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Blackaby, Frank Thomas (1921–2000), economist and peace campaigner, was born on 25 October 1921 at Milton under Wychwood, Gloucestershire, the second child and only son of the Revd Edgar Percival Blackaby (1883–1977) and his wife, Muriel Ruth Hawkins (1884–1977). His parents, both Baptists, met in ...

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John Chilembwe (c. 1870–1915) by unknown photographer [with members of his family] © reserved / London Library

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Chilembwe, John (c. 1870–1915), Baptist minister and anti-colonial rebel, was probably born at Sangano, Chiradzulu, in modern Malawi, of a Yao father (reportedly called Kaundama), and a Mang'anja or Cewa slave mother (reportedly called Nyangu). Very little is known of his early life. He acquired a basic knowledge of English from one of the earliest outposts of Scottish Presbyterian missionaries. In 1892 he became ‘cook boy’ to the recently arrived independent English missionary ...

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George Dawson (1821–1876) by Henry John Whitlock © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Dawson, George (1821–1876), preacher and political activist, was born at 36 Hunter Street, London, on 24 February 1821, the son of a radical Baptist schoolmaster, Jonathan Dawson, and his wife, Rachel Biggs. He was educated, and later became a pupil teacher and then classics master, at his father's school, where for a time ...

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Murch, Jerom (1807–1895), Unitarian minister and municipal activist, was born on 29 October 1807 in Honiton, Devon, the fourth of the seven children of William Murch (1767–1853), tinsmith and ironmonger, and his second wife, Ann, née Burnard (1775–1856), of Colyton. He had five other siblings from his father's first marriage....

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Pankhurst, Richard Marsden (1835/6–1898), barrister and political activist, was born in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, the second son and third of four children of Henry Francis Pankhurst (1808–1873), auctioneer, and his wife, Margaret, née Marsden (1803–1879). No exact date for his birth has been located, and census returns yield contradictory information about his age. About 1847 the family moved to ...

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Sir George Robert Parkin (1846–1922) by Walter Stoneman, 1920 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Parkin, Sir George Robert (1846–1922), educationist and imperialist, was born on 8 February 1846 on a farm near Salisbury, New Brunswick, Canada, the youngest of the thirteen children of John Parkin, a Yorkshire farmer who emigrated in 1817, and his wife, Elizabeth McLean...

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Smith, Ann (fl. 1682–1686), political activist, was a member of that small minority in seventeenth-century England of women who took an active part in radical politics. Her financial support was the principal factor making possible one rebellion in 1685, and it was an important factor in a second. Nothing is known of her before 1682, nor anything certain of how and why she became involved in politics. In 1682 she was middle-aged with at least one adult son, and married to a well-to-do ...