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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 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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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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Brown, Sir John (1816–1896), steel maker, was born on 6 December 1816 in Favell's Yard, Fargate, in Sheffield, the second son of Samuel Brown, a slater, and his wife, Anne. Though his education in a garret-school was modest, his family was able to provide the ...

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Jonathan Buttall (1752–1805) by Thomas Gainsborough, c. 1770 [The blue boy] courtesy of the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California

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Buttall, Jonathan (1752–1805), ironmonger, the possible subject of Thomas Gainsborough's painting The Blue Boy, was the eldest of the three sons of Jonathan Buttall (d. 1768), ironmonger, and Elizabeth, née Higgins (d. 1780). He was probably born at the family's house in ...

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Cammell, Charles (1810–1879), steelmaker, was born on 8 January 1810 in Sculcoates, Hull, the fourth son of George Cammell, a shipmaster with Scottish connections, and his wife, Hannah (d. 1825). A self-made man, he was apprenticed to a local ironmonger before moving to ...

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Copley, Lionel (d. 1675), ironmaster, was the younger son of William Copley of Wadworth (d. 1658), and Ann (d. 1645), daughter of Gervase Cressy of Birkin. His paternal great-grandfather, Sir William Copley, had acquired the Sprotborough estate in the West Riding of Yorkshire...

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Coster family (per. c. 1685–1764), copper smelters, came to prominence with John [ii] Coster (1647–1718). Born probably in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, he was the second of three sons of John [i] Coster (1615–1678), iron-forge manager or smelter in the forest. ...

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See Coster family