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Aske, Robert (1619–1689), silk merchant and benefactor, was born on 24 February 1619, the son of Robert Aske of the parish of St Mary Woolchurch, London, and his second wife, Margery Middleton, the widowed daughter of John Hill of Wendover, whom he married in 1611. The two ...

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Baring [née Vowler], Elizabeth (1702–1766), wool manufacturer and merchant, was born on 30 April 1702 in Exeter, the only daughter of John Vowler, grocer, and his wife, Elizabeth, the daughter of Thomas Townsend.

On 15 February 1728 Elizabeth married John Baring (1697–1748)...

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Alice Barnham (1523–1604) by unknown artist, c. 1557 [Alice Barnham and her sons Martin and Steven] Berger Collection at the Denver Art Museum, photo courtesy of the Denver Art Museum

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Barnham [née Bradbridge], Alice (1523–1604), silkwoman and benefactor, was born on 7 September 1523 at Chichester, Sussex, one of the youngest of the fourteen children of William Bradbridge (d. 1546), a successful and prosperous mercer, and his wife, Alice. Alice Barnham...

Article

See Barnham [née Bradbridge], Alice

Article

Beckett [née Bousfield; other married name Thomas], Frances Sarah [Fanny] (bap. 1821, d. 1902), philanthropist and a founder of Scottish Home Industries, was baptized on 27 June 1821, at Frimley, Surrey, the only child of George Thomas Frederick Bousfield, solicitor, and his wife, ...

Article

Ellison, Thomas (1833–1904), historian and statistician of the cotton trade, was born in Liverpool, possibly the son of Joseph Ellison, bookkeeper. He left school at sixteen and was apprenticed to Maurice Williams (1825–1878), who had himself just begun business as a cotton broker. ...

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Foster, William (1821–1884), worsted manufacturer and merchant, was born on 2 February 1821, probably at Low Fold, Clayton, Queenshead (later Queensbury), near Bradford, Yorkshire, the eldest son of John Foster (1798–1879), worsted cloth merchant, and his wife, Ruth (1801–1882), daughter of Abraham Briggs...

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Gott, Benjamin (1762–1840), cloth merchant and manufacturer, was born on 24 June 1762 at Woodhall, Calverley, near Leeds, the fifth of the six children of John Gott (1720–1793), an engineer and surveyor of bridges for the West Riding of Yorkshire, and his second wife, ...

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Langton, Thomas (1724–1794), flax merchant, was born at Kirkham, Lancashire, on 18 August 1724, the fourth of nine children of John Langton (1691–1762), woollen draper and merchant of Kirkham, and Elizabeth (d. 1766), natural daughter, and only child, of Thomas Brown of ...

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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 'pious upbringing' and 'tolerable schole learning'. In the late 1670s and early 1680s he spent five years in the ...

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Mitchell, Sir Henry (1824–1898), textile merchant and philanthropist, was born in November 1824 at Esholt, near Bradford, Yorkshire, the son of Matthew Harper Mitchell, a small local textile manufacturer, and his wife, Ann. He went to a local elementary school, and at the age of fourteen entered his father's worsted mill to learn the principles of textile manufacture. In 1841 he was taken on by the worsted firm of ...

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Roysse, John (1500/01–1571), mercer and benefactor, was born in either 1500 or 1501, possibly on 31 January, and brought up in Abingdon, Berkshire. Nothing is known for certain about his father and mother, but the family name is recorded in sixteenth-century sources in ...

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Sir (Edward) Raymond Streat (1897–1979) by Elliott & Fry, 1947 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Streat, Sir (Edward) Raymond (1897–1979), cotton trade administrator, was born on 7 February 1897 at 2 Brunswick Terrace, Prestwich, Lancashire, the fifth of the six children of Edward Streat (1856–1918), a commercial traveller, and his first wife, Helen (Nellie) Wallis (1859–1908). His father, who was born in ...