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Bentinck, John Albert (1737–1775), naval officer and inventor of mechanical devices, was born on 29 December 1737, the second son of William, Count Bentinck (1704–1774) and Countess Charlotte Sophie of Aldenburg (1715–1800), and grandson of Hans Willem Bentinck, first earl of Portland. His parents separated when he was about a year old and he never knew his mother. He went to sea at the age of fourteen in the ...

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John Albert Bentinck (1737–1775) by Mason Chamberlin, 1775 [left, with his son William Bentinck] © National Maritime Museum, London

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Maceroni, Francis [known as Count Maceroni] (1788–1846), soldier and mechanical inventor, was born in the suburbs of Manchester. His father, Peter Augustus Maceroni, with two brothers, had served in a French regiment in America during the War of Independence, and after a roving life settled down at ...