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Angus, Robert (1835/6–1923), coal- and ironmaster, was probably born at New Monkland, Lanarkshire, the eldest son of James Angus, a labourer and engine-keeper, and Margaret Young. His parents married in November 1835, and Angus may have been conceived, or even born, before the marriage. Educated at ...

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Charles Attwood (1791–1875) by unknown artist © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Attwood, Charles (1791–1875), ironmaster, was born on 25 January 1791 at Hawne House near Halesowen, the sixth of seven sons and eighth of ten surviving children of Matthias Attwood (1746–1836) and his wife, Ann (1752–1835), daughter of Thomas Adams of Cakemore near Halesowen...

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Bacon, Anthony (bap. 1717, d. 1786), merchant and ironmaster, the son of William Bacon and his wife, Elizabeth Richardson, was baptized at St Bees, Cumberland, on 24 January 1717. His father and grandfather Thomas were ships' captains in the coal trade between Whitehaven...

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Arthur H. Grant

revised by Iain F. Russell

Baird, James (1802–1876), ironmaster and philanthropist, was born at Kirkwood in Lanarkshire on 5 December 1802, the fourth son of Alexander Baird (d. 1833), farmer, and Jean, the daughter of James Moffat. He attended the Old Monkland parish school, and may have attended classes at ...

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Arthur Balfour, first Baron Riverdale (1873–1957) by Harold Knight, 1936 © reserved; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Balfour, Arthur, first Baron Riverdale (1873–1957), steel maker and industrialist, was, by his own account, born in London on 9 January 1873. For some years his parentage was a mystery. He went to Sheffield in 1882 as an ‘orphan’ with Mary Fraser (1847–1906)...

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See Balfour, Arthur, first Baron Riverdale

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Banner, Sir John Sutherland Harmood-, first baronet (1847–1927), accountant and steel maker, was born at Dingle Mount, Toxteth Park, Liverpool, on 8 September 1847, the second son of Harmood Walcot Banner (1814–1878), an accountant, and his wife, Margaret, née Sutherland. The family were prosperous members of the ...

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Beecroft [née Skirrow], Elizabeth [Betty] (1748–1812), iron manufacturer and butter seller, was born Elizabeth Skirrow, and had at least one brother. She married George Beecroft (1739–1820), a respected tenant farmer, and together they lived at Bramley in Yorkshire, close to Leeds, with ...

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Sir (Isaac) Lowthian Bell, first baronet (1816–1904) by Elliott & Fry, 1880 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bell, Sir (Isaac) Lowthian, first baronet (1816–1904), iron and steel manufacturer, was born at Newcastle upon Tyne on 15 February 1816, the eldest of four sons (out of seven children) of Thomas Bell (1774–1845), chemical and iron manufacturer, and his wife, Catherine, née...

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Sir Henry Bessemer (1813–1898) by London Stereoscopic Co. © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bessemer, Sir Henry (1813–1898), steel maker, was born on 19 January 1813 at Charlton, near Hitchin, Hertfordshire, the only son of Anthony and Elizabeth Bessemer (a surname said to have been of Huguenot origin). He had an elder sister. According to Henry Bessemer...

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G. C. Boase

revised by J. K. Almond

Bolckow, Henry William Ferdinand (1806–1878), ironmaster, was born at Sulten, Mecklenburg, Germany, on 8 December 1806, the son of Heinrich Bölckow, of Varchow, Mecklenburg, and his wife, Caroline Dussher. He had at least five sisters and a brother. About 1821 his parents placed him in a merchant's office at ...

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Matthew Boulton (1728–1809) by Carl Fredrik von Breda, 1792 [replica] Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery

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Boulton, Matthew (1728–1809), manufacturer and entrepreneur, was born on 14 September 1728 at New Hall Walk, Snow Hill, Birmingham, one of four children, three of whom survived to adulthood, of Matthew Boulton (d. 1759), toy manufacturer and merchant, and his wife, Christiana Piers (...

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Bragge, William (1823–1884), civil engineer and steel manufacturer, was born at Birmingham on 31 May 1823, the third son of Thomas Perry Bragge, a manufacturing jeweller. After some years of general tuition, Bragge studied practical engineering with two Birmingham firms, and in his leisure applied himself closely to the study of mechanics and mathematics. In 1845 he entered the office of a civil engineer, and soon after engaged in railway surveying. He acted first as assistant engineer and then as engineer-in-chief of part of the line from ...