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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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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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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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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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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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Emmott, Alfred, Baron Emmott (1858–1926), politician and cotton manufacturer, was born at Chadderton, near Oldham, on 8 May 1858, the third son of Thomas Emmott, cotton manufacturer, of Oldham, and his wife, Hannah, daughter of John Barlow, of Chorley, Lancashire. Educated at the ...

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Finlayson, James (1772?–1852?), engineer and cotton manufacturer, was probably born on 29 August 1772 in the parish of Penicuik, near Edinburgh. Of his early life in Scotland nothing is known, and it is in St Petersburg in Russia at the end of the eighteenth century that he first makes his appearance, as a master machinist at the ...

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P. J. Hartog

revised by W. H. Brock

Mercer, John (1791–1866), calico printer and chemist, was born on 21 February 1791 at Dean, in the parish of Great Harwood, near Blackburn, Lancashire, the eldest of three children of Robert Mercer (d. 1800), a hand-loom weaver and farmer, and his wife, ...

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Nelson, Sir Amos (1860–1947), cotton manufacturer, was born on 31 January 1860 at Winewall, near Colne, Lancashire, the eldest son of James Nelson (1831–1912), an overlooker, and his wife, Mary Ann, née Hartley. Although he came from a hand-loom weaving family, James Nelson...

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Oldknow, Samuel (1756–1828), cotton manufacturer, was born on 5 October 1756 at Anderton, Lancashire, the eldest in the family of two sons and one daughter of Samuel Oldknow, a muslin manufacturer originally from Nottingham, and his wife, Margaret, daughter of Thomas Foster, a small landowner of ...

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Peel, Sir Robert, first baronet (1750–1830), calico printer and politician, was born at Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, on 25 April 1750, the third of the seven sons of Robert Peel (1723–1795), a dealer (or chapman) in the linen and cotton cloth known as ‘Blackburn Greys’, and his wife, ...