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Aldred, Cyril (1914–1991), Egyptologist and art historian, was born on 19 February 1914 at 41 Beltran Road, Fulham, London, the fifth of the six children of Frederick Aldred, a civil servant, and his wife, Lilian Ethel Underwood. Educated at the Sloane School, Chelsea...

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Thompson Cooper

revised by Roger T. Stearn

Belfour, John (1768–1842), Hebrew and Coptic scholar and poet, was a member of the Royal Society of Literature and died from 'decay of nature' at 65 Westmorland Place, Hoxton New Town, London, on 8 June 1842, aged seventy-four; he was buried later in June. Little is known of him. His works included various poems and biblical translations, notably the ...

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Bell, Sir (Harold) Idris (1879–1967), papyrologist and scholar of Welsh literature, was born on 2 October 1879 at Epworth, Lincolnshire, the son of Charles Christopher Bell (b. 1845), chemist, and his wife, Rachel Hughes (d. 1880). His father's family had been yeoman farmers in the north midlands and had marked literary leanings, his father not least; but the Welsh inheritance from his mother meant more to ...

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Sir (Harold) Idris Bell (1879–1967) by Walter Stoneman, 1955 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Giovanni Battista Belzoni (1778–1823) by Maxim Gauci, pubd 1821 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Belzoni, Giovanni Battista (1778–1823), performing artist and Egyptologist, was born on 5 November 1778 in Padua, the son of a barber, Giacomo Belzoni, and his wife, Teresa. He went to Rome aged sixteen to prepare himself for monastic orders; he claimed also to have studied hydraulics. The French invasion of ...

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Benson, Margaret (1865–1916), Egyptologist and religious philosopher, was born on 16 June 1865 at Wellington College, Berkshire, the fourth of the six children of Edward White Benson (1829–1896), archbishop of Canterbury (1882–96), and his wife, Mary (1841–1918), daughter of the Revd William Sidgwick...

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Birch, Samuel (1813–1885), Egyptologist, was born on 2 or 3 November 1813 in London, eldest son of the Revd Samuel Birch (1780?–1848), rector of St Mary Woolnoth, later a prebendary of St Paul's Cathedral and vicar of Little Marlow, Buckinghamshire, and his wife, ...

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Bonomi, Joseph (1796–1878), sculptor and Egyptologist, and his twin sister, Mary Anne Bonomi (1796–1872), were born at 76 Great Titchfield Street, London, on 9 October 1796, the eighth and ninth but fourth and fifth surviving children of Joseph (Giuseppe) Bonomi (1739–1808), architect, and ...

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Černý, Jaroslav (1898–1970), Egyptologist, was born on 22 August 1898 in Pilsen, Bohemia, the son of Antonín Černý, civil servant, and his wife, Anna Navrátilová. He was educated at Pilsen grammar school, where he first developed his lifelong passion for Egyptology, and from 1915 at the ...