(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.
(Wives of). (See under Wives.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894