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Bain, James Thompson (1860–1919), trade unionist in South Africa, was born at Dudhope Crescent, Dundee, on 6 March 1860, the third child of Andrew Bain and his wife, Eliza, née Thomson. His parents were both mill workers. At the age of seven he started work in a factory. At sixteen he joined the ...

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See Beasley [née James], (Catherine) Eileen

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Bulley, Arthur Kilpin (1861–1942), cotton broker and gardener, was born at Montpellier Lodge, Montpellier Crescent, New Brighton, Cheshire, on 10 January 1861, the fourth son and thirteenth of fourteen children of Samuel Marshall Bulley (1811–1880), cotton broker, and his wife, Mary Rachel (1817–1887)...

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See Bulmer, Henry Percival [Percy]

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John Elliott Burns (1858–1943) by John Collier, 1889 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Burns, John Elliott (1858–1943), labour leader and politician, was born in South Lambeth, London, on 20 October 1858, the sixteenth child of Alexander Burns, a Scottish fitter, and Barbara Smith. He left St Mary's national school when he was about ten and after a series of short-term jobs was apprenticed as an engineer....

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Carr, Jonathan Thomas (1845–1915), property developer, was born in Dublin, the eldest son among the ten children of Jonathan Carr (d. 1881), a wholesale woollen draper of Cumbrian origin with a business in the West End of London, and his Irish wife. The family was liberal in outlook, art loving, and gregarious: one brother, ...

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Chapple, Francis Joseph [Frank], Baron Chapple (1921–2004), trade unionist, was born at 90 St Johns Road, Shoreditch, London, on 8 August 1921, the only son of Francis (Frank) Chapple, boot and shoe repairer, and his wife, Emma Gertrude, daughter of Joseph Rook, of ...

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Cousins, Frank (1904–1986), trade unionist, was born on 8 September 1904 at 28 Minerva Street, Bulwell, Nottinghamshire, the eldest son in a family of ten (five sons and five daughters) of Charles Fox Cousins, miner, and his wife, Hannah, née Smith, the daughter of a miner from ...

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Firbank, Joseph (1819–1886), railway contractor, was born at Bishop Auckland on the south-western edge of the north-east coalfield, the son of Ralph Firbank (1788–1866), a Durham miner, and his wife, Barbara, née Thompson (1790–1874). At the age of seven he was sent to work in a colliery, and attended a night school. In 1833 he obtained employment on the permanent way, and in 1841 secured a sub-contract in connection with the ...

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George Gibson (1885–1953) by Bassano © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Gibson, George (1885–1953), trade unionist and mental health worker, was born at 98 Cumberland Street, Glasgow, on 3 April 1885, the third son and seventh of the eleven children of Johnston Robertson Gibson (b. 1847), outdoor labourer, oil merchant, and tobacconist, and his wife, ...

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Hayward, Douglas Frederick Cornelius [Doug] (1934–2008), tailor, was born on 5 October 1934 at 12 Church Walk, Kensington, London, the younger son of Noel Westmacott Hayward (1897–1968), electrical engineer, and his wife, Winifred Elliott, née Thurston (1905–1984). He came from a working-class background (his father worked in the boiler room at the ...

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Keswick, Sir John Henry (1906–1982), merchant, was born at Cowhill, Dumfries, on 13 July 1906, the youngest of three children (all sons) of Major Henry Keswick, of Cowhill Tower, merchant, and his wife, Winifred (Ida) Johnston, also of Dumfriesshire. His childhood years were spent in ...

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Lister, Sir (Robert) Ashton (1845–1929), industrialist, was born on 4 February 1845 in Dursley, Gloucestershire, the third of four sons and the sixth of eight children of George Lister, tanner and wire card maker of Dursley, and his second wife, Louisa Richards, who came from a ...

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Simon, Henry (1835–1899), industrialist and inventor, was born Gustav Heinrich Victor Amandus Simon at Brieg, Silesia, then a province of Prussia, on 7 June 1835, the son of Friedrich Gustav Simon (1807–1867), a Jewish civil servant and railway director, and his wife, Antonie Theodora, ...

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David Alfred Thomas, first Viscount Rhondda (1856–1918) by Solomon Joseph Solomon, exh. RA 1917 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Thomas, David Alfred, first Viscount Rhondda (1856–1918), politician and industrialist, was born at Ysguborwen, Aberdâr, on 26 March 1856, the fifteenth of the seventeen children—of whom five survived—born to Samuel Thomas (1800–1879), a Merthyr shopkeeper turned coal entrepreneur, and his second wife, Rachel...