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Abraham, Sir Edward Penley (1913–1999), biochemist, was born at 47 Southview Road, Southampton, on 10 June 1913, the son of Albert Penley Abraham, a customs and excise officer, and his wife, Mary Abraham, née Hearne. Educated at King Edward VI School, Southampton, and ...

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Anning, Mary (1799–1847), fossil collector and dealer, was born on 21 May 1799 in a seaside house in Lyme Regis, Dorset. She and her brother Joseph (1796–1849) were the only surviving children of Richard Anning (c.1766–1810), cabinet-maker and carpenter, and his wife, ...

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Askonas, Brigitte Alice [Ita] (1923–2013), immunologist and biochemist, was born on 1 April 1923 in Vienna, the second child and only daughter of Czech parents who were Jewish converts to Catholicism, Carl Frederick (later Charles Frederick) Askonas (1893–1946) and his wife, Rose, née...

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Backhouse family (per. c. 1770–1945), naturalists and horticulturists, came to prominence with James [i] Backhouse (1721–1798), who founded the Backhouse Bank in Darlington, co. Durham, in 1774 with his sons Jonathan (1747–1826) and James [ii] (1757–1804). It was Jonathan Backhouse who initiated the family's connection with horticulture, by following the mid-eighteenth-century fashion for large-scale tree planting on his estates at ...

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Banks, Sir Joseph, baronet (1743–1820), naturalist and patron of science, was born on 13 February 1743 at 30 Argyll Street, London, the first child and only son of William Banks (1719–1761), gentleman, of Revesby Abbey, Lincolnshire, previously named William Banks Hodgkinson, of Overton, Derbyshire...

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Barrington, Daines (1727/8–1800), judge, antiquary, and naturalist, was born at Becket in the parish of Shrivenham in Berkshire, the fourth son and fourth of nine children of John Shute Barrington, first Viscount Barrington (1678–1734), barrister and politician, and his wife, Anne (d...

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Bates, Henry Walter (1825–1892), naturalist, was born at Leicester on 8 February 1825, the eldest of the four sons of Henry (1794–1870), a hosiery manufacturer, and Sarah, née Gill (1803–1860). He was educated at Creaton's academy at Billesdon, a village 10 miles east of ...

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Bateson, William (1861–1926), biologist, was born on 8 August 1861 in St Hilda's Terrace, Ruswarp, near Whitby, Yorkshire, the second of six children of William Henry Bateson (1812–1881), master of St John's College, Cambridge, and his wife, Anna Aikin (1829–1918), daughter of James Aikin (1792–1878)...

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Beard, William (1772–1868), tourist guide and collector of bones, was born on 24 April 1772 at Woolvershill, Banwell, Somerset, the eldest of the eight children of John Beard (1738–1801), a farmer, and his second wife, Ann Poole (1760–1833). He was educated by John Tuckey...

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Benett, Etheldred (1775–1845), fossil collector and geologist, was born on 22 July 1775 at Pyt House, Tisbury, Wiltshire, the eldest daughter of Thomas Benett (c.1729–1797) and Catherine Darell (d. 1780). Her eldest surviving brother, John (1773–1852), was a deputy lieutenant and magistrate for ...

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Benson, Margaret Jane (1859–1936), botanist and palaeontologist, was born on 20 October 1859 in London, the sixth of the nine children of William Benson, architect and civil engineer, and his wife, Edmunda, daughter of landscape painter James Bourne. The family moved to Norton House, Hertford...

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Bentinck, Margaret Cavendish [née Lady Margaret Cavendish Harley], duchess of Portland (1715–1785), collector of art and natural history specimens and patron of arts and sciences, was born on 11 February 1715 in London, the only surviving child of Edward Harley, later second earl of Oxford...

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Blackman, Vernon Herbert (1872–1967), cytologist and plant physiologist, was born on 8 January 1872 at 4 York Road, Lambeth, London. He was the sixth child and third son in a family of ten. His father, Frederick Blackman, was a medical practitioner, and his mother, ...

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Thomas Seccombe

revised by Roger F. Vaughan

Blomefield [formerly Jenyns], Leonard (1800–1893), naturalist, was born on 25 May 1800 at 85 Pall Mall, London (his maternal grandfather's home). He was the youngest son of George Leonard Jenyns (1763–1848), canon of Ely and chairman of the board of agriculture, and his wife, ...

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Blumberg, Baruch Samuel [Barry] (1925–2011), biochemist and college head, was born on 28 July 1925 in Brooklyn, New York, the second of three children of Meyer Blumberg, lawyer, and his wife, Ida, née Simonoff. His grandparents had emigrated from Europe to the USA...

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Bose, Sir Jagadish Chandra [Jagadis Chunder] (1858–1937), physicist and biologist, was born in the district of Vikrampur, close to Dacca, Bengal, India, on 30 November 1858, the son of Bhagaban Chandra Bose, deputy magistrate of neighbouring Faridpur, and his wife, Bamasundari. Though a Hindu, his father was one of the early members of the Western-influenced Hindu reform movement known as Brahmoism, along with his more traditionally Hindu wife....

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Brighton, Albert George [Peter] (1900–1988), palaeontologist and curator, was born on 29 December 1900 at 13 Conyers Road, Streatham, London, the son of George Freeston Brighton, gardener, and his wife, Susan Alice Jayne. He was educated at St Leonard's School, Streatham, and Westminster City School...

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Burchell, William John (1781–1863), explorer and naturalist, was born in Fulham on 23 July 1781, one of three children and the only son of Matthew Burchell (d. 1828), botanist and the owner of the Fulham nursery. He was educated at Raleigh House Academy, Mitcham, Surrey...

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Carpenter, William Benjamin (1813–1885), biologist and university administrator, was born in Exeter on 29 October 1813, the fourth child and eldest son of Dr Lant Carpenter (1780–1840) and his wife, Anna (d. 1856), daughter of James Penn, of Kidderminster. He was the brother of ...

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Cautley, Sir Proby Thomas (1802–1871), civil engineer and palaeontologist, was born on 3 January 1802 in Raydon, Suffolk, son of Thomas Cautley (c.1756–1817), rector of Raydon, and his second wife, Catherine Proby (c.1772–1830), daughter of the Revd Narcissus Charles Proby...