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Abadam, Alice (1856–1940), suffrage activist and women’s right’s campaigner, was born in St John’s Wood, London, on 2 January 1856 (census returns 1891, 1939 Register). Her birth was not registered and she was not baptised. She was the youngest of seven children (four daughters and two sons) of ...

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Arnold, Ethel Margaret (1864/5–1930), journalist, author, and lecturer on female suffrage, was the daughter of Thomas Arnold (1823–1900), teacher and English scholar, and his wife, Julia Sorell (1826–1888). Her grandfather was Thomas Arnold (1795–1842), headmaster of Rugby School, her uncle Matthew Arnold (1822–1888)...

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Ashton, William (c. 1806–1877), Chartist, was born in the Yorkshire linen-weaving and coal-mining town of Barnsley about 1806. His father was an Englishman, and a linen weaver, and his mother was an Irish Catholic. Ashton always identified strongly with his mother's nation and faith and often spoke of himself as an Irishman....

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Ashurst, William Henry [pseud. Edward Search] (bap. 1791?, d. 1855), lawyer and radical, was born in London, and was probably the William Henry Ashurst baptized on 20 March 1791 at St Luke's, Old Street, the son of Brusel Ashurst and his wife, ...

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Baines [née Hunt], Sarah Jane [Jennie] (1866–1951), suffragette and social reformer, was born on 30 November 1866 in Birmingham, the daughter of James Edward Hunt, gun maker, and his wife, Sarah Ann, née Hunt. She started work in a Birmingham small arms factory aged eleven and at fourteen was assisting her parents in ...

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Peter Berresford Ellis

Baird, John (1788–1820), radical, was, with Andrew Hardie (1792–1820) and James Wilson (1757–1820), one of the three ‘Radical Martyrs’ executed for their part in the Scottish insurrection of April 1820. Baird, born in Condorrat, Stirling, was the third son of a ...

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Lady Frances Balfour (1858–1931) by Bassano, 1919 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Balfour [née Campbell], Lady Frances (1858–1931), suffragist leader and churchwoman, was born at Argyll Lodge, Kensington, London, on 22 February 1858, the fifth daughter and tenth of twelve children of George Douglas Campbell, eighth duke of Argyll (1823–1900), and his first wife, ...

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Bamford, Samuel (1788–1872), radical, was born in Middleton, Lancashire, on 28 February 1788, one of five children of Daniel Bamford, a dissenting muslin weaver, part-time teacher, and later master of the Salford workhouse, and his wife, Hannah (1755–1795). After private tuition Bamford was sent to the ...

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Barmby, (John) Goodwyn (1820–1881), Chartist and socialist, was born at Yoxford in Suffolk and was baptized on 12 November 1820. His father, John, a solicitor, married to Julia, died when he was fourteen years old. Goodwyn—he never used his first Christian name—had no formal school education but read widely. He eschewed the professions and followed a career of social and political radicalism, reputedly addressing small audiences of agricultural labourers when aged sixteen....

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Baynes, John (1758–1787), lawyer and political reformer, was born in April 1758 (probably on the 6th) at Middleham in Yorkshire, the son of William Baynes of Middleham, who later moved to Embsay Kirk in Craven. After attending school at Bradford under Mr Butler...

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Edmond Beales (1803–1881) by unknown engraver Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

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Thompson Cooper

revised by Matthew Lee

Beales, Edmond (1803–1881), radical, was born at Newnham, Cambridge, on 3 July 1803, the son of Samuel Pickering Beales, a merchant who acquired local celebrity as a political reformer, and his wife, Martha, daughter of John Curtis. He was educated at Bury St Edmunds grammar school...

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Benbow, William (1787–1864), radical and publisher, was born at Middlewich, Cheshire, where he was baptized on 21 February 1787, one of thirteen children of William Benbow (bap. 1750, d. 1817), shoemaker, and his wife, Hannah, née Chear (bap. 1752, d. 1828)...

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Bennett, Louise [Louie] (1870–1956), suffragist, trade unionist, and pacifist, was born in Temple Road, Temple Hill, near Dublin, the eldest of five daughters and five sons of an auctioneer and antiques valuer called Bennett and his wife, Susan Boulger, daughter of an army...

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Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832) by Henry William Pickersgill, 1829 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bentham, Jeremy (1748–1832), philosopher, jurist, and reformer, was born on 4 February 1748 in Church Lane, Houndsditch, London, the eldest of the seven children of Jeremiah Bentham (1712–1792), attorney, and Alicia Woodward Whitehorne (d. 1759), the eldest daughter of Thomas Grove, a mercer of ...

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Bentinck, Ruth Mary Cavendish- [née Ruth Mary St Maur] (1867–1953), women's suffragist and socialist, was born in Tangier on 21 October 1867, the illegitimate daughter of Edward Adolphus Ferdinand St Maur, Earl St Maur (1835–1869), eldest son of the twelfth duke of Somerset...

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Caroline Ashurst Biggs (1840–1889) by Elizabeth S. Guinness, 1897 (after unknown photographer, c. 1875) The Mistress and Fellows, Girton College, Cambridge

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Biggs, Caroline Ashurst (1840–1889), novelist and campaigner for women's suffrage, was born in St Margaret's, Leicester, on 23 August 1840, the second daughter of Matilda Ashurst Biggs (1816/17–1866) and Joseph Biggs (1809–1895) [see under Biggs, John (1801-1871)], hosiery manufacturer, of Leicester...