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Bamber [née Balmuth], Helen Rae (1925–2014), human rights advocate and psychotherapist, was born at Westminster Hospital, London, on 1 May 1925, the only child of Louis Balmuth (1887–1961), accountant, and his wife Marie, née Bader (1895–1969), a singer. At the time of her birth registration her parents, both of Polish-Jewish descent, lived at ...

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Barnham, Benedict (bap. 1559, d. 1598), merchant and benefactor, was baptized on 2 June 1559 at St Mildred Poultry, London, the fourth and youngest son of Alice Barnham, silkwoman and benefactor, and her husband, Francis Barnham [see under Barnham, Alice], draper and local politician. From 1559 the family lived at ...

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Browne, William (d. 1489), merchant and benefactor, was the son of John Browne (d. 1442), a Stamford draper and Calais stapler, and his wife, Margery (d. 1460). He was born into a family that can be traced in Stamford back to the mid-fourteenth century. His date of birth is uncertain, though it seems likely that he was born during the decade following 1410. It is possible that he was the ...

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Budgett, Samuel (1794–1851), merchant and philanthropist, was born on 27 July 1794 at Wrington, Somerset, the seventh of the twelve children of James Budgett (1747–1823), shopkeeper, and his second wife and cousin, Elizabeth Budgett (d. 1831). In 1801, after residing in Backwell...

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Canynges, William (1402–1474), merchant and ecclesiastical benefactor, was one of the younger of seven children of John Canynges, clothier and merchant of Bristol, and his wife, Joan Wotton. He was born into a notably successful Bristol family. William Canynges (d. 1396) was a wealthy clothier who was five times mayor of ...

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Chestre, Alice (d. 1485), trader and benefactor, in common with many fifteenth-century women, seems particularly to have come into her own after the death of her husband. Henry Chestre, a Bristol draper, had been prosperous and was numbered among the worthy men of his parish, ...

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Clopton, Hugh (c. 1440–1496), merchant, mayor of London, and civil benefactor, was the younger son of John and Agnes Clopton, of Clopton, near Stratford upon Avon, where the family had been settled since the thirteenth century. Apprenticed to John Roo, mercer of London...

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Colston, Edward (1636–1721), merchant and philanthropist, was born on 2 November 1636 in Temple Street, Bristol, the eldest of probably eleven children (six boys and five girls are known) of William Colston (1608–1681), a merchant, and his wife, Sarah, née Batten (d...

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Colwall, Daniel (d. 1690), merchant and philanthropist, has an obscure family background, and nothing is known about his early life. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society on 16 January 1661, and was a council member (1663–86 and 1689) and treasurer from 1665 to 1679 [...

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See Cooper, Daniel

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Cory, John (1828–1910), coal broker and philanthropist, was born on 28 March 1828 at Bideford, the eldest of five sons of Richard Cory (1799–1882), merchant, and Sarah, both of Bideford. The father was the owner and master of a small vessel in the coastal trade, and his decision in the 1830s to open a store as ship's chandler and provision merchant in ...

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Cotton, William (1786–1866), merchant and philanthropist, was born on 12 September 1786 at Leytonstone, Essex, the third son of Joseph Cotton (1745–1825), a mariner and merchant, and his wife, Sarah (1751–1818), the daughter of John Harrison, a merchant and director of the Bank of England...

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Coward, William (1647/8–1738), merchant and benefactor of the Coward Trust, was born to unknown parents. Little is known of his early life, but, after establishing himself in the City of London, on 8 May 1676 he married Mary Watson (bap. 1653), whose parents were dead, and moved to ...

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Cropper, James (1773–1840), merchant and philanthropist, was born at Winstanley, Lancashire, the son of Thomas Cropper and his wife, Rebecca, née Winstanley. The Croppers were birthright members of the Society of Friends and small-scale farmers. James, however, was sufficiently ambitious to leave home at the age of seventeen to become apprenticed to ...

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See Culverwell family

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Dauntsey, William (c. 1480–1543), merchant and benefactor, was the fourth and youngest known son of John Dauntsey, esquire, of West Lavington, Wiltshire, where his family could trace its ancestry back to the mid-twelfth century, and his wife, Margery. He is to be distinguished from a contemporary namesake (...

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Dick, James (bap. 1743, d. 1828), merchant and benefactor, was baptized on 6 February 1743 at Forres, Moray, the son of Alexander Dick (d. 1783), shoemaker and town councillor, and his wife, Elizabeth. The house they occupied in Forres High Street still bears their initials on the lintel. As a boy ...

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Dowe, Robert (c. 1523–1612), merchant and benefactor, was the second son of Henry Dove of Stradbroke, Suffolk, and Alice Nowell. He was apprenticed to Nicholas Wilford, a prominent member of the Merchant Taylors' Company of London, of which he became free in 1550. It was probably soon after this that he married ...

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Ellis, Thomas (d. 1562), merchant and benefactor, appears to have been a Yorkshireman by birth. His origins were assiduously investigated by several nineteenth-century genealogists, but with limited success, and the most that can be said is that the arms granted him in 1549 suggest kinship with the ...

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Eyre, Simon (c. 1395–1458), merchant, mayor of London, and civic benefactor, was the son of John and Amy Eyre of Brandon, Suffolk, where he was born. He was apprenticed in London to the upholder (second-hand clothes dealer) Peter Smert, but transferred to the more prestigious ...