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Atkinson, Mabel (1876–1958), feminist and socialist, was born on 22 May 1876 at Ridley Mill, Broomley, near Stocksfield, in rural Northumberland. She was the daughter of John Boland Atkinson, inspector of mines, and his wife, Jane, née Elliott (b. 1853), feminist and militant suffragette; she had four brothers and one sister. Her parents were, as she later said, progressive and sympathetic on female education and employment. As a young woman, however, she chafed against restrictive middle-class Victorian behaviour and dress; she considered the bicycle '...

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Deroin, Jeanne (1805–1894), suffragist and socialist, was born in Paris on 31 December 1805. A seamstress with little formal schooling, in 1831 she was introduced to the Saint-Simonian sect by her future husband, Antoine Ulysse Desroches, the bursar of an old people's home. All acolytes were required to sign a statement of their beliefs and most wrote a fairly standard single sentence. ...

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Katharine St John Bruce Glasier (1867–1950) by unknown photographer © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Glasier, Katharine St John Bruce [née Katharine St John Conway] (1867–1950), socialist and politician, was born on 25 September 1867 in Stoke Newington, London. She was the second of seven children of Samuel Conway, a Congregationalist minister based at Ongar, Essex, and his wife, ...

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Grant, Ted [real name Isaac Blank] (1913–2006), political activist, was born on 9 July 1913 in Germiston, South Africa, the son of Max Blank, a Russian Jewish immigrant, and his French wife. His parents divorced while he was still young, and his mother took in lodgers, including ...

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Henry Mayers Hyndman (1842–1921) by George Charles Beresford, 1919 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Hyndman, Henry Mayers (1842–1921), socialist leader, was born on 7 March 1842 at 7 Hyde Park Square, London, the eldest son of John Beckles Hyndman (1812–1874), a West India merchant and benefactor of east London churches, and his wife, Caroline, daughter of Henry Adams Mayers...

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Lanchester, Edith (1871–1966), socialist and feminist, was born at 1 St John's Terrace, Hove, Sussex, on 28 July 1871, the fifth child in the family of eight children of Henry Jones Lanchester (1834–1914), an architect, and his wife, Octavia Ward (1834–1916). Her brother ...

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Lieberman, Aaron Samuel (1849?–1880), socialist activist, was probably born in 1849 in Lunna in Grodno province, then part of the Russian empire, son of Eliezer Dov Lieberman, a scholar of the Jewish enlightenment (haskalah). The family moved to Białystok and thence to ...

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Lowerison, Bellerby [Harry] (1863–1935), socialist and schoolmaster, was born on 13 July 1863 in Great Lumley, co. Durham, son of George Lowerson, a coalminer, and his wife, Dorothy Richardson. Very little is known about his early life and some basic facts are unclear. The family's name on his birth certificate is ...

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Macauley, Elizabeth Wright (1785?–1837), actress and socialist, was born in York, probably in 1785. Her father, a poor man, died when she was only two, leaving his family destitute. According to her sketchy autobiographical memoirs, Macauley's first career was as an actress. She began by performing in barns in ...

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Maker: unknown photographer

John Maclean (1879–1923) by unknown photographer, 1919 [David Kirkwood (1872–1955) [far left] and [centre] at a workers' demonstration in Glasgow] Glasgow Museums People's Palace

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Maclean, John (1879–1923), revolutionary socialist, was born in Pollokshaws, Glasgow, on 14 August 1879, the sixth child of Daniel Maclean, a potter, and his wife, Annie McPhee, a weaver, who were members of the strictly sabbatarian Original Secessionist church. Maclean was eight years old when his father died, and he was brought up by his mother and maternal grandmother. Despite financial difficulties, he entered the ...

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Martin [née Bullock], Emma (1811/12–1851), socialist and freethinker, was born in Bristol, the fourth child of William Bullock, a cooper, and his wife, Hannah Jones, whose family owned a tea-dealing business in the city. Emma's father died in her infancy, and a year later her mother married her second husband, ...

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William Morris (1834–1896) by George Frederic Watts, 1870 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Morris, William (1834–1896), designer, author, and visionary socialist, was born at Elm House, Walthamstow, on 24 March 1834, eldest surviving son and fourth of the ten children of William Morris (1797–1847), financier in the City of London, and his wife, Emma (1805–1894), daughter of ...

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Newbold [née Neilson], Marjory (1883–1926), socialist and communist, was born on 29 May 1883 at Winton Terrace, Beith, Ayrshire, the second of four children of Alexander Neilson, cabinet-maker, and his wife, Mary Steven Fettes. Marjory Neilson was brought up in a comfortable upper working-class household. Her father had sufficient income to support her into higher education after an excellent career at ...

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Reeves [née Robison], Magdalen Stuart [known as Maud Pember Reeves] (1865–1953), suffragist and socialist, was born on 24 December 1865 at Mudgee, New South Wales, the third of ten children of William Smoult Robison, a bank manager, and his wife, Mary...

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(Julia Sarah) Anne Cobden- Sanderson (1853–1926) by unknown photographer © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Sanderson, (Julia Sarah) Anne Cobden- (1853–1926), socialist and suffragette, was born on 26 March 1853 at Westbourne Terrace, London, the fifth of the six children of Richard Cobden (1804–1865), radical politician and statesman, and his wife, Catherine Anne (1815–1877), daughter of Hugh Williams...