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Carlile, Elizabeth Sharples (1803–1852), freethought lecturer and advocate of women's rights, was one of six children born to Ann and Richard Sharples, a counterpane manufacturer, in Bolton, Lancashire, probably late in 1803. The family was pious and prosperous, the children received a good education, and ...

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Cohen, Chapman (1868–1954), freethought writer and lecturer, was born in Leicester on 1 September 1868, the elder son of Enoch Cohen, a Jewish confectioner, and his wife, Deborah Barnett. His upbringing was more noted for the absence of Christianity than for any positive Jewish features. He attended a local elementary school but was otherwise self-educated. Although an avid reader, versed in ...

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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 ...