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Beatty, Sir (Alfred) Chester (1875–1968), mining engineer and art collector, was born on 7 February 1875 in New York city, the youngest of the three sons of John Cuming Beatty, banker, of New York city, and his wife, Hetty, daughter of William Gedney Bull...

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Duncan, John (1794–1881), hand-loom weaver and botanist, was born on 19 December 1794 at Stonehaven, Kincardineshire, the illegitimate son of John Duncan, weaver and soldier, from Drumlithie, and Ann Caird (c.1773–c.1830), also of Drumlithie, who decided to support herself and her child by weaving stockings and harvesting at nearby ...

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John Duncan (1794–1881) by unknown engraver, c. 1865–6 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Gutteridge, Joseph (1816–1899), silk weaver and naturalist, was born on 23 March 1816 in Coventry, the eldest of the three sons of Joseph Gutteridge, a recruiting sergeant, and his first wife, Sarah Shaw. Educated from 1821 in two schools, run by a Quaker woman and Wesleyan preacher respectively, he then went to ...

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Hobson, Edward (1782–1830), botanist and weaver, was born on 23 May 1782 in Ancoats Lane, Manchester. When he was three he was taken in by an uncle in Ashton under Lyne following his father's death and the subsequent alcoholism of his mother, while a younger brother remained in ...

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Horsefield, John (1792–1854), botanist and weaver, was born on 18 July 1792, probably at Besses o' th' Barn, near Prestwich, Lancashire, the eldest son of Charles Horsefield (b. 1764). Born 'dead', according to his mother, he was restored to life by a medical attendant but remained a sickly child unable to tolerate the staple ...

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Martin, John (1783–1855), botanist and hand-loom weaver, was born on 17 November 1783 in Tyldesley, Lancashire, the son of a poor shopkeeper and farmer. He lived with his parents, of whom little is known, until about 1802, during which time he received some schooling and began weaving. When he was fifteen he became intensely religious, advocating voluntary poverty. None the less, when his father began losing property to creditors, ...

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Metcalf, John [called Blind Jack of Knaresborough] (1717–1810), road builder and surveyor, was born on 15 August 1717 at Knaresborough, of parents of modest means. He was sent to school at the age of four but two years later became blind after an attack of smallpox. Despite his blindness he became an accomplished rider, swimmer, and card player. He enjoyed a wager and was involved in cockfighting, horse-racing, and philandering. ...

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See Mond family

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Nissen, Peter Norman (1871–1930), mining engineer and inventor of the Nissen hut, was born on 6 August 1871 in New York, the second of the three children of Georg Hermann Nissen (1832–1913), a Norwegian mining engineer, and his wife, Annie Lavinia (1842–c...

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Nowell, John (1802–1867), weaver and bryologist, was born at Springs, near Todmorden, Yorkshire, the illegitimate son of William Midgley, smallholder and publican at Kebcote, and Miriam Nowell (c.1781–1852). He lived with his grandparents and, other than a short attendance at Sunday school, received no education until, aged twenty, he joined a grammar class held at ...

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Russell, William Morris [Bill] (1920–2006), engineer and designer, was born on 22 July 1920 at 73 Oxford Road, Islington, London, the youngest in the family of two sons and two daughters of Albert Edward Russell, printer, and his wife, Agnes Mary, née Carrick (...

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Six, James (1730–1793), silk weaver and natural philosopher, was born in Canterbury, Kent, on 30 January 1730, and baptized there in the Walloon church on 26 February. He was the son of James Six (1695–1743) and his wife, Ester, daughter of Louis Ducaufour...

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Stewart, James Hope (1789–1856), factor and natural history illustrator, was born at Hillside, Dryfesdale, Dumfriesshire, on 2 August 1789, the son of William Stewart of Hillhead (1743/4–1822) and Margaret Graham (c.1767/8–1853), daughter of George Graham of Shaw. About 1816 Stewart married ...

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George Stronach

Reviser Roger Hutchins

Wilson, Alexander (1714–1786), astronomer and type founder, son of Patrick Wilson, town clerk of St Andrews, and Clara Fairfoul, his wife, was born at St Andrews, Fife. His father died when he was very young. He studied at the university there, and graduated MA on 8 May 1733. He was then apprenticed to a surgeon and apothecary, first in ...

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Worboys, Sir Walter John (1900–1969), chemical industrialist and design promoter, was born at Cottesloe, Western Australia, on 22 February 1900, the eldest child of Walter Worboys, engineer, and his wife, Amanda Urquhart. He was educated at Scotch College and the University of Western Australia...