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Aske, Robert (1619–1689), silk merchant and benefactor, was born on 24 February 1619, the son of Robert Aske of the parish of St Mary Woolchurch, London, and his second wife, Margery Middleton, the widowed daughter of John Hill of Wendover, whom he married in 1611. The two ...

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Beveridge, Erskine (1851–1920), textile manufacturer and antiquary, was born on 27 December 1851 at Priory House, Dunfermline, Fife, the eldest of the four children of Erskine Beveridge (1803–1864) and his second wife, Maria Elizabeth Wilson (1816–1873). He was educated at the Free Abbey School, Dunfermline...

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Campbell, Henry James (1813–1889), textile merchant and school founder, was born in Newtownards, co. Down, the youngest of four children of Henry Campbell (c.1778–1814) and his wife, Elizabeth, née Campbell (1770–1852), who may have been related before their marriage. Henry and his three older siblings (a brother and two sisters) were brought up in the ...

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Caplin, Roxey Ann [formerly Emily Roxey Caplin] (1793–1888), corset maker, writer, and lecturer on health, was born in Canada, the daughter of English settlers; Canadian Indians taught her canoeing and swimming as a child. Probably trained as a milliner, she married about 1835, and by 1839 was living in ...

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Collier [Collyer], Richard (1480x85?–1533), mercer and benefactor, was born at Horsham, Sussex. The identity of his parents is unknown. He was closely related to the Caryll family of the neighbouring parish of Warnham, but the precise nature of that kinship remains unclear....

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Cooke, John (d. 1528), mercer and benefactor, was born in Minsterworth, a few miles west of Gloucester, the son of Thomas and Alice Cooke. The loss of Gloucester's early civic records means that little can be said of his career there, except that he prospered greatly in the town. He served as sheriff—the equivalent of bailiff—in 1494 and 1498, and became an alderman in 1501, the year in which he was first chosen to be mayor; he was elected again in 1507, 1512, and 1519. In June of 1513 he was involved, as mayor, in a dispute over common rights with the abbot of ...

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Dunsford, Martin (1744–1807), serge maker and antiquary, was born on 2 February 1744 in Tiverton, Devon, the eldest son of Martin Dunsford (1711–1763), serge maker, and his wife, Anne Stone (d. 1798). He was taught at home by his father until he was eight, when he was sent to ...

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Ellison, Thomas (1833–1904), historian and statistician of the cotton trade, was born in Liverpool, possibly the son of Joseph Ellison, bookkeeper. He left school at sixteen and was apprenticed to Maurice Williams (1825–1878), who had himself just begun business as a cotton broker. ...

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Felkin, William (1795–1874), manufacturer and historian of the lace and hosiery industries, was born on 24 April 1795 in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, the son of William Felkin (1772–1824), a framework knitter who became a Baptist minister, and his wife, Sarah, née Harrison. The family moved to ...

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Pallis, Alexander (1850–1935), cotton merchant and translator, was born Alexandros Alexandrou Palles on 15 March 1850 at Piraeus, Greece, the youngest child in the family of three sons and one daughter of Alexandros Anastasiou Pales, later Palles (1808/9–1849/50), magistrate, descended from Epirot landowners, and his wife, ...

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Pounds, John (1766–1839), cobbler and ragged-school teacher, was born in St Mary Street, Portsmouth, on 17 June 1766, the son of a naval dockyard sawyer. With little education, Pounds was apprenticed at the age of twelve to a shipwright. The turning point in his life came in 1781 when he was permanently injured by a fall into a dry dock. Left permanently disabled, ...

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Roysse, John (1500/01–1571), mercer and benefactor, was born in either 1500 or 1501, possibly on 31 January, and brought up in Abingdon, Berkshire. Nothing is known for certain about his father and mother, but the family name is recorded in sixteenth-century sources in ...

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Whitley, Percival Nathan (1893–1956), cotton spinner and educationist, was born on 1 October 1893 at Brantwood, Stafford Road, Halifax, the eldest of the four children of John Henry (Harry) Whitley (1866–1935), cotton spinner and politician, and his first wife, Marguerita Virginia (Margaret; 1872–1925)...