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Sir Richard Arkwright (1732–1792) by Joseph Wright of Derby, 1789–90 private collection; photograph © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Arkwright, Sir Richard (1732–1792), inventor of cotton-spinning machinery and cotton manufacturer, was born on 23 December 1732 at Preston, Lancashire, the sixth of the seven children of Thomas Arkwright (1691–1753), a tailor, and his wife, Ellen Hodgkinson (1693–1778). The family was rooted in ...

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Slingsby Bethel (bap. 1617, d. 1697) by William Sherwin, 1680 © Copyright The British Museum

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Bethel, Slingsby (bap. 1617, d. 1697), merchant and political economist, was baptized in Alne, in the North Riding of Yorkshire, on 27 February 1617, a younger son of Sir Walter Bethel (d. 1622), gentleman, and Mary Slingsby (1582–1662), daughter of Sir Henry Slingsby...

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Cotesworth, William (c. 1668–1726), merchant and industrialist, was born the second surviving son of Charles Cotesworth (1637–1687) of Eggleston, co. Durham, a yeoman farmer, and his wife, Anne (d. 1712). His eldest brother, Charles, remained on the land while Cotesworth himself was apprenticed in March 1683 to a prosperous ...

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See Crowne, John

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Eno, James Crossley (1827/8–1915), manufacturer of patent medicine, was born in Newcastle, the son of James Eno (c.1793–1829), a general shopkeeper, and his wife, Elizabeth (1792/3–1874), daughter of John Jackson. After leaving school, he was apprenticed to a Newcastle retail chemist, and in 1846 became a dispenser at the infirmary there at ...

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Sir James Tynte Agg- Gardner (1846–1928) by James Russell & Sons, 1887 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Gardner, Sir James Tynte Agg- (1846–1928), brewer and politician, was born on 25 November 1846, at Cheltenham, the elder son of James Agg-Gardner (1804–1858) and his wife, Eulalie Emily (1819–1901), the fifth daughter and coheir of William Richard Hopkins-Northey. He had one brother and a sister. His father took the additional surname after his patronymic of ...

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See Greene family

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Gutteridge, Joseph (1816–1899), silk weaver and naturalist, was born on 23 March 1816 in Coventry, the eldest of the three sons of Joseph Gutteridge, a recruiting sergeant, and his first wife, Sarah Shaw. Educated from 1821 in two schools, run by a Quaker woman and Wesleyan preacher respectively, he then went to ...

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Ibbetson, Sir Henry, first baronet (1708–1761), cloth merchant, was born in Leeds, the third surviving son of James Ibbetson (1674–1739) and his wife, Elizabeth, the coheir of Dr John Nicholson, York's premier medical practitioner in the late seventeenth century. Ibbetson was a fourth-generation cloth merchant and a member of one of the town's leading merchant dynasties. His father had made a large fortune in exporting ...

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Joye, Peter (1636–1721), merchant, was born in August 1636, the son of Peter Joye, senior, a Dutch-born tailor of Blackfriars, London. Apprenticed by the Merchant Taylors' Company in 1653, Joye was brought into trade by the merchant Charles Marescoe in 1669, soon after his marriage on 23 February 1668 to ...

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Lethieullier, Sir John (1632/3–1719), merchant and local politician, was the eldest of the three sons of Jane Delafort of London and Jan le Thieullier (1591–1679), a French protestant from Valenciennes who was brought to England in 1605 and established himself first in Ilford, Essex...

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Milner, William (1662–1740), woollen cloth merchant, was born on 29 November 1662 at Leeds, the third and youngest son of William Milner of Leeds, a merchant. Of dissenting stock, he recalled towards the end of his long life that he had enjoyed a '...

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Perry [formerly Pery], Micaiah (bap. 1641, d. 1721), merchant, was born in New Haven, in what was to become Connecticut, where he was baptized at the First Church on 31 October 1641. His grandfather Richard Pery (1580–1650), from a family of small merchants in ...

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Petyt [Petit], Thomas (b. in or before 1494, d. 1565/6), printer and bookseller, was born in England but may have been related to the Parisian printer John Petit, who is said to have had printed books 'in thaundes of Thomas Petytt' in ...

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Rogers, Frederick (1846–1915), bookbinder and trade unionist, was born on 27 April 1846 in Gower's Walk, Whitechapel, London, the eldest in the family of four sons (one of whom died in infancy) and two daughters of Frederick Rogers (d. 1908), sailor, draper's assistant, labourer, and painter, and his wife, ...

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Rylands, Peter (1820–1887), steel manufacturer and politician, born in Bewsey House, Warrington, on 18 January 1820, was the youngest son of John Rylands, manufacturer, and his wife, a daughter of the Revd James Glazebrook, vicar of Belton, Leicestershire. He was educated at the ...

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Wood, Sir Matthew, first baronet (1768–1843), druggist and politician, was born at Tiverton on 2 June 1768, the eldest of the ten children of William Wood (1738–1809), serge maker, and his wife, Catherine, née Cluse (d. 1798). Matthew, who was brought up as a dissenter, received a brief education at ...