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Bax, Ernest Belfort (1854–1926), Marxist theoretician and activist, was born at his parents' home, 27 Clarendon Square, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, on 23 July 1854, the last of four children of Daniel Bax (d. 1882), a manufacturer, and his wife, Eleanor, daughter of ...

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Bonwick, Theodora Ellen (1876–1928), educationist and women's rights activist, was born on 27 December 1876 at 60 Coningham Road, Shepherd's Bush, London, the daughter of William Priessnitz Bonwick, a schoolteacher, and his wife, Sarah, formerly Beddow, an executive member of the Women's Liberal Federation...

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Bradley, Katharine Harris (1846–1914), poet, collaborated with her niece Edith Emma Cooper (1862–1913) to publish verse under the pseudonym Michael Field. The aunt was born in Birmingham on 27 October 1846, the daughter of Charles Bradley (1810–1848), tobacco manufacturer of a ...

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Rhys Davies (1901–1978) by Howard Coster, 1940 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Davies, Rhys [Rees Vivian] (1901–1978), novelist and short-story writer, was born on 9 November 1901 at 6 Clydach Road, Blaenclydach, a village in a tributary valley of the Rhondda, near Tonypandy in Glamorgan. The district was dominated by the presence of two large collieries which were to become the focus of industrial strife during the ...

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Gast, John (c. 1772–1837), trade unionist and radical, was born in Bristol, the son of Robert Gast, a seller of milk. He had at least two brothers, and at some time married Elizabeth, who outlived him, but nothing else is known of his family. Soon after finishing his apprenticeship he left ...

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Gutteridge, Joseph (1816–1899), silk weaver and naturalist, was born on 23 March 1816 in Coventry, the eldest of the three sons of Joseph Gutteridge, a recruiting sergeant, and his first wife, Sarah Shaw. Educated from 1821 in two schools, run by a Quaker woman and Wesleyan preacher respectively, he then went to ...

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Haigh, Emily Alice [pseud. Beatrice Hastings] (1879–1943), writer and journal editor, was born at 115 King Edward Road, South Hackney, London, on 26 January 1879, the daughter of John Walter Haigh, wool dealer, and his wife, Catherine Jane, née Doorly. She was brought up in ...

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Hampden, John (bap. 1653, d. 1696), politician and conspirator, was baptized on 21 March 1653 at St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, the second son of Richard Hampden (bap. 1631, d. 1695) MP and his wife, Letitia Paget, daughter of William Paget, sixth Baron Paget, and his wife, ...

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Holyoake, Austin (1826–1874), freethought printer and publisher, was born on 27 October 1826 in Birmingham into an artisan household, the seventh child and fifth son of George Holyoake (1790–1853), a printer, and Catherine Groves (1792–1867), a horn-button maker. Influenced by his older brother ...

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Holyoake, George Jacob (1817–1906), freethinker and co-operator, was born at 1 Inge Street, Birmingham, on 13 April 1817, the second of thirteen children and eldest son of George Holyoake (1790–1853), a printer, and Catherine Groves (1792–1867), a horn-button maker. He received a basic education at a dame-school and ...

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George Jacob Holyoake (1817–1906) by Walter Sickert, exh. New English Art Club 1892 © Estate of Walter Sickert / National Portrait Gallery, London

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Hone, William (1780–1842), political writer and publisher, was born on 3 June 1780 at Bath, the first child of William Hone (1755–1831) and his wife, Frances Maria Stawell (d. 1833).

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William Hone (1780–1842) by William Patten, in or before 1818 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Lethaby, William Richard (1857–1931), educationist and architect, was born at Grosvenor Street, Barnstaple, on 18 January 1857, the only son and youngest of two children of Richard Pyle Lethaby (d. c.1904), of Barnstaple, and his wife, Mary Rowe Crago (d...

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William Richard Lethaby (1857–1931) by unknown photographer RIBA Library Photographs Collection

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Satow, Sir Ernest Mason (1843–1929), diplomat and scholar, was born on 30 June 1843 at 10 Buccleuch Terrace, Upper Clapton, Hackney. He was the third son and eighth child of (Hans) David Christophe Satow (1801–1874), merchant, of Wismar (in Mecklenburg) and Riga...

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Snell, Henry, Baron Snell (1865–1944), politician and secularist, was born on 1 April 1865 at Sutton-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire, the son of Mary Snell, formerly Clark. His father's name was not registered; he was brought up by his mother and stepfather. His education at the village school was sporadic and rudimentary, and from the age of eight he was a cattle minder and bird scarer. By his tenth birthday he was working a twelve-hour day as a farm labourer. When aged twelve he was engaged at ...

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West, (Arthur) Graeme (1891–1917), army officer and poet, the eldest of four children, was born at Christchurch Road, Eaton, Norwich, Norfolk, on 23 September 1891. His father, Arthur Birt West (1859–1948), son of a nonconformist minister and sternly evangelical, had been an engineer and a missionary before deciding to live off private means and work for a charity; he married ...

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Wheeler, Sir Charles Thomas (1892–1974), sculptor, was born on 14 March 1892, in Church Lane, Codsall, Staffordshire, the second son of the five sons and one daughter born to Samuel Phipps Wheeler (b. c.1860), a freelance journalist who ran a small company, and his wife, ...