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Backhouse, Sir Edmund Trelawny, second baronet (1873–1944), Sinologist and fraudster, eldest of the four surviving sons of Jonathan Edmund Backhouse, first baronet (1849–1918), a banker, and Florence (1845–1902), youngest daughter of Sir John Salusbury Salusbury-Trelawny, was born on 20 October 1873 at The Rookery, Middleton Tyas, Yorkshire...

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Backhouse, Edward (1808–1879), Quaker minister and historical writer, was born at Darlington on 8 May 1808, the son of Edward and Mary Backhouse. He lived from his youth at Sunderland, where he was partner in the collieries and the bank with which his family had been connected for many years, although he took no active part in the business. He was fond of travel, a good amateur painter, and a student of natural history. He devoted himself chiefly to the promotion of philanthropic and religious causes. He was a generous supporter of various institutions in ...

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Backhouse, Margaret Ann (1887–1977), educationist and humanitarian activist, was born at The Grange, Hurworth, near Darlington, co. Durham, on 4 May 1887, the youngest but one of ten children of James Edward Backhouse (1845–1897) and his wife, Elizabeth Barclay Fowler (1849–1911). Her father was a partner in ...

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Baker, Beatrice May (1876–1973), headmistress and internationalist, was born at 2 High Street, Hereford on 4 May 1876, the third daughter and youngest child in the family of three daughters and a son of Edward Joseph Baker, a gentleman's tailor in Hereford, and his wife, ...

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Alexander Gordon

revised by K. D. Reynolds

Barclay, Robert (1833–1876), Quaker and ecclesiastical historian, was born on 4 August 1833 at Croydon. He was the younger son of John Barclay (1797–1838), a descendant of the Quaker apologist Robert Barclay, and himself an expert on the early literature of the Society of Friends...

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Bartlet, Benjamin (1714–1787), numismatist and topographer, was born on 1 September 1714 at Bradford, Yorkshire, the only son of Benjamin Bartlet (1678–1759), bookseller and apothecary, and his second wife, Elizabeth Green (1684–1751). The family were Quakers: his grandfather and father suffered the seizure of goods for absenting themselves from the parish church; and ...

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Beesley, Alfred (1799/1800–1847), antiquary, was born into a Quaker family, but subsequently left the Society of Friends. He was apprenticed to a watchmaker in Deddington, Oxford, but only served part of his time. Subsequently he devoted himself to literary and scientific pursuits. He was a keen astronomer and botanist, and collected scientific instruments. In 1834 ...

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Bellers, Fettiplace (b. 1687, d. in or before 1750), philosophical writer and playwright, the son of John Bellers (1654–1725) and Frances, née Fettiplace (d. 1717), was born on 23 August 1687 in the parish of St Andrew's, Holborn. His parents were Quakers, his father being the author of several tracts, largely on the employment of the poor and on prison reform, anticipating ...

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Bellows, John Thomas (1831–1902), printer, lexicographer, and archaeologist, born at Carthew House, Church Street, Liskeard, Cornwall, on 18 January 1831, was the elder of the two sons of William Lamb Bellows (1798–1877), schoolmaster, of Bere Regis, Dorset, and his wife, Hannah Stickland (1790–1874)...

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John Thomas Bellows (1831–1902) by H. W. Watson, 1891 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Benezet, Anthony [formerly Antoine] (1713–1784), educational reformer and abolitionist, was born on 31 January 1713 in St Quentin, Picardy, France. In 1715 his wealthy protestant parents, Jean Étienne Benezet (1683–1751) and Judith de la Méjenelle (1693–1765), fled to Rotterdam to escape religious persecution, bribing the border guard with a bag of gold. After three months the ...

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W. E. A. Axon

revised by Nilanjana Banerji

Bennis, George Geary (1790/1793–1866), librarian and author, was born in Corkamore, co. Limerick. After some years as a grocer in Limerick he settled for a time in Liverpool, and while there appears to have become a Quaker. His first work was The Principles of the one Faith Professed by All Christians...

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Birkbeck, George (1776–1841), physician and educationist, was born in Settle, Yorkshire, on 10 January 1776, the second son in the family of four sons and one daughter of William Birkbeck (1745–1805), a Quaker merchant, manufacturer, and banker, and his wife, Sarah (1750–1790), daughter of ...

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Thompson Cooper

revised by M. C. Curthoys

Bourn, Thomas (1771–1832), schoolteacher and educational writer, was born in Hackney, Middlesex, on 19 April 1771, and was educated at a private school in Well Street. He became a teacher at the school of the Revd S. Palmer until 1791 when he became a teacher of writing and geography in the private girls' schools run by ...

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Brady [née Hutchinson], Elizabeth (1803–1874), headmistress, was born on 28 March 1803 in Upper Street, Islington, London, the second of the three children of Jacob Hutchinson (1772–1837), grocer, and his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Barringer and his wife, Martha. Both her parents were Quakers, but her father was disowned by the ...

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Braithwaite, Richard Bevan (1900–1990), philosopher, was born on 15 January 1900 in Banbury, Oxfordshire, the eldest in the family of three sons and one daughter of William Charles Braithwaite, of Banbury, barrister, banker, and historian of Quakerism, and his wife, Janet, daughter of ...

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Carpenter, Emily Ann (1834–1933), college head, was born at Dobson Terrace, Newington, London, on 23 January 1835, the youngest of five children (three daughters and two sons) of Joseph Carpenter (1795-1878), auctioneer and estate agent, and his wife, Sarah née Hadland...

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Carter, Sir Charles Frederick (1919–2002), economist and university administrator, was born on 15 August 1919 at 277 Clifton Road, Rugby, Warwickshire, the youngest of three sons of Frederick William Carter (1870–1952), electrical engineer, and his wife, Edith Mildred, née Cramp, a Quaker from ...

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Cashmore, Hilda (1876–1943), university teacher and welfare worker, was born on 22 August 1876 at Norton House, Norton Malreward, Somerset, the fifth of a family of six sisters. Her father was Samuel Cashmore, a merchant, and her mother was Mary, formerly Edmunds. She early became interested in political and social issues, her father being a Liberal and a free-trader. The sisters discussed politics as children and were active in local election campaigns. After an education at home in ...

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Chorley, John Rutter (1806–1867), scholar of Spanish literature and poet, was born on 31 July 1806 at Blackley Hurst, near Billinge, Lancashire, the third of the four children of John Chorley (1771–1816), iron worker and lock maker, and his wife, Jane, née Wilkinson (1779–1851)...