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Banneker, Benjamin (1731–1806), astronomer and farmer in America, was born on 9 November 1731 in Baltimore county, Maryland, in what later became the community of Oella, the first of four children of Robert (d. 1759), a former slave from Guinea who had been given his freedom, and his mixed-race wife, ...

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Clare, John (1793–1864), poet, farm labourer, and naturalist, was born on 13 July 1793 in West Street, Helpston, Northamptonshire, the son of Parker Clare (1765–1846), a thresher and local wrestler, known as 'the lame man of Helpstone', and his wife, Ann (1757–1835)...

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John Clare (1793–1864) by William Hilton, 1820 ? National Portrait Gallery, London

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Cotton, John (1802–1849), pastoralist and ornithologist in Australia, was born at Balham Hill, Surrey, the third son of William Cotton (1759–1816), a prosperous clerk in the London custom house, and his wife, Catherine Savery (d. 1803). An older brother was the art collector ...

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Elkington, Joseph (bap. 1740, d. 1806), farmer and designer of land drainage systems, was baptized on 1 January 1740, the eldest son of Joseph Elkington (1697–1758), yeoman farmer, and his wife, Mary, née Gallimore (d. 1750), at Stretton-on-Dunsmore, Warwickshire. He married on 26 December 1760 ...

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Farrer, William James (1845–1906), wheat breeder, was born on 3 April 1845 at Docker, near Kendal, Westmorland, the first of the four children of Thomas Farrer, tenant farmer, and his wife, Sarah (d. 1853), daughter of John Brunskill. He was educated at ...

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Hosier, Arthur Julius (1877–1963), farmer and engineer, was born on 16 October 1877 at Shawford, Somerset, the twelfth and youngest child of Joshua Hosier, tenant dairy farmer, and his second wife, Sarah Fricker, a farmer's daughter from Frome. His was the fourth generation of farmers in the family but his father did not prosper in the profession. Having failed as an arable farmer in the difficult years of the 1880s, ...

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Frank Parkinson (1887–1946) by Howard Coster ? National Portrait Gallery, London

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Parkinson, Frank (1887–1946), electrical engineer and philanthropist, was born at Springfield, Guiseley, Wharfedale, Yorkshire, on 7 February 1887, the eldest of three children of Joseph Parkinson (1862–1902), stone mason and quarry-owner, and his wife, Ann Elizabeth, née Yeadon (b. 1861). Educated at ...

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Pollitt, George Paton (1878–1964), chemical industrialist and farmer, was born on 23 August 1878 at Ravenswing House, Mellor, near Blackburn, Lancashire, the younger son and middle child of Joseph Seddon Pollitt, a bank manager, and his wife, Charlotte Paton. He was at school in ...

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Robertson, Alexander (1896–1970), organic chemist and farmer, was born on 12 February 1896 on a farm at Charlesfield, Auchterless (on the Hatton estate), Aberdeenshire, the son of Andrew Robertson, farmer, and his wife, Jane Cantlay. Robertson was the eldest of three children; his twin sisters predeceased him. He was educated at the ...