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Bertorelli, Joe [Giuseppe Domenico] (1893–1994), restaurateur, was born on 10 June 1893 at Bergazzi di Bardi, Piacenza, Liguria, Italy, the youngest of the four sons of Lazzaro and Marianna Bertorelli. By the time of his birth his father and three elder brothers were already living and working in ...

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Blincoe, Robert (c. 1792–1860), factory apprentice, was a parish orphan who knew neither parent, did not know his place of birth, and was uncertain even about his name. Between the ages of four and seven he was brought up in St Pancras workhouse, London...

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Bowker, Agnes (b. 1541/2), servant and alleged mother of a cat, was the daughter of Henry Bowker, a yeoman or butcher of Market Harborough, Leicestershire, and suffered from fits of 'the falling sickness' or epilepsy. Although she described being once sent to live in ...

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G. F. R. Barker

revised by Anita McConnell

Dunstan, Jeffrey (1759?–1797), hawker and ‘mayor of Garrett’, was a foundling reared in the parish workhouse of St Dunstan-in-the-East, in the City of London. At the age of twelve he was apprenticed to a greengrocer, but he ran away to Birmingham, where he worked in the factories. The heavy labour probably added to his deformities, for as an adult he had knock knees, a large head, and grew to a height of only ...

Image

Jeffrey Dunstan (1759?–1797) by T. Wilkes, pubd 1794 © National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

Nicholson, Wilfred (1821–1921), paint manufacturer, was born in London on 13 September 1821, the third surviving child of Thomas Nicholson and his wife, Elizabeth, née Coulson (d. 1859). In 1810 his father had moved from co. Durham to London to find work and after various jobs joined ...

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Sobell, Sir Michael (1892–1993), industrialist and benefactor, was born on 1 November 1892 at Boryslau, Galicia, the only son of Lewis Sobel and his wife, Esther. His family owned factories in the Austro-Hungarian empire and oil interests at Limburg in Germany, but his parents moved to ...

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Swinburne, Sir James, ninth baronet (1858–1958), industrial chemist and electrical engineer, was born in Inverness on 28 February 1858, the third of the six sons of Lieutenant Thomas Anthony Swinburne RN and his wife, Mary Anne, daughter of Captain Edward Fraser of Gortuleg...

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Sir James Swinburne, ninth baronet (1858–1958) by Elliott & Fry © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Taylor, Theodore Cooke (1850–1952), woollen manufacturer and politician, was born at New Hall, Carlinghow, Batley, West Riding of Yorkshire, on 3 August 1850, the eldest son of Joshua Taylor (1821–1879), cloth manufacturer, and his wife, Alice (d. 1860), daughter of Samuel Cooke...