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Abbot, Sir Maurice (1565–1642), merchant and politician, was born on 2 November 1565 and baptized three days later at Holy Trinity Church, Guildford, the fifth of the six sons of Maurice Abbot (1519/20–1606), a merchant, and his wife, Alice Marsh or March (1525/6–1606)...

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Abell, William (b. c. 1584, d. in or after 1655), vintner and local politician, was the son of Thomas Abell of Oundle, Northamptonshire, and his wife, Suzanna Barker. He was probably born at Oundle, where his grandfather William Abell had endowed Oundle School...

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William Abell (b. c. 1584, d. in or after 1655) by unknown engraver, 1641 [The Copie of a Letter Sent from the Roaring Boyes in Elizium] © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Abney, Sir Thomas (1639/40–1722), merchant and mayor of London, was born at Willesley, Derbyshire, the youngest of four sons of James Abney, landowner, and Jane Mainwaring (d. after 1640). The Abney family had owned land at Willesley for several centuries, and James Abney...

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William Abraham [Mabon] (1842–1922) by Sir Benjamin Stone, 1901 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Abraham, William [pseud. Mabon] (1842–1922), trade unionist and politician, was born at Cwmafan, near Port Talbot, Glamorgan, on 14 June 1842, the fourth son of Thomas and Mary Abraham. His father, a coalminer and copper smelter, soon died, leaving his mother to raise a large family. ...

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Acton, Sir Robert (b. before 1497, d. 1558), saddler and member of parliament, was born into a family of Worcestershire gentry, the son of Richard Acton of Sutton and his wife, Margery Dore. How he obtained an entrée to the royal court is unknown, but by 22 October 1518 he was a groom of the chamber, subsequently becoming a page (1526) and a gentleman usher (1528). More important to his advancement, however, was his marriage, by May 1528, to ...

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Adamson, William [Willie] (1863–1936), politician and trade unionist, was born at Halbeath, near Dunfermline in Fife, on 2 April 1863, the son of James Armstrong Adamson, a coalminer, and Flora Cunningham. He attended a dame-school run by the wife of a mining engineer, and left at the age of eleven to work in the mining industry, where he was employed for the next twenty-seven years. He married, on 25 February 1887, ...

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William Adamson (1863–1936) by Bassano, 1920 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Agnew, Patrick Alexander Vans (1822–1848), East India Company servant, was born at Raipur in Chhattisgarh in central India on 21 April 1822, the second son of Patrick Vans Agnew (1783–1842), lieutenant-colonel in the Madras army and afterwards a director of the East India Company...

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Ammon, Charles George, Baron Ammon (1873–1960), trade unionist and politician, was born on 22 April 1873 into a poor working-class family in White Street, Southwark, London. He was the eldest child of Charles George Ammon (d. 1887), cutler and toolmaker, and Mary Kempley (1851–1900)...

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Amory, Derick Heathcoat, first Viscount Amory (1899–1981), industrialist and politician, was born on 26 December 1899 in London, the second son of Sir Ian Murray Heathcoat Heathcoat-Amory, second baronet (1865–1931), and his wife, Alexandra Georgina (d. 1942), daughter of Vice-Admiral Henry George Seymour...

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Derick Heathcoat Amory, first Viscount Amory (1899–1981) by Walter Stoneman, 1955 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Anderson, David (1751–1825), East India Company servant, was born in Edinburgh on 10 February 1751, the second of the eight children of David Anderson (1707–1786), writer to the signet, and his wife, Mary (d. 1781), daughter of John Mitchelson of Middleton, Edinburghshire...

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Anderson, Sir George William (1791–1857), East India Company servant and colonial governor, was born in London, the son of Robert Anderson, a London merchant. He was educated at the East India College, Haileybury, and joined the Bombay establishment of the East India Company...

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Anderson, John (1795–1845), East India Company servant and author, was born in Scotland. In 1813 he obtained a writership in the East India Company's service at the small settlement of Penang (Prince of Wales Island) off the west coast of the Malay peninsula...

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Arch, Joseph (1826–1919), trade unionist and politician, was born at Barford, Warwickshire, on 10 November 1826, the son of John Arch (b. c.1793), a shepherd, and Hannah Pace (c.1783–1845). Before her marriage his mother worked as a domestic servant in ...

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Joseph Arch (1826–1919) by Barraud, c. 1890 Getty Images – Barraud

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Argall, Sir Samuel (bap. 1580, d. 1626), colonial governor and merchant, was baptized on 4 December 1580 at Holy Trinity, East Peckham, Kent, the fourth son of Richard Argall (c.1533–1588), politician, and his third wife, Mary Scott (d. 1598). Under his father's will ...

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See Armstrong, William George, Baron Armstrong