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Abraham, William [pseud. Mabon] (1842–1922), trade unionist and politician, was born at Cwmafan, near Port Talbot, Glamorgan, on 14 June 1842, the fourth son of Thomas and Mary Abraham. His father, a coalminer and copper smelter, soon died, leaving his mother to raise a large family. ...

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William Abraham [Mabon] (1842–1922) by Sir Benjamin Stone, 1901 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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William Adamson (1863–1936) by Bassano, 1920 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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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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Allan, William (1813–1874), trade unionist, was born at Carrickfergus in Antrim, the son of a Scottish cotton-mill manager. His parents soon moved back to Scotland where at the age of twelve he began work as a cotton piecer, but then shifted to an engineering apprenticeship at ...

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Ammon, Charles George, Baron Ammon (1873–1960), trade unionist and politician, was born on 22 April 1873 into a poor working-class family in White Street, Southwark, London. He was the eldest child of Charles George Ammon (d. 1887), cutler and toolmaker, and Mary Kempley (1851–1900)...

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Joseph Arch (1826–1919) by Barraud, c. 1890 Getty Images – Barraud

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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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Ashton, Thomas (1844–1927), trade unionist, was born on 23 March 1844 at Openshaw, Manchester, the son of John Ashton, a miner, and his wife, Betty (née Ogden). He began work in the mines at the age of twelve and emerged rapidly as an organizer. He married in 1865, and had two sons and four daughters. In the same year he was elected secretary of the ...

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Ashton, Thomas (1841–1919), trade unionist, was born on 15 August 1841 at Lees Hall, Oldham, the son of William Ashton and his wife, Sally Mellor, both of whom were cotton workers. His parents were poor and, as his mother became seriously ill when he was still a baby, he spent much of his first five years with an aunt near ...

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Aucott, William (1830–1915), trade unionist, was born at Hinckley, Leicestershire, on 20 July 1830, the son of a barber who was a Chartist and a Methodist. He never went to school but he could read by the age of seven and thereafter educated himself '...

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Richard Bell (1859–1930) by Sir Benjamin Stone, 1903 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bell, Richard (1859–1930), trade union leader and politician, was born at Penderyn, Brecknockshire, on 29 November 1859, the son of Charles Bell, a quarryman, and his wife, Ann (née Thomas). As a young boy Bell was shocked by the death of his uncle, killed in a quarry accident while working alongside his father, who narrowly escaped injury in an attempt to rescue him. ...

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Bennett, Louise [Louie] (1870–1956), suffragist, trade unionist, and pacifist, was born in Temple Road, Temple Hill, near Dublin, the eldest of five daughters and five sons of an auctioneer and antiques valuer called Bennett and his wife, Susan Boulger, daughter of an army...

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Ernest Bevin (1881–1951) by Felix H. Man, 1939–40 © Estate of Felix H. Man / National Portrait Gallery, London

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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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Birtwistle, Thomas (1833–1912), trade unionist and factory inspector, was born at Great Harwood, Lancashire, on 16 October 1833, the son of Jonathan Birtwistle, a calico printer, and Ann Birtwistle, a hand-loom weaver. Put to the hand-loom at the age of six, he became a power-loom weaver when he was fourteen and married a fellow weaver, ...

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Margaret Grace Bondfield (1873–1953) by Bassano, 1922 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bondfield, Margaret Grace (1873–1953), trade unionist, campaigner for women's interests, and politician, was born on 17 March 1873 at Chard, Somerset, the tenth of eleven children and third of four daughters of William Bondfield (1814–1901), foreman laceworker, and his wife, Anne Taylor (1827?–1911)...

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Bowman, Alexander [formerly Patrick McKeown] (1854–1924), trade unionist and politician, was born on 16 March 1854, and baptized as a Roman Catholic, with the name Patrick McKeown. His father, William McKeown, or McKeon (1827–1865), was a Catholic farmer of Derry townland, Dromara, co. Down...