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Bader, Ernest (1890–1982), chemical manufacturer and industrial reformer, was born in Regensdorf, Switzerland, on 24 November 1890, the youngest of thirteen children of a protestant farmer, Gottlieb Bader, and his wife, Barbara Meier. He was expelled from school at the age of twelve and went to work as a menial in a ...

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Andrew Carnegie (1835–1919) by unknown photographer © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Carnegie, Andrew (1835–1919), steelmaker and philanthropist, was born in Moodie Street, Dunfermline, Fife, on 25 November 1835, the eldest of three children of William Carnegie (d. 1855), a damask linen weaver, and his wife, Margaret. After the age of eight he was educated at a Lancastrian school. Other influences on him—aside from his parents' poverty—were his family's nonconformity (his father was a Swedenborgian) and its Chartist sympathies....

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Dauntsey, William (c. 1480–1543), merchant and benefactor, was the fourth and youngest known son of John Dauntsey, esquire, of West Lavington, Wiltshire, where his family could trace its ancestry back to the mid-twelfth century, and his wife, Margery. He is to be distinguished from a contemporary namesake (...

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Grant, Charles (1746–1823), director of the East India Company and philanthropist, was born in March 1746 at Aldourie farmhouse, Glen Urquhart, his mother's home, on Loch Ness in Inverness-shire in the highlands of Scotland. He was the third of seven children born to ...

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Leonard Horner (1785–1864) by unknown artist Heriot-Watt University Archive

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Horner, Leonard (1785–1864), factory inspector, geologist, and educationist, was born on 17 January 1785 at St George's Square, Edinburgh, the third and youngest son of John Horner (d. 1829), a wealthy whig linen merchant, and his wife, Joanna, née Baillie. In his youth his circle of acquaintances included ...

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Jarrett, Rebecca (1846–1928), prostitute and social purity activist, was probably born in London on 3 March 1846, the youngest of thirteen children whose father had a rope-walk and shop off the Old Kent Road. Claiming public attention during just one year, when she was co-accused in 1885 with ...

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Inez Jane Mary McCormack (1943–2013) by Brian Thompson, 2010 © Brian Thompson / Press Eye

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McCormack [née Murphy], Inez Jane Mary (1943–2013), trade unionist and human rights campaigner, was born on 28 September 1943 at 11 Lower Crescent, Belfast, the daughter of Francis Cecil Murphy, a self-employed printer, and his wife, Margaret, née Sterritt, a nurse. She had an older brother, ...

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Smith, Erasmus (bap. 1611, d. 1691), merchant and educational benefactor, was the son of Sir Roger Smith (1570/71–1655) of Husbands Bosworth, Leicestershire, and his second wife, Anna (1585/6–1652), daughter of Thomas Goodman of London. He was baptized on 8 April 1611 at Husbands Bosworth...

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Solly, Henry (1813–1903), social reformer and founder of working men's clubs, was born on 17 November 1813 in the City of London, the youngest of the ten children of Isaac Solly (1768–1853), a trader and company director, and his wife, Mary, the daughter of ...

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Walker, Sir Andrew Barclay, first baronet (1824–1893), brewer and benefactor, was born at Auchinflower, Ayrshire, on 15 December 1824, the second son of Peter Walker (1795–1879) of the Fort brewery, Ayr, and his wife, Mary (d. 1846), eldest daughter of Arthur Carlaw...

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Wyggeston [Wigston], William (c. 1467–1536), merchant and benefactor, belonged to a family originating at Wigston, just outside Leicester, whose members were by the fifteenth century established as wealthy wool merchants in Coventry and in Leicester itself. The family name is variously spelt: in ...