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Clarke, John Smith (1885–1959), politician, lion-tamer, and newspaper editor, was born on 4 February 1885 at 66 Albert Street, Jarrow, co. Durham, the thirteenth child of John Smith Clarke, circus entertainer, and his wife, Sally Ann Chiswell, who came from Gypsy stock. Only seven of the children survived childhood, and poverty stalked the family. ...

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Patrick Collins (1859–1943) by unknown photographer with the permission of the National Fairground Archive, the University of Sheffield

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Collins, Patrick (1859–1943), showman and politician, was born on 12 May 1859 at 58 Broughton, Chester, the son of John Collins, agricultural labourer (later, general dealer), and his wife, Annoia McDermott. One of five children, he attended St Wedburgh's School in Chester, but left at the age of ten and travelled ...