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John Adams (1735–1826) by Gilbert Stuart, c. 1800–15 Gift of Mrs. Robert Homans, Photograph © 2004 Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington

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Adams, John (1735–1826), president of the United States of America, was born on 19 October 1735, in the north parish (in 1792 named Quincy) of Braintree, Suffolk county, Massachusetts, the eldest child of ‘Deacon’ John Adams (1692–1761), a local farmer, shoemaker, and office-holder, and his wife, ...

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Margaret Ashton (1856–1937) by Henry Lamb Manchester City Art Galleries / Estate of Henry Lamb

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Ashton, Margaret (1856–1937), local politician and philanthropist, was born on 19 January 1856 at Ashfield, Wilmslow Road, in Withington, Manchester, the third of the six daughters and three sons of Thomas Ashton (1818–1898), a wealthy cotton manufacturer, and his wife, Elizabeth (1831–1914), daughter of ...

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Maker: John Cochran

Joseph Barker (1806–1875) by John Cochran, pubd 1880 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Barker, Joseph (1806–1875), Methodist minister and politico-religious controversialist, was born on 11 May 1806 at Bramley, near Leeds. His ancestors, originally of Keighley, had been settled in this area for several generations as farmers and manufacturers. The identity of his parents has not been discovered, though it is known that his father was employed in woollen manufacture and served for some time in the militia, and that ...

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Barmby, (John) Goodwyn (1820–1881), Chartist and socialist, was born at Yoxford in Suffolk and was baptized on 12 November 1820. His father, John, a solicitor, married to Julia, died when he was fourteen years old. Goodwyn—he never used his first Christian name—had no formal school education but read widely. He eschewed the professions and followed a career of social and political radicalism, reputedly addressing small audiences of agricultural labourers when aged sixteen....

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Baynes, John (1758–1787), lawyer and political reformer, was born in April 1758 (probably on the 6th) at Middleham in Yorkshire, the son of William Baynes of Middleham, who later moved to Embsay Kirk in Craven. After attending school at Bradford under Mr Butler...

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Caroline Ashurst Biggs (1840–1889) by Elizabeth S. Guinness, 1897 (after unknown photographer, c. 1875) The Mistress and Fellows, Girton College, Cambridge

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Biggs, Caroline Ashurst (1840–1889), novelist and campaigner for women's suffrage, was born in St Margaret's, Leicester, on 23 August 1840, the second daughter of Matilda Ashurst Biggs (1816/17–1866) and Joseph Biggs (1809–1895) [see under Biggs, John (1801-1871)], hosiery manufacturer, of Leicester...

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Biggs, John (1801–1871), hosier and political reformer, was born at Leicester, first of the seven children of John Biggs (1774–1827), hosier, and his wife, Elizabeth, née Heggs (1780–1862), of Arnesby, Leicestershire. By the time his father died in 1827 the firm of John Biggs & Sons...

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Biggs, Matilda Ashurst (1816/17–1866), campaigner for women's rights and supporter of Italian independence, was born in Muswell Hill, Middlesex, the second daughter of William Henry Ashurst (d. 1855) and his wife, Elizabeth Ann Brown (d. 1854), of Muswell Hill, Middlesex. Elizabeth Ann Ashurst (known as Eliza)...

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Birch, Sir Joseph, first baronet (1755–1833), politician, was born on 18 June 1755, the first son of Thomas Birch (d. 1782), a merchant at Liverpool. Like his father Birch was a merchant and had diverse commercial interests, ranging from shipowning and brewing to landholding in ...

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Booth, James (1796/7–1880), civil servant, was the youngest of the four sons and two daughters of Thomas Booth (1749–1832), a prosperous merchant of Toxteth Lodge, Liverpool, and his wife, Esther Noble (d. 1826). Henry Booth, the railway manager, was his elder brother. The family were Unitarians and prominent in the reform movement in ...

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Bowring [née Castle], Deborah, Lady Bowring (1816–1902), local activist, was born on 30 July 1816, one of the fourteen children of Thomas Castle of Clifton and his wife, Mary. Her family were Unitarians, and she was brought up in the Bristol circle which included ...

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Bowring, Sir John (1792–1872), politician, diplomatist, and writer, was born on 17 October 1792 at Larkbeare (also known as Great Larkbeare), Holloway Street, Exeter, Devon, the eldest son and second of the nine children of Charles Bowring (1769–1856), a wool merchant, and his wife, ...