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Arnold, Ethel Margaret (1864/5–1930), journalist, author, and lecturer on female suffrage, was the daughter of Thomas Arnold (1823–1900), teacher and English scholar, and his wife, Julia Sorell (1826–1888). Her grandfather was Thomas Arnold (1795–1842), headmaster of Rugby School, her uncle Matthew Arnold (1822–1888)...

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Carlile, Elizabeth Sharples (1803–1852), freethought lecturer and advocate of women's rights, was one of six children born to Ann and Richard Sharples, a counterpane manufacturer, in Bolton, Lancashire, probably late in 1803. The family was pious and prosperous, the children received a good education, and ...

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John Harris (c. 1666–1719) by Bernard (III) Lens, 1707 Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection

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Harris, John (c. 1666–1719), writer and lecturer on science, was reportedly the son of Edward Harris, or possibly Fitzharris (c.1648–1681), an army lieutenant. He entered Trinity College, Oxford, as a scholar in 1683, and graduated BA in 1686 and MA at ...

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Dionysius Lardner (1793–1859) by Alexander Craig, c. 1840 private collection; photograph © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Lardner, Dionysius (1793–1859), writer on science and public lecturer, was born on 3 April 1793 in Dublin, the son of William Lardner (d. 1808), a solicitor.

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Benjamin Martin (bap. 1705, d. 1782) by unknown engraver, pubd 1785 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Martin, Benjamin (bap. 1705, d. 1782), lecturer on science and maker of scientific instruments, was baptized at Worplesdon, Surrey, on 1 March 1705, the third son of John Martin (d. 1731) of Broadstreet, who farmed near Worplesdon, and his wife, Jane. Nothing is known about his childhood; it is presumed that he spent his youth working on the land, during which period he acquired (apparently through extensive reading) knowledge of a wide range of subjects. In his late twenties he established a school at ...

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Murphy, William (1834–1872), public lecturer, was born at Castletown-Conyers, co. Limerick, Ireland, on 1 August 1834, the eldest son of Michael Murphy, master of the national school at Castletown-Conyers. His family was originally Roman Catholic, but converted to the Church of Ireland during ...

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Richardson, George Fleming (1796–1848), geologist and itinerant lecturer, was born on 8 December 1796 in Lewes, Sussex, son of George Richardson (1763–1843), Brighton linen draper and lodging-house keeper and his wife, Martha, née Fleming. Probably educated at local schools, Richardson entered his father's businesses, but being an avid reader with a most retentive memory, he found time to master several European languages while so employed. His first publication was a volume of poems in 1825, the same year that he was involved in the founding of the ...

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(George William) Hudson Shaw (1859–1944) by unknown photographer private collection

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Shaw, (George William) Hudson (1859–1944), Church of England clergyman and public lecturer, was born on 6 August 1859 at 2 Spencer Villas, Francis Street, Potter Newton, Leeds, first child of Edward Walker Shaw (1824–1871), civil engineer, and Margaret Helen Hudson (1833–1913). Shaw's father died young, leaving the family in difficulties. When his mother, now remarried, emigrated to ...

Article

William Gee

revised by Frank A. J. L. James

Sturgeon, William (1783–1850), electrician and scientific lecturer, was born on 22 May 1783 at Whittington, Lancashire, near Kirkby Lonsdale, the only son of John Sturgeon, shoemaker, and his wife, Betsy Adcock (d. 1793), the daughter of a small shopkeeper. All accounts of his father, who had migrated from ...

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William Sturgeon (1783–1850) by unknown engraver © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Thelwall, John (1764–1834), political reformer and lecturer, was born on 27 July 1764 at Chandos Street, Covent Garden, the son of Joseph Thelwall (1731–1772), a silk mercer. He was a sickly child, suffering from asthma and a tendency to stammer. After his father's death his mother continued the silk business, and in 1777 ...

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John Thelwall (1764–1834) attrib. John Hazlitt, c. 1800–05 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Warltire, John (1725/6–1810), public lecturer, was born in Switzerland of unknown parentage. Nothing is known of his early life, but he probably spent an extended period at Palmyra in Syria. Indeed, M. H. Miller later recorded that Palmyra was among Warltire's 'favourite subjects, [owing to his] having lived many years among the Arabs' (...