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Allen, Ralph (bap. 1693, d. 1764), postal entrepreneur and philanthropist, was baptized on 24 July 1693 in the parish church of St Columb Major in Cornwall, one of four children of Philip Allen (d. 1728). Much remains obscure about his early life, but his father is reputed to have kept an inn in nearby ...

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William Allen (1770–1843) by Henry Perronet Briggs, exh. RA 1844 Museum of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain

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Leslie Stephen

revised by G. F. Bartle

Allen, William (1770–1843), philanthropist and scientist, was born on 29 August 1770 at Stewart Street, the Old Artillery Ground, Spitalfields, London, the eldest of the six sons of Job Allen (1734–1800) and his wife, Margaret Stafford (d. 1830). His father, a silk manufacturer, was a member of the ...

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Argyle, Jesse William (1859–1924), social investigator and statistician, was born at 7 Argyle Road, Mile End, London, on 4 September 1859, the elder of two sons of Jesse Smith Argyle (1834/5–1866), a grocer's travelling salesman, and his wife, Martha Annie, née Mattocks. After their father's death ...

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Austin, Henry (1811/12–1861), civil engineer and sanitarian, was the son of William Austin, medical practitioner, of Bloomsbury Square, London. Two sisters and at least one brother survived to adulthood. Austin was a pupil of Robert Stephenson, with whom he worked on the London and Birmingham and London and Blackwall railways...

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Bader, Ernest (1890–1982), chemical manufacturer and industrial reformer, was born in Regensdorf, Switzerland, on 24 November 1890, the youngest of thirteen children of a protestant farmer, Gottlieb Bader, and his wife, Barbara Meier. He was expelled from school at the age of twelve and went to work as a menial in a ...

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Henry Baker (1698–1774) by William Nutter, pubd 1812 (after W. B. Thomson) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Baker, Henry (1698–1774), natural philosopher and teacher of deaf people, was born on 8 May 1698 in Quality Court, Chancery Lane, London, to William Baker, a clerk in chancery, and his wife, Mary, the daughter of Aaron Pengry, comptroller of the petty bag office. His father died when he was very young, and he himself recorded that he was brought up by his paternal grandmother. At the age of fifteen he was apprenticed to a bookseller of ...

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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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Binney, Edward William (1812–1881), geologist and philanthropist, was born on 7 December 1812 at Morton Hall, near Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, the youngest of the seven sons and two daughters of Thomas Binney (1762–1835), landowner and maltster, and his second wife, Elizabeth Cross (d...

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Bouverie, Jacob [formerly Jacob Des Bouverie], first Viscount Folkestone (bap. 1694, d. 1761), patron of science and philanthropist, was baptized at St Katharine Cree church, London, on 14 October 1694, the second son of Sir William Des Bouverie, first baronet (1656–1717), and his second wife, ...

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Bradley, Humphrey (fl. 1584–1625), designer of land drainage systems, was possibly the son of John Bradley (fl. 1561–1568), concierge of the English trading house at Bergen op Zoom, Brabant, who was married to Anna van der Delft. He first appears in England...

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Brady, Sir Antonio (1811–1881), Admiralty official, naturalist, and social reformer, was born at Deptford, London, on 10 November 1811, the eldest son of Anthony Brady of the Deptford victualling yard, then storekeeper at the Royal William victualling yard, Plymouth, and his wife (whom he married on 20 December 1810), ...

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Edward Allen Brotherton, Baron Brotherton (1856–1930) by Sir Benjamin Stone, 1902 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Brotherton, Edward Allen, Baron Brotherton (1856–1930), chemical manufacturer and philanthropist, was born on 1 April 1856 at 2 Tiverton Place, Ardwick Green, Manchester, the eldest of three children of Theophilus Brotherton, a yarn agent, and his wife, Sarah, née O'Donnell. His relatives included the educational reformer ...

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Carpenter, Philip Pearsall (1819–1877), social reformer and conchologist, youngest child of Lant Carpenter (1780–1840), Unitarian divine and schoolmaster, and his wife, Anna (d. 1856), daughter of James Penn of Kidderminster, was born at Bristol on 4 November 1819. His sister Mary Carpenter (1807–1877)...

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Churcher, Richard (1659–1723), educational benefactor, was born on 10 July 1659 at Funtington, near Chichester, Sussex, the eldest son of Richard Churcher (d. 1676) and his wife, Elinor (d. 1710). His father was a yeoman farmer in comfortable circumstances who decided, however, that none of his children should follow him in agriculture. ...

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Conder, Peter John (1919–1993), ornithologist and conservationist, was born on 20 March 1919 at 81 Thornton Avenue, Streatham, London, the son of John Reynolds Conder, a shipbroker, and his wife Edna Frances, née Benson. Conder's interest in birds began with egg collecting, an activity he later opposed. He was educated at ...

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Corbett, John (1817–1901), chemical manufacturer and philanthropist, born at The Delph, Brierley Hill, Staffordshire, on 12 June 1817, was the eldest son in a family of five sons and one daughter of Joseph Corbett and his wife, Hannah. The father, originally a Shropshire...