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Abbot, Sir Maurice (1565–1642), merchant and politician, was born on 2 November 1565 and baptized three days later at Holy Trinity Church, Guildford, the fifth of the six sons of Maurice Abbot (1519/20–1606), a merchant, and his wife, Alice Marsh or March (1525/6–1606)...

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Abell, William (b. c. 1584, d. in or after 1655), vintner and local politician, was the son of Thomas Abell of Oundle, Northamptonshire, and his wife, Suzanna Barker. He was probably born at Oundle, where his grandfather William Abell had endowed Oundle School...

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William Abell (b. c. 1584, d. in or after 1655) by unknown engraver, 1641 [The Copie of a Letter Sent from the Roaring Boyes in Elizium] © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Acton, Eliza (1799–1859), writer on cookery and poet, was born at Battle, Sussex, on 17 April 1799, the eldest of the five children of John Acton and his wife, Elizabeth, née Mercer. The Actons were a Suffolk family, and returned there soon after ...

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Adams, Thomas (1807–1873), lace merchant and manufacturer, was born on 5 February 1807 at Worksop, Nottinghamshire, the son of Thomas Adams, a maltster, and his second wife, Catharine, née Smith, of Sutton-cum-Lound, Nottinghamshire. The elder Adams moved his family to Ware, Hertfordshire, but died while ...

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Adamson, Sir (William Owen) Campbell (1922–2000), industrialist, was born on 26 June 1922 at 17 Hamilton Drive, Glasgow, the only son of John Adamson, chartered accountant, who became senior partner of Arthur Young (later Ernst and Young), a leading accountancy firm, and his wife, ...

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Africanus, Scipio (c. 1702–1720), servant, was born of an African family that most likely came from west Africa, where many Bristol merchants bought or captured black men and women for transport to the American colonies. He became the servant of Charles William Howard, ...

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See Agnew family

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See Agnew family

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Sir John Aird, first baronet (1833–1911) by Sir Benjamin Stone, 1897 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Aird, Sir John, first baronet (1833–1911), civil engineering contractor, was born on 3 December 1833 in Greenwich, the second son of eight children of John Aird (1800–1876), contractor, and Agnes (d. 1869), daughter of Charles Bennett of Lambeth. His grandfather Robert Aird...

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Akroyd, Edward (1810–1887), industrialist and philanthropist, was born on 28 November 1810 at Brockholes, near Brookhouse, Ovenden, Halifax, the eldest of the ten children of Jonathan Akroyd (1782–1847) and his wife, Sarah, daughter of David Wright of Ovenden. Educated locally by an Anglican clergyman and at the ...

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Daniel Albone (1860–1906) by unknown photographer, c.1902 © Biggleswade History Society

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Albone, Daniel [Dan] (1860–1906), cycle and motor tractor manufacturer, was born at the Ongley Arms inn, Shortmead Street, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, on 12 September 1860, the fourth son and youngest of eight children of Edward Albone (d. 1864), publican and market gardener, and his wife, ...

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Thomas Aldersey (1521/22–1598) by Robert Peake the elder, 1588 © Chester City Council (Grosvenor Museum)

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Aldersey, Thomas (1521/2–1598), merchant, was born at Bunbury, near Spurstow in Cheshire, the second of five sons of John Aldersey (c.1494–1554), landowner, and Anne Bird of Colton near Chester. After an education in Bunbury, probably at Chantry House, Aldersey's apprenticeship began in ...

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Aldersey, William (1543–1616), merchant and antiquary, was baptized at St Oswald's, Chester, on 15 December 1543, the son of Ralph Aldersey (d. 1555) and Jane Goodman (d. c.1555). He followed in his father's footsteps as a successful merchant ironmonger. He married ...

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Allan, William (1813–1874), trade unionist, was born at Carrickfergus in Antrim, the son of a Scottish cotton-mill manager. His parents soon moved back to Scotland where at the age of twelve he began work as a cotton piecer, but then shifted to an engineering apprenticeship at ...

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John Derby Allcroft (1822–1893) by Sir Francis Grant, 1873 photograph by courtesy Sotheby's Picture Library, London

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Allcroft, John Derby (1822–1893), glove manufacturer and entrepreneur, was born in Worcester on 19 July 1822, only son and elder child of Jeremiah Macklin Allcroft (1791–1867), who was a partner in the glove manufacturing firm of J. and W. Dent & Co. His mother, ...