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Thomas Rhodes Armitage (1824–1890) by unknown artist Royal National Institute for the Blind

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Armitage, Thomas Rhodes (1824–1890), campaigner for blind people, was born at Tilgate, Sussex, on 2 April 1824, the sixth of seven sons of James Armitage (1793–1872), a prosperous Leeds ironfounder, and his wife, Anne Elizabeth, née Rhodes. Edward Armitage, history painter, was his eldest brother. The family had largely detached itself from its industrial roots, and for much of his early life ...

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Antony Armstrong-Jones, first Earl of Snowdon (1930–2017), by Roger George Clark, 1979

© Roger George Clark / National Portrait Gallery, London

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Jones, Antony Charles Robert [Tony] Armstrong-, first earl of Snowdon and Baron Armstrong-Jones (1930–2017), photographer, designer, and campaigner for disabled rights, was born at 25 Eaton Terrace, Belgravia, London, on 7 March 1930, the younger child and only son of Ronald Owen Lloyd (Ronnie) Armstrong-Jones...

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John Ashley, Baron Ashley of Stoke (1922–2012) by Nick Sinclair, 1992 © Nick Sinclair

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Ashley, John [Jack], Baron Ashley of Stoke (1922–2012), politician, was born on 6 December 1922 at 34 Wellington Street, Widnes, Lancashire, the son of John Ashley (d. 1927), a labourer in a chemical works, and a devout Catholic, and his wife, Isabella, ...

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Austin, (Ethel) Winifred (1873–1918), pioneer of library services for blind people, was born on 7 October 1873 (not 1875, as her obituaries state) at 3 Lansdowne Place, Blackheath Hill, London, the tenth child of George Austin (1824/5–1887) and Mary Anne Jane Cullum Aldridge (...

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C. W. Sutton

revised by M. C. Curthoys

Baker, Charles (1803–1874), teacher of deaf people, was born on 31 July 1803, the second son of Thomas Baker, headmaster of the Lancasterian School, Severn Street, Birmingham, and his wife, Charlotte Mould. His elder brother was Franklin Baker (1800–1867); his younger brothers included ...

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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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Leopold Bernhard Bonn (1850–1929) by Lienhard & Salzborn Royal National Institute for the Deaf

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Bonn, Leopold Bernhard (1850–1929), banker and philanthropist, was born on 3 August 1850 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, the ninth child of Baruch Bonn, a prominent Jewish banker. He was privately educated. After the annexation of Frankfurt by Prussia in 1866, Bonn applied for denaturalization and moved to ...

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Arthur Charles Mainwaring Bowen (1922–1980) by unknown photographer © reserved; Arthritis Care

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Bowen, Arthur Charles Mainwaring (1922–1980), founder of the British Rheumatic Association, was born on 24 March 1922 at Pentre-bach, Pontyberem, near Carmarthen, the son of Arthur Pendragon Bowen (1887–1942), a timber and builder's merchant, and his wife, Edith Helena Stephenson (1895–1984). He was educated at ...

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Alexander Gordon

revised by Michael Bevan

Braidwood, Thomas (1715–1806), teacher of deaf people, was born in Scotland and educated at Edinburgh University. He was for some time assistant in the grammar school at Hamilton, and afterwards opened a mathematical school in Edinburgh. On 1 October 1752 he married Margaret Pearson...

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Buller, Dame (Audrey Charlotte) Georgiana (1883–1953), worker for the disabled, was born on 4 August 1883 at Downes, Crediton, Devon, the only child of Sir Redvers Henry Buller (1839–1908), landowner and army officer, and his wife, Lady Audrey Jane Charlotte (1844–1926), youngest daughter of the ...

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John Bulwer (bap. 1606, d. 1656) by T. Berry, pubd 1820 (after William Faithorne the elder) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bulwer, John (bap. 1606, d. 1656), medical practitioner and writer on deafness and on gesture, was the second and only surviving son of Thomas Bulwer (d. 1649), a London apothecary, and Marie (d. 1638), daughter of George Evanes of St Albans, Hertfordshire...