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John Couch Adams (1819–1892) by Sir Hubert von Herkomer, 1888 Pembroke College, Cambridge

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Adams, John Couch (1819–1892), astronomer, was born on 5 June 1819 at Lidcot, a farm near Launceston, Cornwall, the eldest of the seven children of Thomas Adams (1788–1859), a poor tenant farmer, and his wife, Tabitha Knill Grylls (1796–1866), a farmer's daughter who had received some education from her uncle ...

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Aggrey, James Emman Kwegyir (1875–1927), pastor and educationist, was born at Anomabu, Gold Coast, on 18 October 1875, the son of Kodwo Kwegyir Aggrey, a gold assayer and official at the court of the Fanti chiefdom of Anomabu, and his wife, Abena Andua...

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Ainsworth, Geoffrey Clough (1905–1998), mycologist, was born at 26 South Street, Handsworth, Birmingham, on 9 October 1905, the only son of Percy Clough Ainsworth, Wesleyan minister, and his wife, Gertrude (née Fisk). Like many ministers' families they moved around the country, and ...

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Allan, Thomas (fl. 1800–1840), lawyer and political adviser to the Wesleyan Methodists, was one of the most important laymen of his generation, but his biographical details remain unknown. When in 1799–1800 parliamentary attempts were made to exclude itinerant preaching and Sunday schools from the protection of the ...

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Allen, (Herbert) Stanley (1873–1954), physicist, was born at Turf Street, Bodmin, Cornwall, on 29 December 1873, the fifth son of Richard Allen, Wesleyan minister in Bodmin, and his wife, Emma Johnson. In 1886 he went to Kingswood School, Bath, where he gained several scholarships and became senior prefect. In 1893 he entered ...

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Henry Allon (1818–1892) by Lock & Whitfield, pubd 1879 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Allon, Henry (1818–1892), Congregational minister and leader, was born at Welton, near Hull, on 13 October 1818, the son of William Allon (d. 1878), a builder and later estate steward, and Mary Allon. He followed his father in apprenticeship to a builder in ...

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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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See Armstrong, Joseph

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Armstrong, Joseph (1816–1877), locomotive engineer, was born on 21 September 1816 at Bewcastle, Cumberland, the son of Thomas Armstrong (1785–1844), yeoman and later farm bailiff, and his wife. Joseph and his three older brothers went with their parents in 1817 to Canada where his brother ...

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Arthur, William (1819–1901), missionary, was born on 3 February 1819 at Glendun, Antrim, the son of James Arthur, whose ancestors came from counties Limerick and Clare, and his wife, Margaret Kennedy, who was of Scottish and Ulster descent. He grew up in Kells, Antrim...

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Joseph Ashby (1859–1919) by unknown photographer © reserved

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Ashby, Joseph (1859–1919), farmer and social reformer, was born in Tysoe in Warwickshire on 13 June 1859, the son of an unmarried servant, Elizabeth Ashby. His father was the husband of Elizabeth's mistress, yet, common as such births were, Ashby's was in some ways different. His father provided for him but his mother, a fiercely independent woman, refused to use the money. More importantly his mother's branch of the ...

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W. B. Lowther

revised by Tim Macquiban

Atherton, William (1775–1850), Wesleyan Methodist minister, was born at Lamberhead Green, near Wigan, in Lancashire. In 1797 he entered the Wesleyan ministry and was assigned to the Grimsby circuit. His fresh and original style of preaching marked him as one of the more famous preachers of ...

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Bailey, Sir John [Jack] (1898–1969), politician and co-operative movement activist, was born on 1 January 1898 in Miskin, Mountain Ash, Glamorgan, one of six children of John Bailey, miner, and his wife, Sarah Ann. Bailey attended Gwyn Ivor School, Miskin, until he was twelve. Working initially in a cobbler's shop, he entered the mines as a collier's boy. An accident in 1915 forced him to take a surface job, and in 1917 he enlisted in the ...

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Bainbridge, Emerson Muschamp (1817–1892), department store owner, was born on 25 August 1817 in Eastgate, Weardale, co. Durham, the youngest child in the family of two sons and five daughters of Cuthbert Bainbridge (1772–1850), a farmer, and his wife, Mary Muschamp (1774–1850), the youngest child of ...

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Alfred Baldwin (1841–1908) by Sir Benjamin Stone, 1897 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Baldwin, Alfred (1841–1908), industrialist and politician, was born at Stourport, Worcestershire, on 4 June 1841, the youngest of twelve children of George Pearce Baldwin (1789–1840), a small-scale iron founder and businessman, and his second wife, Sarah Chalkley Stanley (1801–1874), the eldest daughter of the ...

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Ball, Hannah (1734–1792), follower of Wesleyan Methodism and diarist, was born on 13 March 1734, probably in Buckinghamshire. Nothing is known of her family other than that she was one of a family of twelve children and that her mother died in 1779, aged seventy-nine. At the age of nine she went to live with an uncle in ...