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Allcroft, John Derby (1822–1893), glove manufacturer and entrepreneur, was born in Worcester on 19 July 1822, only son and elder child of Jeremiah Macklin Allcroft (1791–1867), who was a partner in the glove manufacturing firm of J. and W. Dent & Co. His mother, ...

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Arkwright, Sir Richard (1732–1792), inventor of cotton-spinning machinery and cotton manufacturer, was born on 23 December 1732 at Preston, Lancashire, the sixth of the seven children of Thomas Arkwright (1691–1753), a tailor, and his wife, Ellen Hodgkinson (1693–1778). The family was rooted in ...

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Arkwright, Richard (1755–1843), cotton manufacturer and landowner, was born on 19 December 1755 at Bolton, Lancashire, the only son of Sir Richard Arkwright (1732–1792), cotton manufacturer, and his wife, Patience (d. 1756), daughter of Robert Holt. In 1780 he married Mary (...

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Barnham [née Bradbridge], Alice (1523–1604), silkwoman and benefactor, was born on 7 September 1523 at Chichester, Sussex, one of the youngest of the fourteen children of William Bradbridge (d. 1546), a successful and prosperous mercer, and his wife, Alice. Alice Barnham...

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Bazley, Sir Thomas, first baronet (1797–1885), cotton spinner and politician, was born on 27 May 1797 at Gilnow, near Bolton, Lancashire, the son of Thomas Bazley (1773–1845), sometime cotton manufacturer, mathematician, and journalist, and his wife, Anne, the daughter of Charles Hilton of ...

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Behrens, Sir Jacob (1806–1889), textile merchant, was born on 20 November 1806, one of the sons of Nathan Behrens (d. 1842), a Jewish merchant, and Clara Hahn, daughter of a Hamburg silk merchant, at Pyrmont, in the small German principality of Waldeck...

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Bennett, Timothy (1676/7–1756), cordwainer and public access campaigner, is of obscure origins; details of his birth, family, and upbringing are unknown. On 19 July 1716, at All Hallows, London Wall, he married Katherine Magitt (1673/4–1749), of Kingston upon Thames, Surrey; the parish register—which also gives his wife's name as ...

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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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Brasher, Christopher William [Chris] (1928–2003), athlete, journalist, and businessman, was born on 21 August 1928 in Georgetown, British Guiana, the son of William Kenneth Brasher, a Colonial Office engineer, and his wife, Katie Howe Brasher. His family moved to Jerusalem and then, when ...

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Broadhurst, Sir Edward Tootal, baronet (1858–1922), cotton manufacturer, was born on 19 August 1858 at Bury Old Road, Broughton, near Manchester, the second son of Henry Tootal Broadhurst (1822–1896), cotton manufacturer, and his first wife, Mary Margaret, née Brooks. He attended Dr Hungerford's...

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Bruce, (Josephine) Esther (1912–1994), seamstress, was born on 29 November 1912 at 15 Dieppe Street, Fulham, London, the only surviving daughter of Joseph Adolphus Bruce (1880–1941), builder's labourer and coach painter, originally from British Guiana, and his Scottish wife, Edith (d. 1918)...

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Burton, Sir Montague Maurice [formerly Meshe David Osinsky] (1885–1952), clothing manufacturer and retailer, was born on 15 August 1885 in the town of Kurkel, Kovno province, Russia (now Lithuania), the only son of Chaim Judah Osinsky (b. 1825), bookseller, and his wife, ...

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Clark, William Stephens (1839–1925), shoe manufacturer and retailer, was born on 22 February 1839 at Street in Somerset, the third of fourteen children of James C. Clark (1811–1906), rug and shoe manufacturer of Street, and Eleanor, née Stephens (1812–1879), of Bridport. He was educated at ...

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Coats, Thomas (1809–1883), thread manufacturer and benefactor, was born at Ferguslie, Paisley, Renfrewshire, on 18 October 1809, the fourth of at least six sons of James Coats (1774–1857), one of the founders of the Paisley thread industry, and Catherine Mitchell (d. 1857)...

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Cobden, Richard (1804–1865), manufacturer and politician, was born on 3 June 1804 in a small farmhouse at Dunford near the village of Heyshott in Sussex, the fourth of eleven children of William Cobden (1775–1833) and his wife, Millicent, née Amber (1775–1825).

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Crommelin, (Samuel-)Louis [Samuel-Lewis] (1652–1727), linen manufacturer, was born in May 1652 at Armandcourt, near St Quentin, Picardy, the son of Louis Crommelin and his wife, Mary (Marie), née Mettayer. The Crommelin family had long been landowners and flax growers in the region. Louis Crommelin...

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Crompton, Samuel (1753–1827), inventor of the spinning mule, was born at Firwood Fold, Tonge, near Bolton, Lancashire, on 3 December 1753, the eldest son of George Crompton (1726–1758) and Elizabeth Holt (1725–1799) of nearby Turton. Firwood Farm had been held by Cromptons since Tudor times; ...

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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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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 ...