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Peter Berresford Ellis

Baird, John (1788–1820), radical, was, with Andrew Hardie (1792–1820) and James Wilson (1757–1820), one of the three ‘Radical Martyrs’ executed for their part in the Scottish insurrection of April 1820. Baird, born in Condorrat, Stirling, was the third son of a ...

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Blakey, Robert [pseud. Palmer Hackle] (1795–1878), radical and historian of philosophy, son of Robert Blakey (c.1774–1796), mechanic, and his wife, Elizabeth Laws (b. 1773), was born in Manchester Street, Morpeth, Northumberland, on 18 May 1795. His father died when he was nine months old. When he was six, he was taken charge of by his grandmother, also ...

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Callender, James Thomson (1758–1803), political writer and radical, was born in Scotland, the son of a tobacconist, though further details of his early years are obscure. The poet James Thomson may have been a relative. Callender was raised as a Presbyterian of the strongly Calvinist variety, possibly in ...

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Dickson, William Steel (1744–1824), minister of the Presbyterian General Synod of Ulster and political radical, was born William Dickson on Christmas day 1744, the eldest son of John Dickson, farmer, and his wife, Jane Steel, at Ballycraigy, in the parish of Carnmoney, co. Antrim...

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Sir James Hope of Hopetoun, appointed Lord Hopetoun under the protectorate (1614–1661) by unknown artist in the collection of the Hopetoun House Preservation Trust; photograph courtesy the Scottish National Portrait Gallery

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Hope, Sir James, of Hopetoun, appointed Lord Hopetoun under the protectorate (1614–1661), industrialist and political radical, was born on 4 July 1614, the youngest of six sons (of whom four survived to adulthood) of Sir Thomas Hope of Craighall, lord advocate (1573–1646), and ...

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Joseph Hume (1777–1855) by John Whitehead Walton, 1854 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Hume, Joseph (1777–1855), radical and politician, was born at Montrose, Scotland, on 22 January 1777, the younger son of James Hume, a shipmaster of Forfarshire, and Mary Allan. His father died not long after Hume's birth, and his widowed mother supported her children by selling crockery....

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Mealmaker, George (1768–1808), weaver and radical, was born on 10 February 1768, the son of John Mealmaker, weaver, of the Seagate, Dundee, and Alison Auchinleck. Of Mealmaker's early life and education there is no direct information. Similarly, it is possible only to speculate about the sources of his political radicalism. A description of him from 1793 as '...

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Orr, James [called the Bard of Ballycarry] (1770–1816), radical and poet, born in the parish of Templecorran, co. Antrim, was the only child of James Orr, a linen weaver, who also farmed a few acres of land near Ballycarry. The family, like most of its neighbours, was of Scots descent and Presbyterian. The younger ...

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Richard Price (1723–1791) by Thomas Holloway, pubd 1793 (after Benjamin West, 1788) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Price, Richard (1723–1791), philosopher, demographer, and political radical, was born on 23 February 1723 at Tyn-ton, in the parish of Llangeinor, in the county of Glamorgan, the only son and eldest of three children of Rice Price (1673–1739) and his second wife, Catherine (1697–1740)...

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James Tytler (1745–1804) by Hannah Crowninshield, 1804 photography courtesy Peabody Essex Museum

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Tytler, James [called Balloon Tytler] (1745–1804), balloonist and radical, was born on 17 December 1745 at the manse at Fern, Forfarshire, the fourth child of George Tytler (1705/6–1785), Church of Scotland minister in the presbytery of Brechin, and his wife, Janet Robertson (...