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Abel, John (1578/9–1675), master carpenter, was probably born and lived at Sarnesfield, Herefordshire. A Catholic recusant, he was brought before a church court in 1618 for contracting a secret marriage with his wife, Johanna. She was still alive in 1640, when she appeared in a list of recusants with her husband. Few other facts are known about ...

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Arnold, Richard (d. c. 1521), merchant and chronicler, was a citizen of London, resident in the parish of St Magnus the Martyr, who seems to have made his living primarily by trading with Flanders. Nothing is known of his parentage. In 1473 he was an executor of the will of ...

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Atkinson, Thomas (bap. 1729, d. 1798), architect and mason, was baptized on 22 June 1729 at Holy Trinity Church, King's Court, York, the son of Thomas Atkinson (d. 1765), a mason, and his wife, Jane Marshall. He worked with his father on ...

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Aubrey, Andrew (d. 1356), merchant and mayor of London, was the son of Roger and Denise Aubrey. It is likely that he was born in London since he did not mention a provincial parish in his will. He became the factor of Thomas Enfield...

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Basing, Adam of (d. 1262x6), draper, is believed to have been the son of the aldermanic landowner Peter of Basing; he was the grandson of Solomon of Basing, alderman of London and mayor in 1217. Adam became a draper and city merchant, achieving eminence as a supplier to the royal household while at the same time pursuing a successful civic career. Little detail is known of his political activity in ...

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Aldo Berni (1909–1997) by unknown photographer Bristol Evening Post

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Berni, Aldo (1909–1997), restaurateur, was born on 14 March 1909 in Bardi in northern Italy, the youngest of three sons of Louis Berni, the owner of the Louis Café in Ebbw Vale, Monmouthshire, which served meals consisting of soup, a joint, and two vegetables. ...

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Bertorelli, Joe [Giuseppe Domenico] (1893–1994), restaurateur, was born on 10 June 1893 at Bergazzi di Bardi, Piacenza, Liguria, Italy, the youngest of the four sons of Lazzaro and Marianna Bertorelli. By the time of his birth his father and three elder brothers were already living and working in ...

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Bertram, Walter (d. 1495/6), merchant and provost of Edinburgh, is first recorded in 1464. He received payments for expensive cloth sold to James III in 1473 and by 1477 was clearly wealthy, as he bought the lands of Normangills in Lanarkshire from David Lindsay, ...

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Henry James Boland (1887–1922) by unknown photographer, 1919 Getty Images

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Boland, Henry James [Harry] (1887–1922), tailor's cutter and Irish revolutionary, was born on 27 April 1887 at 6 Dalymount Terrace, Phibsborough Road, north Dublin, the third of five children of James Henry Boland (1856–1895), paving overseer for the Dublin corporation, and Catherine (...

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C. T. Martin

Reviser Basil Morgan

Bonvisi, Antonio [Anthony] (1470x75–1558), merchant, was born in England between 1470 and 1475, possibly the son of Louis Bonvisi. He belonged to an ancient family from Lucca, north Italy, which was descended from a councillor of the emperor Otto III in the tenth century, and had become merchants and bankers. He established himself in the family business, which he further extended by introducing a new method of spinning into the ...

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Bosan, Bartholomew (d. 1400), merchant, was a native of Lucca in Italy who had established a business in London by the early 1370s. He makes numerous appearances in the city records during the following three decades, mostly as a mainpernor, guarantor, and litigant, and often alongside fellow Italians. Accused at different times of involvement in both usury and forgery, on one occasion he was imprisoned as the result of an action by his fellow Lucchese ...

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(Xavier) Marcel Boulestin (1878–1943) by Marcel Gromaire, 1925 © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2016

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Boulestin, (Xavier) Marcel (1878–1943), restaurateur and writer on cookery, was born at Poitiers, France, where his mother, the daughter of a former lycée teacher, shared the house of his widowed maternal grandmother. Boulestin grew up and attended school in Poitiers, developing strong interests in music and the theatre. He visited his father, who maintained a largely separate existence, only for a month each summer, at the property that he owned at ...

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Bowman, Alexander [formerly Patrick McKeown] (1854–1924), trade unionist and politician, was born on 16 March 1854, and baptized as a Roman Catholic, with the name Patrick McKeown. His father, William McKeown, or McKeon (1827–1865), was a Catholic farmer of Derry townland, Dromara, co. Down...

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Bracken, Henry (bap. 1697, d. 1764), writer on farriery and surgeon, was baptized on 31 October 1697 at St Mary, Lancaster, the son of Henry Bracken, a local innkeeper who held a number of minor offices with the Lancaster corporation. After a grammar-school education at ...

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Bradshaigh, Sir Roger, first baronet (1628–1684), politician and colliery owner, was born at Haigh Hall, Haigh near Wigan in Lancashire, on 13 January 1628, the eldest surviving son of James Bradshaigh (1598–1631) of Haigh and his wife, Ann, fourth daughter of Sir William Norris...

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Brampton, Sir Edward [Duarte Brandão] (c. 1440–1508), soldier and merchant, was born in Lisbon c.1440, reputedly the illegitimate son of Rui Barba and the wife of a Jewish blacksmith. About 1468 he travelled to England and converted to Christianity. As was usual in such cases, the ...

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Brand, James (1831–1909), public works contractor, was born on 20 September 1831 in Montrose, Forfarshire, the son of Charles Brand (d. 1885), mason and contractor, from a Kincardine family, and his wife, Margaret Falconer. He had at least one brother. After leaving school in ...