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Acworth, Angus Whiteford (1898–1981), financier and conservationist, was born on 20 October 1898 at Braeside, Shoot Up Hill, Cricklewood, London, the only son and second of the four children of Joseph John Acworth (1853–1927), businessman, and his wife, Marion Whiteford, née Stevenson (1870–1964)...

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Allen [née Gill], Marjory, Lady Allen of Hurtwood (1897–1976), landscape architect and promoter of child welfare, was born on 10 May 1897 at Hazelstubbs, Gravel Hill, Bexleyheath, the daughter of George Joseph Gill (c.1860–1947), a water-rate collector, and his wife, ...

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John Anderson (1893–1962) by Sir William Dobell, 1962 © DACS 2010; University of Sydney Art Collection, John Anderson Testimonial Fund, 1962. Reproduced courtesy of Sir William Dobell Art Foundation

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Anderson, John (1893–1962), philosopher and social critic, was born in Stonehouse, Lanarkshire, 30 miles south-west of Glasgow, on 1 November 1893, the third of the five children of a radical schoolmaster, Alexander Anderson (1863–1947), and his wife, Elizabeth Brown (d. 1942), teacher, pianist, and poet....

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Anstey, Rhoda (1865–1936), promoter of women's physical education, was born at Jurishayes Farm near Tiverton, Devon, on 15 April 1865, the seventh of nine children and second daughter of John Walters Anstey, a yeoman farmer, and his wife, Susanna Elizabeth, née Manley. She was a natural countrywoman with a great love of the county of her birth; in 1891 she was managing the dairy on the family farm. Little else is known of her early life before she attended ...

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Ashurst, Elizabeth Ann [Eliza] (c. 1814–1850), translator and campaigner for women's rights and against slavery, was born in Muswell Hill, Middlesex, the eldest child of William Henry Ashurst (bap. 1791?, d. 1855), of Muswell Hill, and his wife, Elizabeth Ann, née Brown (...

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Atkinson, Mabel (1876–1958), feminist and socialist, was born on 22 May 1876 at Ridley Mill, Broomley, near Stocksfield, in rural Northumberland. She was the daughter of John Boland Atkinson, inspector of mines, and his wife, Jane, née Elliott (b. 1853), feminist and militant suffragette; she had four brothers and one sister. Her parents were, as she later said, progressive and sympathetic on female education and employment. As a young woman, however, she chafed against restrictive middle-class Victorian behaviour and dress; she considered the bicycle '...

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Auld [née Jardine; other married name Marshall], Mary (1893–1984), local politician and women's organizer, was born on 8 July 1893 in Main Street, Lockerbie, Dumfriesshire, the fourth child of seven born to Francis Jardine, clog maker, and his wife, Agnes Wallace. She attended ...

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Baker, Richard Edward St Barbe (1889–1982), conservationist, was born on 9 October 1889 at West End, near Southampton, the eldest of five children of John Richard St Barbe Baker, horticulturist, and his wife, Charlotte, née Purrott. His father grew trees for a living on his own land and from his earliest days ...

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Banks, Joseph Ambrose [Joe] (1920–2005), sociologist and historian, was born at 66 Montague Road, Edmonton, Middlesex, on 5 January 1920, the only child of Joseph William Banks, a boot and shoe dealer who later became a master tailor, and his wife, Louisa Mary Ann, ...

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Barrett, Rosa Mary (1855–1936), social reformer and feminist, was born in Jamaica, the youngest of the four surviving children of William Garland Barrett (1812–1865), Congregational minister and sometime missionary to Jamaica, and his wife, Martha, née Fletcher (1811?–1893). One brother was the leading Congregationalist ...

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Beales, Hugh Lancelot (1889–1988), economist and social historian, born at Sedbergh, Yorkshire, on 18 February 1889, was the son of William Beales, a Wesleyan Methodist minister, and his wife, Zaida Mary Ann Elizabeth Scantlebury Green. He grew up in a radical political household. He was sent to the ...

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Alexander Graham Bell (1847–1922) by John Wycliffe Lowes Forster, 1919 National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

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Bell, Alexander Graham (1847–1922), teacher of deaf people and inventor of the telephone, was born on 3 March 1847 at 16 South Charlotte Street, Edinburgh, the second of three sons of Alexander Melville Bell (1819–1905), speech therapist and elocutionist, and his first wife, ...

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Florence Eveleen Eleanore Bell, Lady Bell (1851–1930) by unknown photographer courtesy of Middlesbrough Libraries & Information

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Bell [née Olliffe], Florence Eveleen Eleanore, Lady Bell (1851–1930), author, social investigator, and playwright, was born on 9 September 1851 at 2 rue St Florentin, Paris, the youngest of the four children of Sir Joseph Olliffe (1808–1869), physician to the British embassy in ...

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Bentley, Charlotte Eliza (1915–1996), nurse and nursing activist, was born on 15 December 1915 at 63 Portland Court, Great Portland Street, London, the daughter of John Richard Bentley, hosier, and Charlotte Emma Redard. After education at a Swiss convent school and secretarial training ...

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Antonin Besse (1877–1951) by unknown photographer courtesy of St Antony's College, Oxford

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Besse, Antonin (1877–1951), entrepreneur and benefactor, was born on 26 June 1877 at Carcassonne in southern France, the third son and fourth child in the family of four boys and three girls of Pierre Besse, leather merchant, and his wife, Marie Bonnafous. In failing health ...

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Sara Louisa Blomfield (1859–1939) by unknown photographer The Bahá'í Publishing Trust