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Mary Anning (1799–1847) by unknown artist, before 1842 © The Natural History Museum, London

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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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Bate, Dorothea Minola Alice (1878–1951), palaeontologist, was born on 8 November 1878 at Napier House, Spilman Street, Carmarthen, the younger of two daughters and second child in the family of three of Henry Reginald Bate (d. 1921), a police superintendent and honorary ...

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William Beard (1772–1868) by Samuel Griffiths Tovey, c. 1828–9 © Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge

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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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Etheldred Benett (1775–1845) by unknown artist, 1837 Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery

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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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Margaret Jane Benson (1859–1936) by Maull & Fox, c. 1911 by permission of the Linnean Society of London

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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...