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Anstie, John (1743–1830), clothier, was born on 7 September 1743 in Devizes, the eldest son of John Anstie (1698–1779), grocer and snuff maker, and his third wife, Mary (née Sharpe). He was baptized at Devizes Baptist Church, and later became a prominent member of the congregation. On 4 April 1780 he married ...

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Arthur, James (1819–1885), clothing retailer and manufacturer, was born on 6 March 1819 in Arthurlie, near Paisley, Renfrewshire, one of the two sons of Matthew Arthur (b. 1795), a bleachworks proprietor near Neilston, Renfrewshire, and his wife, Elizabeth, née Fraser. In 1837, after serving a brief apprenticeship in a draper's shop in ...

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Ashe, John (1597–1659), clothier and parliamentarian activist, was born in Westcombe, Somerset, the eldest son of James Ashe (d. 1646), clothier, and his wife, Grace Pitt, daughter of Richard Pitt of Weymouth. He was baptized at Batcombe, in the same county, on 27 October 1597. He married ...

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Blundell, Peter (c. 1520–1601), clothier and philanthropist, was born in Tiverton, Devon, of humble parentage. As a boy he saw the little community freed from the dominance of the Courtenay earls of Devon, and he lived to see it, untrammelled by either civic or industrial regulation, and somewhat encouraged by the protestant ethic, enter a period of considerable growth and prosperity based on the manufacture of kerseys, the woollen cloths in which the town and its immediate hinterland specialized. Whether the young ...

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Thomas Burberry (1835–1926) by unknown photographer Burberry Heritage Archive

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Burberry, Thomas (1835–1926), men's outfitter, was born on 27 August 1835 at Brockham Green, near Dorking, Surrey, the son of Thomas Burberry, farmer and nonconformist. Following an elementary education at Brockham Green village school, Burberry was apprenticed to a local draper's shop before opening his own outfitting business in 1856 in ...

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Burton, Sir Montague Maurice [formerly Meshe David Osinsky] (1885–1952), clothing manufacturer and retailer, was born on 15 August 1885 in the town of Kurkel, Kovno province, Russia (now Lithuania), the only son of Chaim Judah Osinsky (b. 1825), bookseller, and his wife, ...

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Sir Montague Maurice Burton (1885–1952) by unknown photographer © reserved; Manchester University Press; photograph National Portrait Gallery, London

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William Stephens Clark (1839–1925) by William Strang, 1912 Clarks International

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Clark, William Stephens (1839–1925), shoe manufacturer and retailer, was born on 22 February 1839 at Street in Somerset, the third of fourteen children of James C. Clark (1811–1906), rug and shoe manufacturer of Street, and Eleanor, née Stephens (1812–1879), of Bridport. He was educated at ...

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Colman, Cecil (1878–1954), shoe manufacturer and retailer, was born on 30 May 1878 in Bournemouth, one of nine children of the Revd Robert Colman, Baptist minister, and his wife, Sophia (née Allen). His father was the son of a partner in the mustard firm of ...

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Edgar, William (1790/91–1869), haberdasher, was born at Kirk St Andrew, Cumberland, the son of a farmer. Nothing is known of his schooling, but it was said that Edgar came to London where he had a stall in St James's market, Westminster, under which he used to sleep at night. He then joined forces with ...

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Fella, Thomas (bap. 1556, d. 1639), draper and calligrapher, was born at Bramfield, 2 miles south of Halesworth, Suffolk, and baptized at St Andrew's Church, Bramfield, on 8 November 1556. He was the son, and one of the five surviving children, of Robert Fella (...

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Fludyer, Sir Samuel, first baronet (1704/5–1768), clothier and merchant, was born in 1704, or possibly in 1705, the first son of Samuel Fludyer and Elizabeth de Monsallier, his wife. The elder Fludyer was a Somerset clothier who had moved his business from Frome...

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Goodchild, John (1697–1756), linen draper and philanthropic society administrator, was born early in the year 1697. Nothing is recorded of his parents but he had a brother Thomas who was a purveyor of dairy produce to the royal household. John Goodchild was described as a gentleman of the parish of ...

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Hepworth, Joseph (1834–1911), clothing manufacturer and retailer, was born on 12 May 1834 at Lindley, Huddersfield, the son of George Hepworth, shoemaker. He left school and entered the textile trade at the age of ten, working at Joseph Walker's woollen mill in Lindley...

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Hutton, Sibilla (d. 1808), milliner and shopkeeper, was the daughter of the Revd William Hutton, minister of the Secession church at Dalkeith, Edinburghshire, and Sibilla Tunnock, daughter of William Tunnock, an Edinburgh brewer; they married on 7 November 1742. Sibilla was well known as a milliner in ...

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Jones, Sir (David) Fletcher (1895–1977), clothing manufacturer and retailer, was born on 14 August 1895 at Bendigo, Victoria, Australia, the fifth child of Samuel Henry Jones, a blacksmith from Cornwall, and his Australian-born wife, Mahala, née Johns (d. 1897). Samuel remarried and had a second family. ...

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Learmonth, Christian (bap. 1718, d. 1762), milliner and shopkeeper, was baptized at Bo'ness, Linlithgowshire, on 21 October 1718, the daughter of John Learmonth, schoolmaster and postmaster at Bo'ness, and of his first wife, Christian Livingston (d. in or before 1726), third daughter of ...

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Macaulay [née Young], Carola (b. 1682), milliner and shopkeeper, was born on 19 February 1682 at Kippen, Stirlingshire, one of three children of the Revd Robert Young, minister at Kippen, and Margaret MacFarlane. She is a good example of an eighteenth-century woman from a professional family background who, even after her marriage, continued in business. She had no inherited right to trade but was allowed to do so on payment of an annual due to the ...