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Blundell, Peter (c. 1520–1601), clothier and philanthropist, was born in Tiverton, Devon, of humble parentage. As a boy he saw the little community freed from the dominance of the Courtenay earls of Devon, and he lived to see it, untrammelled by either civic or industrial regulation, and somewhat encouraged by the protestant ethic, enter a period of considerable growth and prosperity based on the manufacture of kerseys, the woollen cloths in which the town and its immediate hinterland specialized. Whether the young ...

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Edgar, William (1790/91–1869), haberdasher, was born at Kirk St Andrew, Cumberland, the son of a farmer. Nothing is known of his schooling, but it was said that Edgar came to London where he had a stall in St James's market, Westminster, under which he used to sleep at night. He then joined forces with ...

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Fludyer, Sir Samuel, first baronet (1704/5–1768), clothier and merchant, was born in 1704, or possibly in 1705, the first son of Samuel Fludyer and Elizabeth de Monsallier, his wife. The elder Fludyer was a Somerset clothier who had moved his business from Frome...

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Goodchild, John (1697–1756), linen draper and philanthropic society administrator, was born early in the year 1697. Nothing is recorded of his parents but he had a brother Thomas who was a purveyor of dairy produce to the royal household. John Goodchild was described as a gentleman of the parish of ...

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Merrey, Walter (bap. 1723, d. 1799), hosier and numismatist, was baptized on 15 December 1723 at the church of St Martin's-le-Grand, Coney Street, York, the son of Samuel Merrey and his wife, Mary Knapton. According to the Nottingham historian John Blackner (1815), Merrey...

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Methuen, Paul (1613–1667), clothier, was born on 13 October 1613 at Frome, Somerset, the youngest of the three sons of Anthony Methwin (c.1574–1640), vicar of St John's Church, Frome (of Scottish extraction), and his wife, Jane (1579–1641), daughter and heir of ...

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Paul, Sir Onesiphorus, first baronet (bap. 1706, d. 1774), clothier, the son of Nicholas Paul, a clothier of Woodchester, Gloucestershire, and his wife, Elizabeth, the daughter of Thomas Dean, was born in Woodchester, and baptized at Rodborough on 2 March 1706. The family claimed to be of Huguenot descent. His grandfather and great-grandfather had both been clergymen, the former an ...

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Sears, John George (1870–1916), shoe manufacturer and retailer, was born on 6 February 1870 in Northampton, the eldest child of James Sears, leather seller and shoe manufacturer, and Amelia (née Cushion), both of Northampton. After attending a local elementary school Sears was apprenticed in the shoe trade, working for the ...

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Stevens, William (1732–1807), hosier and religious writer, was born on 2 March 1732 in the parish of St Saviour's, Southwark, son of a tradesman of Southwark named Stevens (d. c.1733), and his wife, who was a sister of the Revd Samuel Horne...

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Webb, Benedict (b. 1563, d. after 1626), clothier, was the third generation in the trade, following his grandfather, a small clothier (who died in Kingswood, Wiltshire, in 1558), and a father and uncles who were more substantial men, collecting aulnage in Gloucestershire, Wiltshire...