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Acland [née Cunningham], Alice Sophia, Lady Acland (1849–1935), co-operative movement activist and advocate of women's advancement, was born on 3 February 1849 at Heath Lodge, Petersfield, Hampshire, the eldest daughter of the Revd Francis Macaulay Cunningham (1815/16–1899) and his wife, née Alice Charlotte Poore...

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Albert Victor Alexander, Earl Alexander of Hillsborough (1885–1965) by Howard Coster, 1942 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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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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Bailey, Sir John [Jack] (1898–1969), politician and co-operative movement activist, was born on 1 January 1898 in Miskin, Mountain Ash, Glamorgan, one of six children of John Bailey, miner, and his wife, Sarah Ann. Bailey attended Gwyn Ivor School, Miskin, until he was twelve. Working initially in a cobbler's shop, he entered the mines as a collier's boy. An accident in 1915 forced him to take a surface job, and in 1917 he enlisted in the ...

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Barton [née Stockton], Eleanor (1872/3–1960), socialist and co-operative movement activist, was born in the Manchester area, but the exact date and place are uncertain. Her father, William Stockton, was variously described as a porter, a prison warder, and a Chelsea pensioner. Her mother was ...

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Blandford, Thomas (1861–1899), co-operative movement activist, was born on 19 August 1861 in Curragh, co. Kildare, to a father of Scottish extraction and a mother of Irish descent. Blandford's parents are recorded in one source as strolling players and this is consistent with the limited record of his early life. The family settled in ...

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Bury [née Walmsley], Martha Jane (1850–1913), co-operator, was born at 11 Grimshaw Park Lane, Blackburn, Lancashire, on 24 November 1850, the first daughter and second child of the three children of George Walmsley (d. 1853), headmaster of the Park Road Congregational day school...

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Cooper, William (1822–1868), promoter of the co-operative movement, was born in Rochdale, the son of James Cooper, a weaver, and his wife, Susan (née Taylor); he was probably the eldest of six children. Cooper had little formal education, but was drawn to discussion of political and economic issues. Influenced by the work of ...

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Dudley, Sir William Edward (1868–1938), co-operative society administrator, was born on 29 May 1868 at 1 Loch Street, Runcorn, Cheshire, the son of William Dudley, house painter, and his wife, Rebecca Cottrell. Dudley attended Runcorn parish church school until 1883, when he began work with ...

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Gallagher, Patrick [known as Paddy the Cope] (1870/71–1966), co-operative pioneer in Ireland, was born on 25 December 1871 (or possibly, given the lack of reliable sources, 1870) at Cleendra in the Rosses in the west of co. Donegal, the eldest son and the second of the nine children of ...

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Ganley [née Blumfield], Caroline Selina (1879–1966), co-operative movement activist and politician, was born on 16 September 1879 at 33 Admiralty Street, East Stonehouse, Plymouth, the daughter of James Blumfield (1854-1879) and his wife, Selina Mary née Norgrove(1856-1940). Her father, a bombardier in the Royal Artillery, was invalided home from service in ...

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Greening, Edward Owen (1836–1923), co-operative movement activist and social reformer, was born on 17 August 1836 at Warrington, Lancashire. His father owned a small wire-drawing factory, and the family moved to Manchester in Edward's early years. There he attended the Quaker school in ...

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George Jacob Holyoake (1817–1906) by Walter Sickert, exh. New English Art Club 1892 © Estate of Walter Sickert / National Portrait Gallery, London

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Holyoake, George Jacob (1817–1906), freethinker and co-operator, was born at 1 Inge Street, Birmingham, on 13 April 1817, the second of thirteen children and eldest son of George Holyoake (1790–1853), a printer, and Catherine Groves (1792–1867), a horn-button maker. He received a basic education at a dame-school and ...

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Howarth, Charles (1814–1868), co-operative movement activist, was born on 9 February 1814 in Rochdale, Lancashire, the son of George Howarth and his wife, Susan (née Bamford). Little is known of Howarth's early life and education, but while in his teens he was drawn to socialism and influenced by the ideas of ...