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Ashton, Thomas (1818–1898), cotton manufacturer and philanthropist, was born on 8 December 1818 at Flowery Fields House, Hyde, Cheshire, sixth child to Thomas Ashton (1775–1845) of Flowery Fields and his wife, Harriet, née Booth. He was educated first at a Liverpool academy and then at the ...

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Biggs, John (1801–1871), hosier and political reformer, was born at Leicester, first of the seven children of John Biggs (1774–1827), hosier, and his wife, Elizabeth, née Heggs (1780–1862), of Arnesby, Leicestershire. By the time his father died in 1827 the firm of John Biggs & Sons...

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Booth, Alfred (1834–1914), merchant and shipowner, was born on 3 September 1834 in Liverpool, the eldest son of Charles Booth (1799–1860) of the same city and Emily Fletcher (1803–1853). His father's family ran a corn-factoring business and his mother's side was descended from ...

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Bright, Henry Arthur (1830–1884), author and merchant, was born in Liverpool on 9 February 1830, the eldest son of Samuel Bright JP (1799–1870) and Elizabeth Anne, eldest daughter of the Liverpool banker Hugh Jones. The Brights, a long-established and well-respected family of Bristol...

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Buddle, John (1773–1843), mining engineer, was born at Kyo, near Lanchester, Durham, on 15 September 1773, the fourth of six children and the only son of John Buddle (1743–1806) and Anne Reay, a farmer's daughter. His father is said to have been a schoolmaster (though he was never licensed), but by 1777 was described as a coal viewer (or mining engineer), and it is clear that he was taking an interest in local mining matters from the 1760s. By 1792 the father's reputation was such that he was appointed viewer to ...

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Chamberlain, Arthur (1842–1913), industrialist, was born on 11 April 1842 at 3 Grove Hill Terrace, Camberwell, Surrey, the third of six sons of Joseph Chamberlain (1796–1874), a wholesale shoe manufacturer, and Caroline, née Harben (1808–1875), daughter of a wealthy provision merchant. His eldest brother was ...

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Chamberlain, Joseph [Joe] (1836–1914), industrialist and politician, was born on 8 July 1836 at 3 Grove Hill Terrace, Camberwell, Surrey, the first of the nine children of Joseph Chamberlain (1796–1874), cordwainer and metal manufacturer, and his wife, Caroline (1808–1875), daughter of Henry Harben...

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Courtauld, Samuel (1876–1947), industrialist and patron of the arts, was born at Bocking, Essex, on 7 May 1876, the second son of Sydney Courtauld, a silk manufacturer, and his wife, Sarah Lucy, the daughter of William Sharp. The Courtaulds had arrived in England...

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Samuel Courtauld (1876–1947) by Fayer, mid-1930s © reserved; unknown collection; photograph National Portrait Gallery, London

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Courtauld, Samuel (1793–1881), silk manufacturer, was born in Albany, New York, USA, on 1 June 1793, the eldest son of George Courtauld (1761–1823) and Ruth, daughter of Stephen Minton of Cork. The Courtaulds had come to England as Huguenot refugees at the end of the seventeenth century where for three generations they worked and prospered as silversmiths in ...

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Dunsford, Martin (1744–1807), serge maker and antiquary, was born on 2 February 1744 in Tiverton, Devon, the eldest son of Martin Dunsford (1711–1763), serge maker, and his wife, Anne Stone (d. 1798). He was taught at home by his father until he was eight, when he was sent to ...

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Fielden, Joshua (1827–1887), cotton manufacturer and politician, was born on 8 March 1827 at Dawson Weir, Todmorden, Lancashire, the sixth of the seven surviving children of John Fielden (1784–1849) and his first wife, Ann Grindrod (d. 1832), the daughter of a Rochdale...

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Greg, Henry Philips (1865–1936), industrialist, was born at Lode Hill, Styal, near Wilmslow, Cheshire, on 13 August 1865, the only son (there were also five daughters) of Henry Russell Greg (1832–1894) and his wife Emily née Gair. His childhood was spent at Lode Hill...

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Greg, Robert Hyde (1795–1875), cotton manufacturer and economist, born at 35 King Street, Manchester, on 24 September 1795, was son of Samuel Greg (1758–1834), founder of the Quarry Bank Mill, Styal, Cheshire, and brother of William Rathbone Greg and Samuel Greg [see under...

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Greg, William Rathbone (1809–1881), industrialist and writer, was born at Quarry Bank House, Styal, Cheshire, the youngest son of Samuel Greg (1758–1834) and his wife, Hannah (1766–1828), daughter of Adam Lightbody of Liverpool and his wife, Elizabeth. His elder brothers included Robert Hyde Greg (1795–1875)...

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Henry, Thomas (1734–1816), apothecary and chemist, was born on 28 September 1734 at Wrexham, Wales, the third of five children and the second of three sons of William Henry. His parents kept a school but his father was best known as a dancing-master. Of his elder brother, ...

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Heymann, Lewis (1802–1869), lace merchant and manufacturer, was born on 3 March 1802 at Teterow in the grand duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (later part of Germany), one of the three children of Gabriel Heymann and his wife, Nascha. For some years he travelled from ...