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Abell, William (b. c. 1584, d. in or after 1655), vintner and local politician, was the son of Thomas Abell of Oundle, Northamptonshire, and his wife, Suzanna Barker. He was probably born at Oundle, where his grandfather William Abell had endowed Oundle School...

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Aird, Sir John, first baronet (1833–1911), civil engineering contractor, was born on 3 December 1833 in Greenwich, the second son of eight children of John Aird (1800–1876), contractor, and Agnes (d. 1869), daughter of Charles Bennett of Lambeth. His grandfather Robert Aird...

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Albone, Daniel [Dan] (1860–1906), cycle and motor tractor manufacturer, was born at the Ongley Arms inn, Shortmead Street, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, on 12 September 1860, the fourth son and youngest of eight children of Edward Albone (d. 1864), publican and market gardener, and his wife, ...

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Aldersey, Thomas (1521/2–1598), merchant, was born at Bunbury, near Spurstow in Cheshire, the second of five sons of John Aldersey (c.1494–1554), landowner, and Anne Bird of Colton near Chester. After an education in Bunbury, probably at Chantry House, Aldersey's apprenticeship began in ...

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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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Almack, William (d. 1781), founder of club and assembly rooms, was born in Thirsk, in the North Riding of Yorkshire—not, as was sometimes stated by his contemporaries, in Scotland. In his youth he moved to London to work as a valet to the ...

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Arch, Joseph (1826–1919), trade unionist and politician, was born at Barford, Warwickshire, on 10 November 1826, the son of John Arch (b. c.1793), a shepherd, and Hannah Pace (c.1783–1845). Before her marriage his mother worked as a domestic servant in ...

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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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Armstrong, William George, Baron Armstrong (1810–1900), armaments manufacturer and industrialist, was born on 26 November 1810 at 9 Pleasant Row, Shieldfield, Newcastle upon Tyne, the second child and only son of William Armstrong (1778–1857), corn merchant and local politician, of Tyneside...

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Attwood, Charles (1791–1875), ironmaster, was born on 25 January 1791 at Hawne House near Halesowen, the sixth of seven sons and eighth of ten surviving children of Matthias Attwood (1746–1836) and his wife, Ann (1752–1835), daughter of Thomas Adams of Cakemore near Halesowen...

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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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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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Balfour, Arthur, first Baron Riverdale (1873–1957), steel maker and industrialist, was, by his own account, born in London on 9 January 1873. For some years his parentage was a mystery. He went to Sheffield in 1882 as an ‘orphan’ with Mary Fraser (1847–1906)...

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Baring, Alexander, first Baron Ashburton (1773–1848), merchant and banker, was born on 27 October 1773 (the frequently cited date of 1784 is incorrect) in Mincing Lane, London, the second child of the six sons and six daughters of Sir Francis Baring (1740–1810), merchant and banker, and his wife, ...

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Baring, Sir Francis, first baronet (1740–1810), merchant and merchant banker, was born at Larkbear, Exeter, on 18 April 1740, third of the four surviving sons and one daughter of John Baring (1697–1748) and his wife, Elizabeth Baring (1702–1766), daughter of John Vowler, a prosperous ...

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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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Barwell, Richard (1741–1804), East India Company servant, was born in Calcutta on 8 October 1741, the second of the four sons of William Barwell (1705–1769), governor of Fort William, Bengal (1748–9), afterwards a director of the East India Company, and his third wife, ...

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Bass, Michael Arthur, first Baron Burton (1837–1909), brewer and benefactor, was born at Brewery House, High Street, Burton upon Trent, on 12 November 1837, the elder son of Michael Thomas Bass (1799–1884), brewer, and his wife, Eliza Jane (d. 1897), daughter of ...

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Bass, Michael Thomas (1799–1884), brewer and politician, was born on 6 July 1799 at Burton upon Trent, the eldest son of Michael Thomas Bass (1759–1827), brewer, and his wife, Sarah, née Hoskins (1763–1837). He was educated at the grammar school in Burton and afterwards at ...