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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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Detrosier, Rowland [formerly Rowley Barnes] (1800?–1834), freethinking radical and popular lecturer, was born in London, the son of a Manchester merchant, Robert Norris, and a Frenchwoman named Detrosier. His parents abandoned him soon after his birth and he was adopted by a Swedenborgian tailor from ...

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Fraser, John (1794–1879), Chartist and publisher, was born in Johnstone, Renfrewshire, the younger of two sons of Thomas Fraser and Isabella McIntosh, both of whom came originally from Inverness-shire. His father, who had been pressed into the navy and had been a prisoner for a time during the American War of Independence, acquired some medical knowledge and started business as a druggist in ...

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O'Neill, Arthur George (1819–1896), reformer and minister of religion, was born in Chelmsford, Essex, in September 1819. His father, Arthur O'Neill, a coachmaker, was an Irish protestant refugee, and his mother, Ann, claimed descent from John Rogers, a protestant martyr in Mary Tudor's...

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Dame Christabel Harriette Pankhurst (1880–1958) by Kate Simmons, 1910 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Pankhurst, Dame Christabel Harriette (1880–1958), suffragette, was born on 22 September 1880 at 1 Drayton Terrace, Old Trafford, Manchester, the daughter of Richard Marsden Pankhurst (1835/6–1898), a radical barrister, and his wife, Emmeline Goulden (1858–1928) [see Pankhurst, Emmeline]. The eldest of their five children, ...

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Rushton, Benjamin (1785–1853), hand-loom weaver and radical agitator, was born at Dewsbury in Yorkshire, but later moved to Halifax, where he found employment as a fancy-worsted weaver, residing at Friendly Fold in the village of Ovenden. He married Mary Helliwell (b. 1786)...

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Scholefield, James (1790–1855), political reformer, was born at Colne Bridge, in the parish of Kirkheaton, near Huddersfield, Yorkshire, on 6 April 1790, the son of Daniel Scholefield and his wife, Rebecca. He attended the Salford Academy of Sciences in Manchester, established by William Cowherd...

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Watson [née Wall], Edith Mary (1888–1966), suffragist and police officer, was born on 6 November 1888, in the infirmary, Hackney union workhouse, the illegitimate daughter of Martha Wall, a domestic servant. With her mother and stepfamily, Edith lived in Marylebone, helping with her mother's sweated labour, sewing buttons on shirts. She was educated at ...