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Sir Richard Arkwright (1732–1792) by Joseph Wright of Derby, 1789–90 private collection; photograph © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Arkwright, Sir Richard (1732–1792), inventor of cotton-spinning machinery and cotton manufacturer, was born on 23 December 1732 at Preston, Lancashire, the sixth of the seven children of Thomas Arkwright (1691–1753), a tailor, and his wife, Ellen Hodgkinson (1693–1778). The family was rooted in ...

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Alfred Rosling Bennett (1850–1928) by Elliott & Fry, pubd 1907–9 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Ronald M. Birse

revised by Brian Bowers

Bennett, Alfred Rosling (1850–1928), electrical engineer, was born on 14 May 1850 in Islington, London, the son of John Richard Bennett. He had at least one brother. He was educated at a private school, and later at the Bellevue Academy, Greenwich. His original leanings were towards railway engineering, and he maintained an interest in the subject all his life, but his first appointment in 1869 was to the Indian government ...

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Smedley, John (1803–1874), hydropathy practitioner and Free Methodist leader, was born on 12 June 1803 at Wirksworth, Derbyshire, the eldest son of John Smedley (d. 1840), mill owner, and his wife, Mary. On his mother's side he descended from a long line of ...