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Abel, Sir Frederick Augustus, first baronet (1827–1902), chemist and explosives expert, was born on 17 July 1827 at Woolwich, the eldest son of Johann Leopold Abel (1795–1871), a music master in Kennington, and his wife, Louisa (d. 1864), daughter of Martin Hopkins...

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Bancroft, Edward (1744–1821), chemist and spy, was born at Westfield, Massachusetts, on 9 January 1744. His tutor was Silas Deane, later a member of the American congress. After a brief apprenticeship to a physician in Connecticut, Bancroft went to sea at the age of eighteen. In 1763 he was in ...

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J. K. Laughton

revised by N. A. M. Rodger

Beaufort, Sir Francis (1774–1857), naval officer and hydrographer, was born on 27 May 1774 at Flower Hill, Navan, co. Meath, the second son of the Revd Daniel Augustus Beaufort (1739–1821), rector of Navan, a topographer and architect of some distinction, and his wife, ...

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Beechey, Frederick William (1796–1856), naval officer and hydrographer, son of Sir William Beechey, RA (1753–1839), and his second wife, Anne Phyllis Beechey, née Jessop (1764–1833) [see under Beechey, Sir William], the miniature painter, was born on 17 February 1796. His brothers were ...

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Bentham, Samuel (1757–1831), naval architect and inventor, was born in London on 11 January 1757, the youngest of the seven children of Jeremiah Bentham (1712–1792), an attorney, and his wife, Alicia Woodward Whitehorne (d. 1759), the eldest daughter of Thomas Grove, an ...

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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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Blackett, Patrick Maynard Stuart, Baron Blackett (1897–1974), physicist and government and military adviser, was born on 18 November 1897 at Kensington, London, the only son and the second of three children of Arthur Stuart Blackett (1865–1922), stockbroker, and his wife, Caroline Frances (1868–1954)...

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Brierly, Sir Oswald Walters (1817–1894), marine painter and naval engineer, was born at Chester on 19 May 1817, the son of Dr Thomas Brierly (d. in or before 1872), a physician and amateur artist. After schooling in Chester, he became a pupil at ...

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Cavendish, William, first duke of Newcastle upon Tyne (bap. 1593, d. 1676), writer, patron, and royalist army officer, was born at Handsworth Manor, Yorkshire, and was baptized in the parish on 16 December 1593. He was the second of three children, the first having died in infancy, of ...

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Coles, Cowper Phipps (1819–1870), naval officer and inventor of a gun turret, was born on 9 July 1819, the third son of the Revd John Coles (1787–1865) of Ditcham Park, Hampshire, rector of Silchester, and his first wife, Marianne Goodhead, née Rogers (...