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Betts, Edward Ladd (1815–1872), railway contractor, was born on 5 June 1815 at Buckland, near Dover, the eldest son of William Betts (d. 1867), contractor's agent, of Sandown, Kent, and his first wife, Elizabeth Hayward, daughter of Edward Ladd of Buckland. Betts...

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Bonsor, Sir (Henry) Cosmo Orme, first baronet (1848–1929), brewer and railway manager, was born on 2 September 1848 at Great Bookham, near Dorking, Surrey. He was the son of Joseph Bonsor (1807–1873) of Polesden Lacey, Surrey, a partner from 1852 in the London...

Article

G. C. Boase

revised by Mike Chrimes

Dargan, William (1799–1867), railway contractor, was born at Crossleigh, Queen's county, on 28 February 1799, the son of Patrick Dargan (1755/6–1833), a tenant farmer, and his wife, Elizabeth (1770/71–1813). He had at least three brothers and three sisters who survived to adulthood. After attending a school at ...

Article

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 ...

Article

Greene, Sidney Francis, Baron Greene of Harrow Weald (1910–2004), trade unionist, was born at 45 Warlock Road, Paddington, London, on 12 February 1910, the son of Frank James Greene, whose main, though not only, occupation was to drive a horse-drawn van, and his wife, ...

Article

Harford, Edward (1837/8–1898), railwayman and trade unionist, was born in Bristol on 21 March 1837 or 1838, the son of Edward Harford, a policeman. When he was five years old the family moved to Tiverton in Devon and Edward was educated until the age of fourteen at the ...

Article

Holland, Samuel (1803–1892), slate industrialist and railway promoter, was born on 17 October 1803 in Duke Street, Liverpool, the youngest son and fifth child of Samuel Holland (1768–1851), merchant, and his wife, Katherine Menzies (d. 1847). He had two brothers and three sisters and was educated at the ...

Article

Horne, Sir William Cornelius Van (1843–1915), railway builder and financier in Canada, was born on 3 February 1843 at Chelsea, Will county, Illinois, USA, the eldest son of Cornelius Covenhoven Van Horne, lawyer, and his second wife, Mary Minier Richards. His father's ancestors had emigrated from the ...

Article

R. B. Prosser

revised by Ralph Harrington

James, William (1771–1837), land agent and railway developer, was born at Henley in Arden, Warwickshire, on 13 June 1771, the son of William James, a solicitor. He was educated at Warwick, and at a school at Winson Green, near Birmingham. After serving his articles he returned about 1797 to ...

Article

Kitson, James (1807–1885), ironmaster and locomotive builder, was born in Leeds on 27 October 1807, the eldest of six children of a licensed victualler and his wife. He may be the James Kitson who was baptized in Leeds on 3 January 1808, the son of ...

Article

Lorimer, Sir William (1844–1922), locomotive engineer and industrialist, was born on 4 November 1844 in Sanquhar, Dumfriesshire, son of William Lorimer, house factor, and Margaret Whigham. Little is known about his family origins and early life in Sanquhar. He attended the local parish school and at the age of fifteen joined the ...

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Mackenzie, Sir William (1849–1923), Canadian railway builder and financier, was born in Eldon township, Victoria County, Upper Canada (now Ontario), on 30 October 1849, the fifth son of John Mackenzie, farmer, and his wife, Mary, daughter of John Maclaughlin, who had come after their marriage from ...

Article

Marsh, Richard William, Baron Marsh (1928–2011), politician and businessman, was born on 14 March 1928 at 41 Rolleston Street, Swindon, Wiltshire, the only child of William Marsh, coremaker for the Great Western Railway, and his wife, Elsie, née Ball. He was educated at ...

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Sir (Robert) Alastair Newton Morton (1938–2004) by Tony Harris, 1999 PA Photos

Article

Morton, Sir (Robert) Alastair Newton (1938–2004), businessman, was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 11 January 1938, the son of Henry Newton Morton, an oil executive who had emigrated from Scotland to South Africa, and his Afrikaner wife, Elizabeth Martino, daughter of Vintcent van der Bijl...

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Moss, John (1782–1858), banker, railway promoter, and slaveowner, was born in Liverpool on 18 February 1782, the first son of Thomas Moss (1748–1805), a prosperous timber and general merchant and shipowner, and his wife, Betty, née Griffies (1754/5–1838). The family's wealth was partly attributable to the transatlantic trade in, and ownership of, enslaved people; ...

Article

Parker, Sir Peter (1924–2002), businessman, was born in Malo-les-Bains, near Dunkirk, France, on 30 August 1924, the third son of Tom Parker, a marine engineer born in Hull, and his wife, Dorothy Sydney, née Mackinlay, a teacher. Both his brothers died during the Second World War. He spent half of his childhood in ...

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Sir Peter Parker (1924–2002) by Stephen Hyde, 1983 © National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

A. F. Pollard and Charlotte Fell-Smith

revised by M. W. Kirby

Pease, Edward (1767–1858), woollen manufacturer and railway promoter, born at Darlington on 31 May 1767, was the eldest son of Joseph Pease, woollen manufacturer, and his wife, Mary Richardson. A brother, Joseph (1772–1846), was one of the founders of the Peace Society in 1817, and a supporter of the ...

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Edward Pease (1767–1858) by William Miller © National Portrait Gallery, London