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David Dale (1739–1806) by John Henning, 1803 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Dale, David (1739–1806), merchant and cottonmaster, was born on 6 January 1739 at Stewarton, Ayrshire, the son of William Dale (1708–1796), a grocer and general dealer, and his second wife, Martha Dunlop (1719–1796). Dale was a local herdboy, and then in the 1750s an apprentice weaver in ...

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Duncan, John (1794–1881), hand-loom weaver and botanist, was born on 19 December 1794 at Stonehaven, Kincardineshire, the illegitimate son of John Duncan, weaver and soldier, from Drumlithie, and Ann Caird (c.1773–c.1830), also of Drumlithie, who decided to support herself and her child by weaving stockings and harvesting at nearby ...

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John Duncan (1794–1881) by unknown engraver, c. 1865–6 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Edward, Thomas (1814–1886), naturalist and shoemaker, was born on 25 December 1814 at Gosport, Hampshire, one of several children of John Edward, Fife militiaman and weaver, and Margaret Mitchell of Aberdeen. His early years were spent at Kettle, Fife, and at Aberdeen. From childhood he was passionately fond of animals, bringing home so many ‘beasties’ that he was frequently flogged and confined to the house. Utterly unmanageable, by the age of six he had been expelled from three schools because of his zoological pursuits and truancy. Abandoning school, he found employment at ...

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Thomas Edward (1814–1886) by Sir George Reid Scottish National Portrait Gallery

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R. E. Anderson

Reviser I. Grattan-Guinness

Ivory, James (1765–1842), mathematician and mill manager, born in Dundee, on 17 February 1765, was the eldest son of James Ivory, watchmaker. At the age of fourteen he matriculated at St Andrews University, and after six years' study with a view to becoming a minister of the Scottish church, he went to ...

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Kennedy [known as Douglas], Scipio [Sipio] (1693x7–1774), freed slave and weaver, was born in Guinea, on the west African coast, from where he was taken by slave ship to Jamaica about 1702. Details of his family are unknown. On his arrival in ...

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Mactaggart, William Alexander (1906–2002), woollen manufacturer, was born at Braeside, Weensland Road, Hawick, Roxburghshire, on 17 August 1906, the son of William Alexander Main Mactaggart, businessman, and his wife, Margaret Jane, née Cooper. He was educated at St Mary's preparatory school, Melrose, and then at ...

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Montgomery, James (1794–1880), cotton manufacturer and author, was born on 2 December 1794 at the cotton mill village of Blantyre on the Clyde in Lanarkshire, son of William Montgomery, employed in Taylor's cotton mill, and his wife, Helen, née Reid. Little is known of ...

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Morton, Sir James (1867–1943), textile and dyestuffs manufacturer, was born on 24 March 1867, at Darvel, Ayrshire, the third of nine children in the family of Alexander Morton (1844–1923) and his wife, Jean, née Wiseman (1844/5–1924). Alexander (1844–1923), of hand-loom weaving stock, was the leading entrepreneur in the factory production of lace, mainly for curtains. He had also pioneered direct selling to retailers and diversified into heavier decorative materials, including machine-made carpets. ...

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Pringle, Robert (1795–1859), knitwear manufacturer, was born on 16 August 1795 in Hawick, Scotland, the second of the four children of Walter Pringle (b. 1748), a merchant of Hawick descent, and his second wife, Anne (Anny) Scott. In 1810 he was apprenticed to ...

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Riddell, James (d. 1674), merchant and manufacturer of soap and broadcloth, was the only son of James Riddell and his wife, Bessie Allan. The elder James Riddell was an English merchant descended from a landowning family, who traded in Cracow, Poland, and later moved to ...

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Smith, James, of Deanston (1789–1850), textile industrialist and agricultural engineer, was born in Glasgow on 3 January 1789, the son of a Glasgow merchant of a Galloway family, who died two months after his birth. He was brought up by his maternal uncle, ...

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Wright, John (1805–c. 1846), weaver and poet, was born on 1 September 1805 in the parish of Sorn, Ayrshire, the son of James Wright of Galston, coal-driver, and Grizzle Taylor (d. 1842). John, the fourth of seven children, grew up in ...