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Abney, Sir Thomas (1639/40–1722), merchant and mayor of London, was born at Willesley, Derbyshire, the youngest of four sons of James Abney, landowner, and Jane Mainwaring (d. after 1640). The Abney family had owned land at Willesley for several centuries, and James Abney...

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Askwith, George Ranken, Baron Askwith (1861–1942), industrial arbitrator and civil servant, was born at Waltham Abbey, Essex, on 17 February 1861, the second but eldest surviving son of William Harrison Askwith (1811–1897), colonel (later general) in the Royal Artillery, and formerly superintendent of the royal gunpowder factories at ...

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George Ranken Askwith, Baron Askwith (1861–1942) by James Russell & Sons © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Aubrey, Andrew (d. 1356), merchant and mayor of London, was the son of Roger and Denise Aubrey. It is likely that he was born in London since he did not mention a provincial parish in his will. He became the factor of Thomas Enfield...

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Baker, Robert (1803–1880), surgeon and factory inspector, was born on 15 August 1803 in York, the second son of John Baker, druggist, of High Ousegate, York, and his wife, Hannah. His career shows many parallels with that of the better-known Charles Turner Thackrah...

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Barnes, Sir Denis Charles (1914–1992), civil servant and industrial relations expert, was born on 15 December 1914 at 4 Station Road, Openshaw, Manchester, the second son and fifth of six children of Frederick Charles Barnes (c.1870–c.1920), a school attendance officer for the local education committee, and his wife, ...

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Bertram, Walter (d. 1495/6), merchant and provost of Edinburgh, is first recorded in 1464. He received payments for expensive cloth sold to James III in 1473 and by 1477 was clearly wealthy, as he bought the lands of Normangills in Lanarkshire from David Lindsay, ...

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Birtwistle, Thomas (1833–1912), trade unionist and factory inspector, was born at Great Harwood, Lancashire, on 16 October 1833, the son of Jonathan Birtwistle, a calico printer, and Ann Birtwistle, a hand-loom weaver. Put to the hand-loom at the age of six, he became a power-loom weaver when he was fourteen and married a fellow weaver, ...

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Bludworth, Sir Thomas (b. in or before 1623, d. 1682), merchant and mayor of London, was born in London, the second surviving son of John Bludworth (bap. 1580, d. 1648), master of the Vintners' Company (1641–2), of Lombard Street in the parish of ...

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Brembre, Sir Nicholas (d. 1388), merchant and mayor of London, is of unknown origins, though he may have been related to Sir Thomas Brembre, or Bramber, a wealthy and well-connected royal clerk who was receiver of the king's chamber from c.1347 to 1354, and keeper of the privy seal in 1354–5. One of ...

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Browning [née Chadwick], Ethel (1891–1969), toxicologist and factory inspector, was born on 16 March 1891 at 36 Audlam Street, Bury, Lancashire, the daughter of James William Chadwick, cotton spinner, later a gentleman (1916), and sometime managing director of a soap factory, and his wife, ...

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Buchanan, Andrew (1690–1759), merchant and lord provost of Glasgow, was born on 29 January 1690 in Glasgow, the second of four sons of George Buchanan, maltster, and Mary Maxwell.

In 1716 Buchanan was admitted a burgess of Glasgow by right of his father, and quickly revealed himself to be an energetic businessman. During the 1720s he and his younger brothers ...

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Buckland, Richard (d. 1436), merchant and administrator, was a member of the Fishmongers' Company in the city of London and treasurer of Calais. The names of his parents are unknown, although he had a brother, Christopher. The bequest in his will to the collegiate church of ...

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Bukerel, Andrew (d. 1237), merchant and mayor of London, was born into a prominent London family; there is no evidence to support claims that the family originated in either Devon or Italy. His father, also Andrew Bukerel, was one of the custodians appointed by ...

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Burnett, John (1842–1914), trade union leader and civil servant, was born on 21 June 1842, at Alnwick, Northumberland, of unknown parentage. He was educated at the school in Alnwick endowed by the duke of Northumberland. Orphaned at the age of twelve, he went to live with an uncle on ...

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Campbell, James Duncan (1833–1907), customs official, was born on 9 February 1833 at 7 Warriston Crescent, Edinburgh, the first child of Major Robert Campbell (1799–1874), of Craignish, Argyll, an officer in the 46th regiment, and his first wife, Louisa, née Baillie (d...

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Cannon, John (1684–1743), excise official and autobiographer, was born on 28 March 1684, the third but eldest surviving child of John Cannon (b. 1648), smallholder and butcher, and his wife, Elizabeth Hooper (b. 1644), in the small central Somerset village of ...

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Chambers, Sir (Stanley) Paul (1904–1981), civil servant and industrialist, was born at 3 Russell Road, Bowes Park, Southgate, London, on 2 April 1904, sixth of the eight children (six boys and two girls) of Philip Joseph Chambers, commercial clerk (later company secretary and finally cigar merchant), and his wife, ...

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Chigwell, Hamo [formerly Hamond Dene] (d. 1332), merchant and mayor of London, was born Hamond Dene, the son of Thomas and Cecilia Dene; like Richard Chigwell, from whom he inherited a life interest in some property and whose surname he took, he became a fishmonger, thus entering one of the most successful and best-organized trades in ...

Image

Walter McLennan Citrine, first Baron Citrine (1887–1983) by Howard Coster, 1938 © National Portrait Gallery, London