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Adams, John Couch (1819–1892), astronomer, was born on 5 June 1819 at Lidcot, a farm near Launceston, Cornwall, the eldest of the seven children of Thomas Adams (1788–1859), a poor tenant farmer, and his wife, Tabitha Knill Grylls (1796–1866), a farmer's daughter who had received some education from her uncle ...

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Allon, Henry (1818–1892), Congregational minister and leader, was born at Welton, near Hull, on 13 October 1818, the son of William Allon (d. 1878), a builder and later estate steward, and Mary Allon. He followed his father in apprenticeship to a builder in ...

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Ashby, Joseph (1859–1919), farmer and social reformer, was born in Tysoe in Warwickshire on 13 June 1859, the son of an unmarried servant, Elizabeth Ashby. His father was the husband of Elizabeth's mistress, yet, common as such births were, Ashby's was in some ways different. His father provided for him but his mother, a fiercely independent woman, refused to use the money. More importantly his mother's branch of the ...

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Baldwin, Alfred (1841–1908), industrialist and politician, was born at Stourport, Worcestershire, on 4 June 1841, the youngest of twelve children of George Pearce Baldwin (1789–1840), a small-scale iron founder and businessman, and his second wife, Sarah Chalkley Stanley (1801–1874), the eldest daughter of the ...

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Barker, Joseph (1806–1875), Methodist minister and politico-religious controversialist, was born on 11 May 1806 at Bramley, near Leeds. His ancestors, originally of Keighley, had been settled in this area for several generations as farmers and manufacturers. The identity of his parents has not been discovered, though it is known that his father was employed in woollen manufacture and served for some time in the militia, and that ...

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Geoffrey Shakespeare

revised by Robert Brown

Bellman, Sir (Charles) Harold (1886–1963), building society manager, was born in Paddington on 16 February 1886, the second son of Charles Henry Bellman, coach builder, and his wife, Ellen Clemens, both of Cornish origin. After attending a higher-grade school in Kilburn until the age of fourteen he entered the ...

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Benson, Joseph (1749–1821), Wesleyan Methodist minister, was born at Melmerby, Cumberland, on 25 January 1749, the son of John Benson (d. 1769), a landowner, and his wife, Isabella Robinson (d. 1779). His father, intending him to enter the church, placed him in the care of the local Presbyterian minister, from whom he received a classical education....

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Birkett, (William) Norman, first Baron Birkett (1883–1962), barrister and judge, was born at Ulverston, Lancashire, on 6 September 1883, the fourth of the five children of Thomas Birkett (d. 1913) and his first wife, Agnes (d. 1886), daughter of Moses Tyson...

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Blackie, Margery Grace (1898–1981), homoeopathic physician, was born on 4 February 1898 at Redbourn, Hertfordshire. She was the youngest of ten children of Robert Blackie (c.1852–1936), a man of independent means, and his wife, Elizabeth (d. 1941), daughter of Rowland Rees...

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Booth [née Mumford], Catherine (1829–1890), evangelist and writer, was born on 17 January 1829 at Ashbourne, Derbyshire, the fourth of five children. Only she and her younger brother, John, survived. Her father, John Mumford (1804–1879), was a coach builder and wheelwright, and for some years a Wesleyan Methodist lay preacher. Her mother, ...

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Bourne, Hugh (1772–1852), founder of the Primitive Methodist church, son of Joseph Bourne, farmer and wheelwright, and his wife, Ellen Steele, was born at Fordhays Farm, in the parish of Stoke-on-Trent on 3 April 1772, and, after some education at nearby Werrington and ...

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Broadbent, Sir William Henry, first baronet (1835–1907), physician, was born at Lindley, near Huddersfield, Yorkshire, on 23 January 1835, the eldest surviving of the seven children of John Broadbent (1796–1880), woollen manufacturer and Wesleyan Sunday school superintendent, and his wife, Esther, née Butterworth (...

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Buller, Sir Walter Lawry (1838–1906), ornithologist, was born on 9 October 1838 at Newark Wesleyan mission station in Pakanae, Hokianga region, New Zealand, the second of the ten children of James Buller (1812–1884), Wesleyan missionary, and his wife, Jane Tonkin Martin (1808–1884), both of ...

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Bunting, Jabez (1779–1858), Wesleyan Methodist minister, the only son of William Bunting of Monyash, Derbyshire, a tailor in Manchester, and his wife, Mary Redfern, was born in Manchester on 13 May 1779. The circumstances of Bunting's boyhood and youth suggested that he would develop in an entirely different direction from that which he finally took, and the later legends associating him personally with ...

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J. E. G. de Montmorency

revised by Tim Macquiban

Bunting, Sir Percy William (1836–1911), social reformer and journal editor, born on 1 February 1836 at Ratcliffe, near Manchester, was only son of Thomas Percival Bunting and his wife, Eliza Bealey. Bunting's father, third son of Jabez Bunting, was a solicitor in Manchester...

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Chubb, Charles (1772–1846), locksmith, was born on 16 January 1772, probably at Fordingbridge, Hampshire, the third child of Charles Chubb. He had twelve brothers and sisters, with one of whom, Jeremiah Chubb (1790–1847), born on 10 June 1790, Charles was to set up in business. He served an apprenticeship as a blacksmith and moved to ...

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Clarke, Adam (1762–1832), Wesleyan Methodist minister and scholar, was born in Moybeg, Kilcronaghan parish, co. Londonderry. His father, an Anglican, was a village schoolmaster and farmer; his mother was a Presbyterian. His childhood consisted of a series of life-threatening mishaps. He was educated locally, fell under the influence of the Methodists in 1778, and met ...

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Clowes, William (1780–1851), a founder of the Primitive Methodist Connexion, the son of Samuel Clowes, potter, and Ann, daughter of Aaron Wedgwood (a member of the illustrious ceramics family), was born at Burslem, Staffordshire, on 12 March 1780, and employed during his early years as a potter. He was considered one of the finest dancers in his neighbourhood and for many years led a dissipated life, but on 20 January 1805 he was converted during a prayer meeting. He soon established a prayer meeting in his own house, became the leader of a Wesleyan Methodist class, and joined a society which endeavoured to promote the keeping of the sabbath. He was one of the attendants at the first camp meeting ever held in ...

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Cudlipp, Hubert Kinsman [Hugh], Baron Cudlipp (1913–1998), journalist and publishing executive, was born at 118 Lisvane Street, Cardiff, on 28 August 1913, the youngest son in the family of three sons and one daughter of William Christopher Cudlipp, commercial traveller for a provision merchant, and his wife, ...

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Davidson, William (1786–1820), conspirator, was born in Jamaica, the second son of the attorney-general of Jamaica and an unnamed black woman. Educated there until age fourteen, William was sent to England, despite his mother's protests, to complete his education. Arriving in a country seething with revolutionary fervour, ...