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Birch [formerly Catlin-Birch], Reginald (1914–1994), trade unionist and political activist, was born Reginald Catlin-Birch on 7 June 1914 at 4 Chichester Terrace, Kilburn, London, one of the five children of Charles Catlin-Birch (d. 1928), house painter and builder, and his wife, ...

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Reginald Birch (1914–1994) by Harrison © News International Newspapers Ltd

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Dash, Jack O'Brien (1907–1989), political activist and unofficial dockers' leader, was born on 23 April 1907 in Southwark, south London, the youngest of four sons of Joseph Thomas Dash, a stagehand, and his wife, Rose Gertrude Johns, an actor. According to Dash's own account, his upbringing was one of great material hardship. His mother died of tuberculosis when he was seven and his father, who then had an even greater struggle to support the family, also died of a lung complaint a few years later. After an elementary schooling, his skill at drawing led to a trial period with an engraving firm, but pressure to take home a better wage resulted in a series of menial jobs, starting in a ...

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Hannington, Walter [Wal] (1896–1966), trade union official and political activist, was born on 17 June 1896 at 22 Randolph Street, Kentish Town, London, the youngest of four sons and sixth of seven surviving children of Henry William Hannington, foreman bricklayer of Kentish Town...

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Harris, Richard (d. 1734), slave trader and lobbyist, is of obscure ancestry. He was in St Kitts in the West Indies in 1694, where he observed that French privateers, by intercepting provisions from British North America, caused Barbados planters 'to suffer much & their Negroes perish for want' (...

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Hyland [Highland], Samuel (fl. 1638–1663), distiller and political activist, was perhaps born in Sussex, where one of his sons later acquired an estate; further details of his birth and upbringing are unknown. By the late 1630s he was established in his trade in ...

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Jenks, Francis (bap. 1640, d. 1686), linen draper and whig activist, was the son of Herbert Jencks, esquire, of New Hall, Shropshire, and his wife, Elizabeth. He was baptized at Eaton under Heywood, Shropshire, on 5 November 1640. Apprenticed in 1658 to a member of the ...

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Lucraft, Benjamin (1809–1897), cabinet-maker and political activist, was born in or near Exeter, Devon, on 28 November 1809, the second son of the eleven children of Benjamin Lucraft and his wife, Mary. He worked as a ploughboy as a youth, and was indentured as an apprentice in husbandry, but also gained experience in cabinet-making, the family trade. He had established a cabinet-making workshop in ...

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See Price, Peter

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James Reid (1932–2010) by David Reed, 1971 © David Reed / National Portrait Gallery, London

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Reid, James [Jimmy] (1932–2010), trade unionist, political activist, and journalist, was born at 56 Whitefield Road, Govan, Glasgow, on 9 July 1932, the younger son and second youngest of the seven children of Leo Reid, casual labourer, and his wife, Isabella, née McLean...

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Rhodes, Cecil John (1853–1902), imperialist, colonial politician, and mining entrepreneur, was born at Bishop's Stortford in Hertfordshire on 5 July 1853. He was the fifth son of Francis William Rhodes (1807–1878), vicar of that parish from 1849 to 1876, and his second wife, ...

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Cecil John Rhodes (1853–1902) by Bassano © National Portrait Gallery, London

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See Richardson [née Atkins], Anna

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Stephen, Jessie (1893–1979), suffragette and labour activist, was born on 19 April 1893 in Marylebone, London, the eldest of eleven children of Alexander Stephen, tailor, and his wife, Jane Miller. The family lived in Edinburgh for six years before moving to Dunfermline, and after 1901 resided permanently in ...

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E. I. Carlyle

revised by Anita McConnell

Vaughan, William (1752–1850), promoter of the London docks, was born in London on 22 September 1752, the second son of Samuel Vaughan (1720–1802), a London merchant, and his wife, Sarah (1727–1809), daughter of Benjamin Hallowell of Boston, Massachusetts. He received a good education, first at ...

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Younger, Sir William McEwan, of Fountainbridge, baronet (1905–1992), brewer and political activist, was born at Ravenswood, Melrose, Roxburghshire, on 6 September 1905, the second son in a family of two sons and one daughter of William Younger (1857–1925), brewer, of Ravenswood, Melrose, and his wife, ...