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Aislabie, Benjamin (1774–1842), wine merchant and cricket administrator, was born on 14 January 1774 in Newington Green, Middlesex, the third son, and sixth and last child, of Rawson Aislabie, soap and wine merchant of Newington Green, and his wife, Frances Rayson, of Dunham, Nottinghamshire...

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Bagford, John (1650/51–1716), bookseller and antiquary, was born in Fetter Lane, London, the son of John Bagford. Very little is known about his early life and family background. He was trained and worked as a shoemaker and wrote a little tract about this trade (...

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Barker, Ronald William George [Ronnie] (1929–2005), actor and comedian, was born on 25 September 1929 at 70 Garfield Street, Bedford, the only son and second of the three children of Leonard William Barker, a clerk for Shell, and his wife, Edith Eleanor, née...

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Batsford, Bradley Thomas (1821–1904), bookseller and publisher, was born in Hertford, the fifth of the nine children of James Batsford (1791–1835), a tailor, and his wife, Mary, née Bradley. When his father died he left for London, where he lived with his cousins above their ...

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Belville, (Elizabeth) Ruth Naomi (1854–1943), horologist and merchant, was born on 5 March 1854 at 9 Hyde Vale Cottages, Greenwich, Kent, the only child of Belville, John Henry (1795?–1856), horologist and assistant astronomer at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, and his third wife, ...

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Bigland, Ralph (1712–1784), herald and cheesemonger, was born on 29 January 1712 at Stepney, Middlesex, the only son of Richard Bigland (1658–1725) of Wapping, tallow chandler, and his second wife, Mary (1676–1736), daughter of George Errington of Benwell, Northumberland. His father was a native of ...

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Blackwell, Sir Basil Henry (1889–1984), bookseller and publisher, was born on 29 May 1889, at Blackwell's bookshop, 51 Broad Street, Oxford, the only son and younger child of Benjamin Henry Blackwell (1849–1924), bookseller, and his wife, Lydia (Lilla) (1848–1928), daughter of John Taylor...

Article

John Brown

revised by Clare L. Taylor

Blackwell, Richard (1918–1980), bookseller and publisher, was born on 5 January 1918 at 1 Frenchay Road, Oxford, the eldest in the family of two sons and three daughters of Sir Basil Henry Blackwell (1889–1984), bookseller, and his wife, Marion Christine (1888/9–1977), daughter of ...

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Burberry, Thomas (1835–1926), men's outfitter, was born on 27 August 1835 at Brockham Green, near Dorking, Surrey, the son of Thomas Burberry, farmer and nonconformist. Following an elementary education at Brockham Green village school, Burberry was apprenticed to a local draper's shop before opening his own outfitting business in 1856 in ...

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Cadell, Thomas, the elder (1742–1802), bookseller, was born in Bristol and baptized on 12 November 1742, the son of William Cadell and his wife, Mary. On 7 March 1758 he was apprenticed by his father to the eminent London bookseller and publisher Andrew Millar...

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Christie, James (1730–1803), auctioneer, was born in Perth, Scotland. Little is known of his background, except that his mother was a MacDonald; his father, an Englishman of good family. He entered the navy, but resigned his commission as a midshipman about 1750 in order to marry....

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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 ...

Article

G. S. Boulger

revised by Juanita Burnby

Dale, Samuel (bap. 1659, d. 1739), apothecary and physician, son of North Dale (bap. 1618), silk-thrower, and his wife, Christian, was baptized on 15 August 1659 at St Olave's, Hart Street, London. Dale was apprenticed for eight years to Thomas Wells, a ...

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Day [Daye], John (1521/2–1584), printer and bookseller, may have been born in Dunwich, Suffolk. The capital investment that he brought to his work as a printer and publisher has led some to suppose that he came of a prosperous family, but this may equally be attributed to his business acumen, innovative spirit, and ruthless pursuit of pious opportunity. By 1540 he seems to have been in ...

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Debenham, Sir Ernest Ridley, first baronet (1865–1952), department store owner, was born on 26 May 1865 at 42 Wigmore Street, Marylebone, London, the son of Frank Debenham (1837–1917), silk mercer and draper, and his wife, Emma Folkard Ridley.

Frank Debenham inherited a thriving business in ...

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Dobell, Bertram (1842–1914), bookseller and literary scholar, was born on 9 January 1842 at Battle, Sussex, the eldest son of Edward Dobell, a journeyman tailor, and his wife, Elizabeth, née Eldridge (d. 1899). The family moved to London, where Edward Dobell was stricken with paralysis. In the ...

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Dodsley, Robert (1704–1764), bookseller and writer, was born on 13 February 1704 in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, the eldest of seven children of Robert Dodsley (bap. 1681, d. 1750), a master of the free school in Mansfield, and his first wife. Robert's early efforts at poetry suggest that he learned something of the art from his schoolmaster father, as well as a smattering of major authors, both classical and contemporary. However, in a practical-minded move, his father apprenticed ...

Article

G. F. R. Barker

revised by Anita McConnell

Dunstan, Jeffrey (1759?–1797), hawker and ‘mayor of Garrett’, was a foundling reared in the parish workhouse of St Dunstan-in-the-East, in the City of London. At the age of twelve he was apprenticed to a greengrocer, but he ran away to Birmingham, where he worked in the factories. The heavy labour probably added to his deformities, for as an adult he had knock knees, a large head, and grew to a height of only ...

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Epstein, Brian Samuel (1934–1967), popular music entrepreneur and retailer, was born on 19 September 1934 at a private nursing home at 4 Rodney Street, Liverpool, the first of two children of Harold (Harry) Epstein (1901–1967) furniture retailer, and his wife, Malka (Queenie), née...

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Field, Henry (1755–1837), apothecary, was born on 29 September 1755 at Woodford, Essex, the first-born of eleven children (two of whom died in infancy) of John Field (1718/19–1796), apothecary and founder in 1765 of the London Annuity Society for the Benefit of Widows of Members...