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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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Baily, John Walker (1809–1873), collector of antiquities, was born on 9 January 1809 in Kent Road, London, the second son of William Baily, an ironmonger, of 71 Gracechurch Street, London, and his wife Susanna. He was educated at an academy in Walcot Place Road, Lambeth...

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Bargrave, John (bap. 1610, d. 1680), Church of England clergyman and collector of curiosities, was baptized at Nonington, Kent, on 18 November 1610. His father, also named John, was the elder brother of Isaac Bargrave and had increased the family fortune derived from tanneries in ...

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Bate, Philip Argall Turner (1909–1999), musicologist and collector of musical instruments, was born in Glasgow on 26 March 1909, the only child of English parents, Percy Herbert Bate (1868–1913), secretary to the Glasgow Museum of Arts, and Mary Turner (1872–1963). His father became curator of the ...

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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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Beaumont, John (c. 1640–1731), natural philosopher and collector of geological specimens, spent most of his life at Ston Easton, Somerset, where he practised medicine. He befriended the miners working in the nearby Mendip hills, with whom he explored newly discovered caverns and rock formations. Stimulated by ...

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Bellamy, Frank Arthur (1863–1936), astronomer and philatelist, was born on 17 October 1863 at St John's Street, Oxford, the youngest of the six children of Montague Bellamy (1830–1882), a college butler and master bookbinder in St Giles', Oxford, and his wife, Zilpah, née...

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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 ...