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Ablett, Noah (1883–1935), miners' leader and adult educator  

Hywel Francis

Ablett, Noah (1883–1935), miners' leader and adult educator, was born on 4 October 1883 in Ynys-hir, near Porth, Rhondda, Glamorgan, the tenth of eleven children of John Ablett, miner, and his wife, Jane, née Williams. Educated at Ferndale higher grade school, he was a boy preacher. He followed his father and elder brothers and started work in the ...


Agnew, Sir Andrew (1882–1955), oil industrialist  

Angela Kenny

Agnew, Sir Andrew (1882–1955), oil industrialist, was born on 28 February 1882 at 30 Roxburgh Street, Greenock, the son of Andrew Agnew, grocer, and his wife, Margaret. He was educated at Holmscroft School in Greenock. In 1912 he married Belle McKissock, daughter of ...


Angus, Robert (1835/6–1923), coal- and ironmaster  

Robert D. Corrins

Angus, Robert (1835/6–1923), coal- and ironmaster, was probably born at New Monkland, Lanarkshire, the eldest son of James Angus, a labourer and engine-keeper, and Margaret Young. His parents married in November 1835, and Angus may have been conceived, or even born, before the marriage. Educated at ...


Armstrong, Thomas [Tommy] (1848–1920), pitman and poet  

Roy Palmer

Armstrong, Thomas [Tommy] (1848–1920), pitman and poet, was born on 15 August 1848 in Wood Street, Shotley Bridge, co. Durham, the son of Timothy Armstrong, labourer, and his wife, Mary, née Wilson. Childhood rickets bowed his legs to such an extent that when at the age of nine he started work as a trapper boy in the pit his brother had to carry him there; he never exceeded ...


Ashington group (act. 1934–1983)  

William Feaver

Ashington group (act. 1934–1983), originated in October 1934 when men, mainly coalminers, from Ashington, Northumberland, began classes in art appreciation. It was a course without precedent in a mining village 16 miles, and a world away, from the nearest art gallery. The class, organized by the ...


Bainbridge, Emerson Muschamp (1845–1911), mining engineer and colliery owner  

Anne Pimlott Baker

Bainbridge, Emerson Muschamp (1845–1911), mining engineer and colliery owner, was born on 23 December 1845 in Portland Place, Newcastle upon Tyne, the third son and fourth child in the family of fifteen children (ten of whom survived childhood) of Emerson Muschamp Bainbridge (1817–1892)...


Bald, Robert (1776–1861), mining engineer  

Christopher A. Whatley

Bald, Robert (1776–1861), mining engineer, was born at Culross, Perthshire, one of two sons of Alexander Bald (d. 1823) and his wife, Jane Christie. Alexander Bald (1783–1859) was his younger brother. The father was then colliery manager for the earl of Dundonald...


Barber, John (1734–1793), coalmaster and inventor  

H. S. Torrens

Barber, John (1734–1793), coalmaster and inventor, was born at Greasley Castle Farm, Nottinghamshire, and baptized at Greasley on 22 October 1734, the eldest son of Francis Barber (d. 1782), Nottinghamshire coalmaster, and his wife, Elizabeth Fletcher (d. 1787). His mother's father, ...


Barran, Sir David Haven (1912–2002), oil industrialist  

Stephen Howarth

Barran, Sir David Haven (1912–2002), oil industrialist, was born on 23 May 1912 at 51 Rutland Gate, Knightsbridge, London, the youngest of the four children (three sons and a daughter) of Sir John Nicholson Barran, second baronet (1872–1952) [see under Barran family...


Basset, John (1791–1843), writer on Cornish mining  

W. H. Tregellas

revised by Philip Payton

Basset, John (1791–1843), writer on Cornish mining, was born on 17 November 1791 at Illogan, Cornwall, the son of the Revd John Basset (d. 1816), rector of Illogan and Camborne, and Mary Wingfield of Durham, his wife. He was baptized at Illogan church...


See Beasley [née James], (Catherine) Eileen


Beatty, Sir (Alfred) Chester (1875–1968), mining engineer and art collector  

Ronald Lindsay Prain

revised by Anita McConnell

Beatty, Sir (Alfred) Chester (1875–1968), mining engineer and art collector, was born on 7 February 1875 in New York city, the youngest of the three sons of John Cuming Beatty, banker, of New York city, and his wife, Hetty, daughter of William Gedney Bull...


Beaumont, Huntingdon (1561–1624), coal owner  

Colin Griffin

Beaumont, Huntingdon (1561–1624), coal owner, was born probably at Coleorton, Leicestershire, the fourth and youngest son of Nicholas Beaumont (d. 1585), and Anne (d. 1581), daughter of William Saunders, of Welford, Northamptonshire. He had three brothers, the second of whom died in infancy, and two sisters. His father owned the ...


See Beaumont, Huntingdon


Beck, Simon Adams (1803–1883), gas industrialist and lawyer  

Francis Goodall

Beck, Simon Adams (1803–1883), gas industrialist and lawyer, was baptized at Condover, Shropshire, on 25 July 1803, the son of James Beck of Allesley Park, Warwickshire, and his wife, Sarah Coker. He trained as a lawyer and in 1829 married Sarah Ann, second daughter of ...


Cover Beit, Alfred (1853–1906)

Beit, Alfred (1853–1906)  

Maker: Giovanni Boldini

Alfred Beit (1853–1906) by Giovanni Boldini, 1904 Christie's Images Ltd. (2004)


Beit, Alfred (1853–1906), mining magnate and philanthropist  

C. W. Boyd

revised by Ian Phimister

Beit, Alfred (1853–1906), mining magnate and philanthropist, born at Hamburg on 15 February 1853, was the eldest son of Siegfried and Laura Beit. His father was a merchant belonging to a well-known Hamburg family descended from Portuguese Jews, and Lutheran by religion. Beit...


See Bellasis family


Berry, (Henry) Seymour, Baron Buckland (1877–1928), financier and coal industrialist  

John Williams

Berry, (Henry) Seymour, Baron Buckland (1877–1928), financier and coal industrialist, was born at 73 Lower Thomas Street, Merthyr Tudful, on 17 September 1877, the eldest of three sons of John Mathias Berry (d. 1917), JP, estate agent and valuer, of Gwaelod-y-garth, Merthyr Tudful...


Cover Berthoud, Sir Eric Alfred (1900–1989)

Berthoud, Sir Eric Alfred (1900–1989)  

Maker: Elliott & Fry


Sir Eric Alfred Berthoud (1900–1989) by Elliott & Fry, 1952 © National Portrait Gallery, London