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Baverstock, James B. (1741–1815), brewer and radical, was born on 10 June 1741 at Alton, Hampshire, the son of Thomas Baverstock (d. 1781), innholder and brewer. Nothing is known of Baverstock's upbringing, but in 1763 he 'joined his father at Alton, who was at that time engaged in the [...

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Boston, John (d. 1804), radical and merchant in Australia, was born in Birmingham, but nothing further is known of his origins. As a young man he became a disciple of Thomas Paine and a supporter of the London Corresponding Society. At Birmingham he was associated with ...

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Doherty, John (1797/8–1854), trade unionist and political radical, was born in Ireland but his exact date of birth is not certain. He came from a labouring family and he himself began work in the local cotton industry at the age of ten. In 1816 he joined the increasing flow of Irish migrants to ...

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Fenton, Richard (1761/2–1815), gun maker and radical, was the son of Richard Fenton, husbandman, of Wigan, Lancashire. Details of his birth and upbringing are unknown, but it appears that by 1780 Fenton had moved to London, where he found employment as a gun maker. On 20 February 1786 at ...

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Gast, John (c. 1772–1837), trade unionist and radical, was born in Bristol, the son of Robert Gast, a seller of milk. He had at least two brothers, and at some time married Elizabeth, who outlived him, but nothing else is known of his family. Soon after finishing his apprenticeship he left ...

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Helliker [Hilliker], Thomas [called the Trowbridge Martyr] (1783–1803), woollen-cloth worker and machine breaker, was the sixth child of Thomas Hilliker (1745–1819) and Elizabeth Ebsworth (1749–1831); he was born at Horningsham, Wiltshire, and baptized there on 17 May 1783. Like his elder brothers ...

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Sir James Hope of Hopetoun, appointed Lord Hopetoun under the protectorate (1614–1661) by unknown artist in the collection of the Hopetoun House Preservation Trust; photograph courtesy the Scottish National Portrait Gallery

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Hope, Sir James, of Hopetoun, appointed Lord Hopetoun under the protectorate (1614–1661), industrialist and political radical, was born on 4 July 1614, the youngest of six sons (of whom four survived to adulthood) of Sir Thomas Hope of Craighall, lord advocate (1573–1646), and ...

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Leslie, Alexander (fl. 1796–1798), radical bookseller and publisher, was born in Jedburgh, moving to Edinburgh some time before 1796. Before becoming Bookseller to the Rabble, as he liked to describe himself, he was apprenticed in Edinburgh, possibly to one Andrew Leslie, shoemaker. Leslie...

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Mealmaker, George (1768–1808), weaver and radical, was born on 10 February 1768, the son of John Mealmaker, weaver, of the Seagate, Dundee, and Alison Auchinleck. Of Mealmaker's early life and education there is no direct information. Similarly, it is possible only to speculate about the sources of his political radicalism. A description of him from 1793 as 'a common unlettered weaver' reflects more the patronizing assumptions of the writer than reality. ...

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Rushton, Benjamin (1785–1853), hand-loom weaver and radical agitator, was born at Dewsbury in Yorkshire, but later moved to Halifax, where he found employment as a fancy-worsted weaver, residing at Friendly Fold in the village of Ovenden. He married Mary Helliwell (b. 1786)...

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Spence, Thomas (1750–1814), radical and bookseller, was born on the Quayside of Newcastle upon Tyne on 21 June 1750. His father, Jeremiah Spence, had arrived in Newcastle from Aberdeen about 1739, while his mother, Margaret Flet, his father's second wife, came from the ...

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Towle, James (1780–1816), stocking knitter and machine breaker, was a native of Basford, Nottingham. Almost nothing is known about his private life except that he had a wife and four children. Luddism—attacking machines in the name of ‘King Ludd’—had broken out in the cloth-finishing trade of the ...

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Wallis, William (fl. 1824–1830), silk weaver and radical leader, is a figure about whom little is known except his involvement in radical artisan politics in Spitalfields in London. He was not by origin from Spitalfields but by the mid-1820s was a leading figure in the campaigns and organizations of the silk weavers there....

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See Baird, John