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Blackner, John (1770?–1816), radical and county historian, was born in Ilkeston, Derbyshire. He served an apprenticeship to a stocking maker in his native town, and there married Sarah, née Brown, sister of a 'respectable' farmer in Kirk Hallam, Derbyshire, with whom he had four sons and three daughters. Illiterate at the time of his marriage, he taught himself to read and write soon after moving to ...

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Collet Dobson Collet (1812–1898) by unknown photographer © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Collet, Collet Dobson (1812–1898), radical and tax reformer, was born on 31 December 1812 in London. He was the eldest son of John Dobson (1778–1827), a London merchant, and his wife (and first cousin), Elizabeth Barker (1787–1875). Collet assumed the name of his maternal grandparents, as did his sister, ...

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Deroin, Jeanne (1805–1894), suffragist and socialist, was born in Paris on 31 December 1805. A seamstress with little formal schooling, in 1831 she was introduced to the Saint-Simonian sect by her future husband, Antoine Ulysse Desroches, the bursar of an old people's home. All acolytes were required to sign a statement of their beliefs and most wrote a fairly standard single sentence. ...

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Detrosier, Rowland [formerly Rowley Barnes] (1800?–1834), freethinking radical and popular lecturer, was born in London, the son of a Manchester merchant, Robert Norris, and a Frenchwoman named Detrosier. His parents abandoned him soon after his birth and he was adopted by a Swedenborgian tailor from ...

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Gast, John (c. 1772–1837), trade unionist and radical, was born in Bristol, the son of Robert Gast, a seller of milk. He had at least two brothers, and at some time married Elizabeth, who outlived him, but nothing else is known of his family. Soon after finishing his apprenticeship he left ...

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Leslie, Alexander (fl. 1796–1798), radical bookseller and publisher, was born in Jedburgh, moving to Edinburgh some time before 1796. Before becoming Bookseller to the Rabble, as he liked to describe himself, he was apprenticed in Edinburgh, possibly to one Andrew Leslie, shoemaker. Leslie...

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William Lovett (1800–1877) by unknown photographer © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Lovett, William (1800–1877), Chartist and radical, was born in Newlyn, Cornwall, on 8 May 1800, the son of William Lovett, captain of a small trading vessel and a native of Hull, who was drowned before Lovett's birth. His mother, Kezia (née Green) (...

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Saull [Saul], William Devonshire (1783–1855), radical philanthropist and geological collector, was born on 21 April 1783 at Byfield, Northamptonshire, the son of William Saul and Elizabeth Devonshire. Nothing is known of Saull's early years, except that he married nineteen-year-old Elizabeth Weedon (1789–1860) at ...