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Adamson, William [Willie] (1863–1936), politician and trade unionist, was born at Halbeath, near Dunfermline in Fife, on 2 April 1863, the son of James Armstrong Adamson, a coalminer, and Flora Cunningham. He attended a dame-school run by the wife of a mining engineer, and left at the age of eleven to work in the mining industry, where he was employed for the next twenty-seven years. He married, on 25 February 1887, ...

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Alexander, Albert Victor, Earl Alexander of Hillsborough (1885–1965), politician and co-operator, was born at 59 George Street, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, on 1 May 1885, the son of Albert Alexander (d. 1886), a blacksmith, and his wife, Eliza Jane, née Thatcher. On his father's death his mother moved back to her parents' house in ...

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Appleby [née Walley], (Florence) Lucy (1920–2008), cheese-maker, was born on 1 February 1920 at Lighteach Farm, Whitchurch, Shropshire, one of eight children of Alfred Edward Walley (1886–1954), a farmer and Baptist minister, and his wife, Sarah, née Pierpoint (1891–1964). She was educated at the high school at ...

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Barnardo, Thomas John (1845–1905), philanthropist and founder of Dr Barnardo's Homes, was born on 4 July 1845 at 4 Dame Street, Dublin, the fourth of five children of John Michaelis Barnardo (1800–1874), a Prussian subject and furrier, and his second wife, Abigail, daughter of ...

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Baynes, Thomas Spencer (1823–1887), editor of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, was born on 24 March 1823 at Wellington, Somerset, the son of Joseph Baynes (for fifty years minister of Wellington's Baptist congregation) and his wife, Anna Day Ash, a descendant of the lexicographer Dr John Ash...

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R. L. Wain

revised by K. D. Watson

Bennett, George Macdonald (1892–1959), chemist, was born in Lincoln on 25 October 1892, the youngest of the three children of the Revd John Ebenezer Bennett (d. 1906), teacher and Baptist minister, and his wife, Hanna Martha (d. 1932), daughter of William Grange...

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Bevin, Ernest (1881–1951), trade unionist and politician, was born at Winsford, Somerset, on 7 March 1881, the seventh child of Diana (known as Mercy) Bevin (1841–1889). His mother, the daughter of Thomas and Mary Tidbould, married William Bevin, an agricultural labourer, in 1864. In 1876 or 1877 ...

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Black, Sir Cyril Wilson (1902–1991), property developer and politician, was born on 8 April 1902 at 11 Langham Mansions, Kensington, London, one of four sons (three surviving) and two daughters of Robert Wilson Black (1871–1951), property developer, of 11 Langham Mansions, and his wife, ...

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Blyton [married names Pollock, Darrell Waters], Enid Mary (1897–1968), children's writer, was born on 11 August 1897 at 354 Lordship Lane, East Dulwich, London, the eldest child of Thomas Carey Blyton (1870–1920), a salesman, and his wife, Theresa Mary, née Harrison (1874–1950)...

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Bompas, William Carpenter (1834–1906), bishop of Selkirk, Canada, was born on 20 January 1834 at 11 Park Road, Regent's Park, London. He was the fourth son of Charles Carpenter Bompas and his wife, Mary Steele Tomkins, of Broughton, Hampshire. His father, a serjeant-at-law and leader of the ...

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Brandreth, Jeremiah [called the Nottingham Captain] (1786/1790–1817), revolutionary politician, is of unknown parentage. In the absence of information about his parentage or early life, rumour abounded following Brandreth's apprehension for his part in the Pentrich rising of 1817. To some, his sallow complexion suggested either a Gypsy or Irish provenance, while ...

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Brewer, Ebenezer Cobham (1810–1897), educationist and lexicographer, was born in Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London, on 2 May 1810, the third of the eleven surviving children of John Sherren Brewer (1775/6–1848), a Norwich schoolmaster, and his second wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Kitton of ...

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Brothers, Richard (1757–1824), self-styled prophet, was born on 25 December 1757 at Placentia, Newfoundland. His father was a gunner, and his family continued to live at Placentia long after Richard was sent as a boy to Woolwich, where he went to school, and from where in 1772 he entered the ...

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Brown, Sir (Ernest) Henry Phelps (1906–1994), economist, was born in the High Street, Calne, Wiltshire, on 10 February 1906, the second child of Edgar Brown, who kept an ironmonger's shop in Calne, and his wife, Ada, née Bibbing. His mother died when he was two years old, and his father married her elder sister. ...

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Browne, Stanley George (1907–1986), leprologist and medical missionary, was born on 8 December 1907 at 77 Bousefield Road, New Cross, London, the second of the five children of Arthur Browne (1874–1967), Post Office clerk, and his wife, Edith Lillywhite (1887–1927). His formal instruction started when, after much pleading, he entered ...

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Bunyan, John (bap. 1628, d. 1688), author, was baptized on 30 November 1628 at Elstow, Bedfordshire, the eldest of the three children of Thomas Bunyan (bap. 1603, d. 1676), brazier, and his second wife, Margaret (bap. 1603, d. 1644), 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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Caine, Sir (Thomas Henry) Hall (1853–1931), novelist, was born on 14 May 1853 at 130 Bridgewater Street, Runcorn, Cheshire, the eldest of the six children of John Caine (bap. 1821, d. 1904), blacksmith, and Sarah (1829–1912), daughter of Ralph Hall of Liverpool...

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Caine, William Sproston (1842–1903), politician and temperance advocate, born at Egremont, Wallasey, Cheshire, on 26 March 1842, was the eldest surviving son of Nathaniel Caine JP (d. 1877), metal merchant, and his wife, Hannah (d. 1861), daughter of William Rushton of ...

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Callaghan, Leonard James [Jim], Baron Callaghan of Cardiff (1912–2005), prime minister, was born at 38 Funtington Road, Copnor, Portsmouth, on 27 March 1912, the only son and younger child of James Callaghan, formerly Garoghan (1877–1921), a sailor who rose to the rank of chief petty officer in the ...