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William Abraham [Mabon] (1842–1922) by Sir Benjamin Stone, 1901 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Abraham, William [pseud. Mabon] (1842–1922), trade unionist and politician, was born at Cwmafan, near Port Talbot, Glamorgan, on 14 June 1842, the fourth son of Thomas and Mary Abraham. His father, a coalminer and copper smelter, soon died, leaving his mother to raise a large family. ...

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Ammon, Charles George, Baron Ammon (1873–1960), trade unionist and politician, was born on 22 April 1873 into a poor working-class family in White Street, Southwark, London. He was the eldest child of Charles George Ammon (d. 1887), cutler and toolmaker, and Mary Kempley (1851–1900)...

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Arch, Joseph (1826–1919), trade unionist and politician, was born at Barford, Warwickshire, on 10 November 1826, the son of John Arch (b. c.1793), a shepherd, and Hannah Pace (c.1783–1845). Before her marriage his mother worked as a domestic servant in ...

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Joseph Arch (1826–1919) by Barraud, c. 1890 Getty Images – Barraud

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Archer, Peter Kingsley, Baron Archer of Sandwell (1926–2012), barrister and politician, was born on 20 November 1926 in Great Western Street, Wednesbury, Staffordshire, the only child of Cyril Kingsley Archer (1897–1974), tool setter, and his wife, May, née Baker (1896–1976). His parents encouraged him to spend time in the library, instilling a lifelong love of books. He also became committed to Methodism and was later a lifelong Methodist lay preacher. At the age of sixteen he completed his schooling at ...

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Reviser H. J. Spencer

Atherton, Sir William (1806–1864), lawyer and politician, was born at Glasgow in October 1806, the son of the Revd William Atherton (1775–1850), a Wesleyan minister, and Margaret, daughter of Walter Morison, a minister of the established Church of Scotland. He was educated in ...

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Bailey, Sir John [Jack] (1898–1969), politician and co-operative movement activist, was born on 1 January 1898 in Miskin, Mountain Ash, Glamorgan, one of six children of John Bailey, miner, and his wife, Sarah Ann. Bailey attended Gwyn Ivor School, Miskin, until he was twelve. Working initially in a cobbler's shop, he entered the mines as a collier's boy. An accident in 1915 forced him to take a surface job, and in 1917 he enlisted in the ...

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Alfred Baldwin (1841–1908) by Sir Benjamin Stone, 1897 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Baldwin, Alfred (1841–1908), industrialist and politician, was born at Stourport, Worcestershire, on 4 June 1841, the youngest of twelve children of George Pearce Baldwin (1789–1840), a small-scale iron founder and businessman, and his second wife, Sarah Chalkley Stanley (1801–1874), the eldest daughter of the ...

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Bolton, Sir John Brown (1902–1980), politician in the Isle of Man and accountant, was born on 20 January 1902 in Methwold, Norfolk, the eldest of four sons of the Revd Richard Bolton (1867–1951), Primitive Methodist minister, and his wife, Charlotte, née Brown (1865–1962)...

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Booth, Albert Edward (1928–2010), politician, was born on 28 May 1928 at York Maternity Hospital, Acomb, York, the son of Albert Henry Booth and his wife, Janet, née Mathieson. His father was caretaker at York labour exchange and later became a radio operator. At the time of ...

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Bowman [née Kay], Dame (Mary) Elaine Kellett- (1923–2014), politician, was born at Claremont, Clifton Drive, Lytham, Lancashire, on 8 July 1923, the daughter of Walter Kay, leather manufacturer and later farmer, and his wife, Edith Annie, née Leather. After attending the local ...

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Boyson, Sir Rhodes (1925–2012), headteacher and politician, was born at 18 Hoyle Street, Haslingden, Lancashire, on 11 May 1925, the son of William Boyson (1885–1973), cotton spinner, and his wife, Bertha, née Barnes (1886–1978). Boyson's father served as an alderman on the local council, representing the ...

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Sir Rhodes Boyson (1925–2012) by Aubrey Hart, 1975 © Getty Images

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Bradford, Robert John (1941–1981), Methodist minister and politician, was born in Roe Valley District Hospital, Limavady, co. Londonderry, on 8 June 1941, the seventh child of George Bradford, a labourer and later a milkman, and his wife, Lily, née Wright. His parents, who were wartime evacuees from ...

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Bray, Jeremy William (1930–2002), mathematician and politician, was born in Hong Kong on 29 June 1930, the son of the Revd Arthur Henry Bray and his wife, Edith Muriel, who were Methodist missionaries. He spent his early childhood in Foshan. By great good fortune the ...

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Henry Broadhurst (1840–1911) by Olive Edis © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Broadhurst, Henry (1840–1911), trade unionist and politician, was born at Littlemore, Oxfordshire, on 23 April 1840, the fourth son and youngest of the twelve children of Thomas Broadhurst (1799/1800–1866), stonemason, and his wife, Sarah, née Jessop (1799/1800–1880). He was educated at a village school near ...

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William John Brown (1894–1960) by Howard Coster, 1934 © National Portrait Gallery, London