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Thomas Britton (1644–1714) by John Wollaston, 1703 ? National Portrait Gallery, London

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Britton, Thomas (1644–1714), concert promoter, book collector, and coal merchant, was born on 14 January 1644 at Rushden near Higham Ferrers, Northamptonshire. He migrated to London where he apprenticed himself to a ‘small-coal’ (slack-coal, or charcoal) merchant near St John the Baptist's Street...

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Brown, James Duff (1862–1914), librarian and compiler of music reference books, was born on 6 November 1862 at 3 Reid Terrace, Stockbridge, Edinburgh, the second of seven children of James Brown of St Fergus, Aberdeenshire, a bookkeeper, and his wife, Margaret Douglas of ...

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Clark, Alfred Corning (1873–1950), record and electrical goods manufacturer, was born in New York, USA, on 19 December 1873, the elder son of Walter Lowry Clark, a chocolate manufacturer, and his wife, Mary Rowe. His parents' families were both of English extraction and his background was distinctly patrician—his great-uncle had been a ...

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Crane, William (d. 1545), musician and merchant, was of obscure origins, but by 1506 he had become a gentleman of the Chapel Royal, for in May of that year he performed at the entertainments given by Lady Margaret Beaufort for King Filippo of Castile...

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Frank Gilbert Crichlow (1932–2010) by Phillip Jackson, 1982 [surveying the damage at the Mangrove Cafe in All Saints Road on the morning after the 1982 Notting Hill riots] ? Phillip Jackson / Rex Features / Associated Newspapers

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Crichlow, Frank Gilbert (1932–2010), musician, restaurateur, and community activist, was born on 13 July 1932 in Woodbrook, Port of Spain, Trinidad. Little is known of his early life. He sailed for Britain on the SS Colombie in June 1953. In the post-war years migration to ...

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Dodd, Thomas (d. 1834), musical instrument maker and music-seller, was the third son of Edward Dodd (1704/5?–1810), bow maker. His family moved from Sheffield to London and he was originally apprenticed to a firm of brewers. From 1786 to 1789 he worked as a bow maker in ...

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Ebers, John (bap. 1778, d. 1858), bookseller and opera manager, was born in Hertford, where he was baptized at St Andrew's Church on 24 July 1778, the son of John Henry Ebers and his wife, Sarah. At some time between 1808 and 1811 he took over from his father a fashionable bookshop in ...

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Epstein, Brian Samuel (1934–1967), popular music entrepreneur and retailer, was born on 19 September 1934 at a private nursing home at 4 Rodney Street, Liverpool, the first of two children of Harold (Harry) Epstein (1901–1967) furniture retailer, and his wife, Malka (Queenie), née...

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Brian Samuel Epstein (1934–1967) by Robert Whitaker, 1964 ? Robert Whitaker; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Evans, Rudolph Bayfield [Rudy] [performing name André de Dakar] (1897–1987), singer, actor, and entrepreneur, was born at Monkey Hill, Panama, on 23 February 1897, the eighth son and ninth of the ten children of Edward John Rhodes Evans (b. 1853), a land and property owner, and his wife, ...

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Flackton, William (bap. 1709, d. 1798), bookseller and musician, was born in Canterbury and baptized on 27 March 1709 in the parish of St Alphege there, the eldest surviving son of John Flackton (bap. 1679) and his wife, Catharine Sharp, who married in 1702. ...

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See Forster, William

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Freeth, John [pseud. John Free] (1731–1808), innkeeper and political ballad writer, was born at the Bell tavern, Philip Street, Birmingham, the son of Charles Freeth, landlord of the Bell, and his wife, Mary. Nothing is known of Freeth's education or of his early years, although it seems that he was once an itinerant street ballad singer. Where and when ...

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See Gow, Nathaniel

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Horniman, Frederick John (1835–1906), tea merchant and founder of the Horniman Museum, London, was born on 8 October 1835 at Bridgwater, Somerset, the fourth of six children of John Horniman (1803–1893) and his wife, Ann, daughter of Thomas Smith of Witney. The first two children and the last died in infancy; young ...

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Jordan, Abraham (c. 1666–1715/16), distiller and organ builder, was the son of Abraham Jordan (d. in or before 1669), vintner, and grandson of William Jordan, yeoman, of Ratbey, Leicestershire, and was probably born either there or in London. The tradition that the family came from ...

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See Kollmann, Augustus Frederic Christopher

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Lewis, Sir Edward Roberts (1900–1980), record and gramophone company executive, was born at Allerton Mount, Duffield Road, Derby on 19 April 1900, the only son in the family of four children of Sir Alfred Edward Lewis (1868–1940), banker, and his wife, May Roberts...