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Abadam, Alice (1856–1940), suffrage activist and women’s right’s campaigner, was born in St John’s Wood, London, on 2 January 1856 (census returns 1891, 1939 Register). Her birth was not registered and she was not baptised. She was the youngest of seven children (four daughters and two sons) of ...

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Acland [née Cropper], Eleanor Mary, Lady Acland (1878–1933), politician and suffragist, was born at Tolson Hall, Strickland Kettle, Westmorland, on 27 February 1878, the eldest of the five children (four daughters and one son) of Charles James Cropper (1852–1924) and his wife, the Hon. ...

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Actresses’ Franchise League [AFL] (act. 1908–1958) was formed in 1908 as ‘a bond of union between all women in the Theatrical profession who are in sympathy with the Woman’s Franchise Movement’. The organization was itself ‘strictly neutral in regard to Suffrage Tactics’ and membership was open to women who were or had been ‘connected with the Theatrical profession in any of its branches’. The constitution of the league declared its objectives as being to convince members of the theatrical profession of the necessity of extending the franchise to women on the same terms as men. It would campaign by using what it called ‘educational methods’ including propaganda meetings, and plays, sale of literature, and lectures (...

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Adams, William Edwin [pseuds. Caractacus, Ironside, Uncle Toby] (1832–1906), radical and journalist, was born in humble circumstances in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, on 11 February 1832, the son of John Adams, a tramping plasterer, and his wife, Sarah, née Wells. He was raised by his widowed maternal grandmother, ...

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James Aitken (1752–1777) by unknown engraver, pubd 1777 (after W. Cave) © Copyright The British Museum

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Aitken, James [alias John the Painter] (1752–1777), radical and arsonist, was born in Edinburgh on 28 September 1752 to George Aitken, a blacksmith, and his wife, Magdalen. The eighth of twelve children, James qualified for admission as an impoverished student to Heriot's Hospital, Edinburgh...

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Aitken, William (1812?–1869), Chartist and factory reformer, was born in a barrack room near Dunbar, possibly on 2 June 1812, the youngest but one of nine children of Scottish parents, natives of Duns. His father, originally a cordwainer, served thirty years in the army and rose to the rank of sergeant-major. After leaving the army ...

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Louisa Garrett Anderson (1873–1943) by Francis Dodd © reserved / artist's estate / Royal Free Hospital

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Anderson, Louisa Garrett (1873–1943), surgeon and suffragette, was born at the house of her paternal uncle, 9 Lyndhurst Road, Hampstead, London, on 28 July 1873, the eldest of the three children and the only surviving daughter of James George Skelton Anderson (1838–1907), shipowner, and his wife, the pioneering physician ...

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Gertrude Mary Ansell (1861–1932) by unknown photographer, 1914 [police identification photograph issued by New Scotland Yard] © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Ansell, Gertrude Mary (1861–1932), suffragette and businesswoman, was born on 2 June 1861 at 1 Vernon Place, Bloomsbury, London, the third child and only daughter of George Frederick Ansell (1826–1880) and his wife, Sarah Cook. Her father, a scientific chemist, had in 1856 been appointed to a clerkship in the ...

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Arnold, Ethel Margaret (1864/5–1930), journalist, author, and lecturer on female suffrage, was the daughter of Thomas Arnold (1823–1900), teacher and English scholar, and his wife, Julia Sorell (1826–1888). Her grandfather was Thomas Arnold (1795–1842), headmaster of Rugby School, her uncle Matthew Arnold (1822–1888)...

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Sir (Robert) Arthur Arnold (1833–1902) by Leonard Watts Guildhall Art Gallery, Corporation of London

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G. S. Woods

revised by Jonathan Spain

Arnold, Sir (Robert) Arthur (1833–1902), radical and writer, born on 28 May 1833 at Gravesend, Kent, was the third son of the three sons and three daughters of Robert Coles Arnold JP (b. 1797), of Whartons, Framfield, Sussex, and Sarah, daughter of ...

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See London Corresponding Society

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Ashton, William (c. 1806–1877), Chartist, was born in the Yorkshire linen-weaving and coal-mining town of Barnsley about 1806. His father was an Englishman, and a linen weaver, and his mother was an Irish Catholic. Ashton always identified strongly with his mother's nation and faith and often spoke of himself as an Irishman....

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Ashurst, William Henry [pseud. Edward Search] (bap. 1791?, d. 1855), lawyer and radical, was born in London, and was probably the William Henry Ashurst baptized on 20 March 1791 at St Luke's, Old Street, the son of Brusel Ashurst and his wife, ...

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Ayrton [née Marks], (Phoebe) Sarah [Hertha] (1854–1923), electrical engineer and suffragist, was born Phoebe Sarah Marks on 28 April 1854 at 6 Queen Street, Portsea, Portsmouth, third child of Alice Theresa (d. 1898), seamstress, daughter of Joseph Moss, glass merchant of ...

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Baines [née Hunt], Sarah Jane [Jennie] (1866–1951), suffragette and social reformer, was born on 30 November 1866 in Birmingham, the daughter of James Edward Hunt, gun maker, and his wife, Sarah Ann, née Hunt. She started work in a Birmingham small arms factory aged eleven and at fourteen was assisting her parents in ...

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Peter Berresford Ellis

Baird, John (1788–1820), radical, was, with Andrew Hardie (1792–1820) and James Wilson (1757–1820), one of the three ‘Radical Martyrs’ executed for their part in the Scottish insurrection of April 1820. Baird, born in Condorrat, Stirling, was the third son of a ...