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Great Men

(Social status of).

ÆSop, a manumitted slave.

Arkwright (Sir Richard), a barber.

Beaconsfield (Lord), a solicitor’s clerk.

Bloomfield, a cobbler, son of a tailor.

Bunyan, a travelling tinker.

Burns, a gauger, son of a ploughman.

CÆdmon, a cowherd.

Cervantes, a common soldier.

Clare, a ploughman, son of a farm labourer.

Claude Lorraine, a pastrycook.

Columbus son of a weaver.

Cook (Captain), son of a husbandman.

Cromwell, son of a brewer.

Cunningham (Allan), a stonemason, son of a peasant.

Defoe, a hosier, son of a butcher.

Demosthenes, son of a cutler.

Dickens, a newspaper reporter; father the same.

Eldon (Lord), son of a coal-broker.

Faraday (Michael), a bookbinder.

Ferguson (James), the astronomer, son of a day-labourer.

Franklin, a journeyman printer, son of a tallow-chandler.

Hargreaves, the machinist, a poor weaver.

Hogg, a shepherd, son of a Scotch peasant.

Homer, a farmer’s son (said to have begged his bread).

Horace, son of a manumitted slave.

Howard (John), a grocer’s apprentice, son of a tradesman.

Kean (Edmund), son of a stage-carpenter in a minor theatre.

Jonson (Ben), a bricklayer.

Latimer, Bishop of Worcester, son of a small farmer

Lucian, a sculptor, son of a poor tradesman.

Monk (General), a volunteer.

Opie (John), son of a poor carpenter in Cornwall.

Paine (Thomas), a stay-maker, son of a Quaker.

Porson (Richard), son of a parish clerk in Norfolk.

Richardson, a bookseller and printer, son of a joiner.

Shakespeare, son of a wool-stapler.

Stephenson (George), son of a fireman at a colliery.

Virgil, son of a porter.

Watt (James), improver of the steam engine, son of a block-maker.

Washington, a farmer.

Wolsey, son of a butcher.

⁂ And hundreds more.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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