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Praisegod Barbon (c. 1598–167980) by unknown engraver © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Barbon [Barebone], Praisegod (c. 1598–1679/80), lay preacher and politician, first appears in 1623, when he was made free of the Company of Leathersellers in London; having served an eight- or nine-year apprenticeship, he was probably then aged about twenty-five. At an unknown date, but probably by 1632, ...

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William Johnson Fox (1786–1864) by Eliza Florence Bridell, c. 1863 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Fox, William Johnson (1786–1864), preacher and politician, was born on 1 March 1786 at Uggeshall Farm, Wrentham, Suffolk, the eldest child of six sons and three daughters of Paul Fox (1753?–1812) and his wife, Mary. Paul Fox farmed a small property for his widowed mother, though he had prudently absented himself for a two-year stay in ...

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Charles James Simmons (1893–1975) by Elliott & Fry, 1949 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Simmons, Charles James [Jim] (1893–1975), politician and evangelical preacher, was born at 30 Brighton Road, Moseley, Birmingham, on 9 April 1893, the eldest son of James Henry Simmons (1867–1941), journeyman and later master painter, and his wife, Mary Jane, née Russell (1872–1958), a schoolteacher. His parents were Primitive Methodists, temperance advocates, and Liberals. His maternal grandfather, ...

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Smith, William (1756–1835), politician and dissenter, was born on 22 September 1756 at Clapham, the only son of Samuel Smith (1727–1798) and his wife, Martha Adams (d. 1759). His father was a large wholesale grocer in Cannon Street, and his mother came from an old and wealthy ...

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William Smith (1756–1835) by Henry Thomson, exh. RA 1814 Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery