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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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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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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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Burberry, Thomas (1835–1926), men's outfitter, was born at Brockham Green, in the parish of Betchworth, near Dorking, Surrey, on 17 August 1835, the son of Thomas Burberry, farmer and nonconformist, and his second wife, Elizabeth, née Flint. Following an elementary education at Brockham Green village school...

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Coats, Thomas (1809–1883), thread manufacturer and benefactor, was born at Ferguslie, Paisley, Renfrewshire, on 18 October 1809, the fourth of at least six sons of James Coats (1774–1857), one of the founders of the Paisley thread industry, and Catherine Mitchell (d. 1857)...

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Colman family (per. 1814–1898), mustard and starch manufacturers, traced its origins in that trade to Jeremiah Colman (1777–1851), originally a flour miller at Bawburgh, who in 1814 purchased the flour and mustard making concern of Edward Ames at Stoke Holy Cross...

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Cook, Arthur James (1883–1931), trade unionist, was born on 22 November 1883 in Wookey, Somerset, the oldest of ten children of Thomas Cook, a soldier, and his wife, Selina. Selina's religious convictions were a formative influence on Cook's early life. At the age of twelve he began work near ...

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Horner, Arthur Lewis (1894–1968), trade unionist and communist, was born at Merthyr Tudful, Glamorgan, on 5 April 1894, the eldest son in a family of seventeen children, eleven of whom died at birth or in early childhood. His father, James Horner, was a railwayman from ...

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Johnson, Isaac Charles (1811–1911), cement manufacturer, was born at Vauxhall on 28 January 1811, the second but only surviving child of Isaac Johnson, a cement works labourer, who worked for Francis and White & Co. at Nine Elms, Vauxhall, Surrey, and his wife, ...

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Johnson, Joseph (1738–1809), bookseller, was born on 15 November 1738 at Everton, near Liverpool, the second of two sons of John Johnson, a Baptist landowner and businessman who came to Everton from Cheshire in 1733. Johnson left for London in 1752, where two years later on 12 February 1754 he was apprenticed to ...

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Peto, Sir (Samuel) Morton, first baronet (1809–1889), contractor for railways and public works, was born on 4 August 1809 at Whitmoor House, Woking, Surrey, the eldest son of William Peto (d. 1849) of Cookham, Berkshire, farmer, and his wife, Sophia, daughter of ...

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Thomas, James Henry [Jim, Jimmy] (1874–1949), trade unionist and politician, was born on 3 October 1874 at Newport, Monmouthshire, the illegitimate son of Elizabeth Thomas, a domestic servant, and was brought up in poverty by his grandmother, Ann Thomas, a widowed washerwoman. He attended St Paul's elementary school, working part-time as a shop errand boy from the age of nine, and, after leaving school at the age of twelve, had various jobs in shops and as a decorator....

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Woods, Samuel (1846–1915), trade unionist and politician, was born on 10 May 1846, at Peasley Cross, St Helens, the son of Thomas Woods, a miner, and his wife, Margaret (née Rothwell), until 1840 also a mine worker. Woods's first introduction to mining was at the age of seven. He returned to school from the age of nine to thirteen, but then went back to the pits. He was an assiduous attender at night school, and this education was reinforced by his durable and strong commitment to the ...