farmer (1718–1777). His mother was the daughter of ...

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Greener, William (1806–1869), gun maker, was born in Felling, co. Durham, on 3 March 1806, the son of Joseph Greener, toll gate keeper, and his wife, Anne, née Wood (1782–1872). He came from a family of coal miners. Direct experience of mining tragedies, in particular an underground explosion on 25 May 1812 that claimed five family members including his grandfather, determined that he should not follow that occupation. Instead, he was apprenticed as a gun maker to ...

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Grueber, Francis (1658?–1730), gunpowder and leather manufacturer and merchant, was born in Lyons, France, probably in December 1658, the eldest of the three sons and three daughters of Daniel Grueber (d. 1692) and his wife, Susanne (née Monginot). The Huguenot family arrived in ...

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Hale, William (1797–1870), rocket inventor and entrepreneur, was born on 21 October 1797 in Colchester, Essex, the son of Robert Hale, baker, and his wife, Elizabeth, and may have been descended from Sir Matthew Hale, lord chief justice.

Hale's early education is unknown, but his maternal grandfather, ...

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