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Anderson, Janet (1697–1761), milliner and maker of graveclothes, was born on 1 January 1697 and baptized in Edinburgh two days later. She was the daughter of James Anderson (1662–1728), clerk to the signet and author of Diplomata Scotiae, and Jean Ellis or Ellies (...

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Duncan, John (1794–1881), hand-loom weaver and botanist, was born on 19 December 1794 at Stonehaven, Kincardineshire, the illegitimate son of John Duncan, weaver and soldier, from Drumlithie, and Ann Caird (c.1773–c.1830), also of Drumlithie, who decided to support herself and her child by weaving stockings and harvesting at nearby ...

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John Duncan (1794–1881) by unknown engraver, c. 1865–6 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Foulis, Thomas (c. 1560–1628), goldsmith, financier, and mining entrepreneur, was a younger son of Henry Foulis of Colinton (d. 1571), an advocate, and his wife, Margaret Haldane (fl. 1545–1560). He became a goldsmith of Edinburgh in 1581, after an apprenticeship to the wealthy ...

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Ged, William (1684/5–1749), goldsmith and stereotype founder, was probably born in Dunfermline, son of William Ged, said to have been a member of the family of Ged of Baldridge in Fife. He was apprenticed to Robert Inglis, goldsmith, in Edinburgh in 1696, and his own mark was entered with the ...

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Hutton, Sibilla (d. 1808), milliner and shopkeeper, was the daughter of the Revd William Hutton, minister of the Secession church at Dalkeith, Edinburghshire, and Sibilla Tunnock, daughter of William Tunnock, an Edinburgh brewer; they married on 7 November 1742. Sibilla was well known as a milliner in ...

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Johnston, Ellen (c. 1835–1874?), power-loom weaver and poet, was born at the Muir Wynd, Hamilton, Lanarkshire, the only daughter of James Johnston, stonemason from Lochee, a linen-weaving and quarrying village on the outskirts of Dundee, and Mary Bilsland, second daughter of James Bilsland...

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Kilburn, William (1745–1818), artist and calico printer, was born on 1 November 1745, at Capel Street, Dublin, the only son of Samuel Kilburn, architect of that city. He showed an early talent for drawing, and was apprenticed to John Lisson, an English calico printer with a large works at ...

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Learmonth, Christian (bap. 1718, d. 1762), milliner and shopkeeper, was baptized at Bo'ness, Linlithgowshire, on 21 October 1718, the daughter of John Learmonth, schoolmaster and postmaster at Bo'ness, and of his first wife, Christian Livingston (d. in or before 1726), third daughter of ...

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Macaulay [née Young], Carola (b. 1682), milliner and shopkeeper, was born on 19 February 1682 at Kippen, Stirlingshire, one of three children of the Revd Robert Young, minister at Kippen, and Margaret MacFarlane. She is a good example of an eighteenth-century woman from a professional family background who, even after her marriage, continued in business. She had no inherited right to trade but was allowed to do so on payment of an annual due to the ...

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McGill, Alexander (c. 1680–1734), mason and architect, was the son of George McGill, minister of Arbirlot in Forfarshire (c.1641–1691×1702), and his wife, Margaret Guthrie. In 1697 he was apprenticed to Alexander Nisbet, an Edinburgh mason with strong professional connections in Forfarshire...

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Mealmaker, George (1768–1808), weaver and radical, was born on 10 February 1768, the son of John Mealmaker, weaver, of the Seagate, Dundee, and Alison Auchinleck. Of Mealmaker's early life and education there is no direct information. Similarly, it is possible only to speculate about the sources of his political radicalism. A description of him from 1793 as 'a common unlettered weaver' reflects more the patronizing assumptions of the writer than reality. ...

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Paterson, Robert [nicknamed Old Mortality] (bap. 1716, d. 1801), stonemason, was born at Haggisha, in the parish of Hawick, and baptized on 25 April 1716, the youngest son of Walter Paterson, farmer, and his wife, Margaret Scott. In his thirteenth year he served an apprenticeship under his brother ...

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Ramsay, Katherine (1720s–1808), milliner and shopkeeper, was one of eight children of Gilbert Ramsay (d. before 1743), solicitor, and factor to the duke of Roxburghe, and of Katherine Kerr, daughter of Andrew Kerr of Kippilaw, near Kelso, Roxburghshire. Katherine Ramsay and her five sisters were involved in selling millinery and haberdashery, and all seem to have been in business together initially. ...

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Stewart, James Hope (1789–1856), factor and natural history illustrator, was born at Hillside, Dryfesdale, Dumfriesshire, on 2 August 1789, the son of William Stewart of Hillhead (1743/4–1822) and Margaret Graham (c.1767/8–1853), daughter of George Graham of Shaw. About 1816 Stewart married ...

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Wilson, Walter (1849–1917), milliner and department store owner, was born at Main Street, Gorbals, Glasgow, on 21 August 1849, the son of Arthur Wilson, a grocer, and his wife, Jane. He was educated at Mrs Alexander's school, Margaret Street, Glasgow (1854–9), and then at the ...

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Wright, John (1805–c. 1846), weaver and poet, was born on 1 September 1805 in the parish of Sorn, Ayrshire, the son of James Wright of Galston, coal-driver, and Grizzle Taylor (d. 1842). John, the fourth of seven children, grew up in ...