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Alfonsi, Petrus (fl. 1106–1126), scholar and translator of scientific works, was born in northern Spain, to Jewish parents. He was baptized a Christian on 29 June 1106 in Huesca, Aragon, with the names of the apostle on whose feast day the baptism took place and of his godfather, ...

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Allen, (Charles) Grant Blairfindie (1848–1899), writer on science and novelist, was born at Alwington, near Kingston, Ontario, Canada, on 24 February 1848, the second but only surviving son of Joseph Antisell Allen (1814–1900), a clergyman of the Church of Ireland who had emigrated to ...

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(Charles) Grant Blairfindie Allen (1848–1899) by Sir William Rothenstein, 1897 © Estate of Sir William Rothenstein / National Portrait Gallery, London

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Askham [Ascham], Anthony (c. 1517–1559), writer on astronomy and almanac maker, was born at Kirby Wiske, near Northallerton, Yorkshire, the third son of John Ascham (d. 1544) of Kirby Wiske, who was a yeoman farmer and steward to Lord Scrope of Bolton...

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Bagwell, William (b. c. 1593, d. in or after 1664), merchant and writer on astronomy, was, according to his own account, 'bred a merchant in good quality, skilfully furnished with knowledge in all things necessary, and having seen the world abroad' (Bagwell...

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Baker, Humphrey (fl. 1557–1574), writer on astrology and arithmetic, whose origins are unknown, was living in London when his almanac was published in 1557. A small volume, printed in black letter, it was entitled The rules and right ample documentes, touchinge the use and practise of the common almanackes, which are named ephemerides: a briefe … introduction upon the iudicall astrologie … with a treatise … touching the coniunction of the planets … the hole faithfully and clerely translated into Englysche by Humprey Baker BL...

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Baskerville, Thomas (1812–1840), surgeon and writer on botany, was born on 26 April 1812, and served a four-year medical apprenticeship to Mr Soulby, of Ash near Sandwich in Kent. From 1 December 1829 to 9 April 1834 he seems to have attended University College, London...

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Bate, John (fl. 1626–1635), writer on mechanics, is an obscure figure; his birth and death dates, parentage, and virtually all personal details remain unknown. Bate's The Mysteries of Nature and Art (1634) is the first comprehensive illustrated English book on waterworks and hydraulic machinery. It also includes sections on drawing, painting, recipes, and folk remedies, as well as one on fireworks and incendiary devices largely derivative of earlier English and continental works on the subject. A second, greatly expanded edition in 1635 was followed by a third edition, printed in 1654, which has few changes from the second edition....

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Biggs, Charles Henry Walker (1845–1923), technical journalist and journal editor, was born Charles Henry Biggs on 23 May 1845 in Haddenham, Buckinghamshire, the son of Elizabeth Walker Biggs and an unknown father. He was probably educated in Reading. According to one obituary he soon showed a technical bent for 'in the school laboratory he made the first self-contained matches, but he did not develop them commercially' (...

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Boate, Arnold (1606–1653), biblical scholar and writer on natural history, was born in Gorinchem in the Netherlands, a younger son of Godefroy de Boot (c.1570–1625), knight, and Christina van Loon (fl. 1600–1630). With his elder brother Gerard Boate he studied arts and medicine at the ...