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Billings, Joseph (1758–1806), explorer and hydrographer in Russia, was born in 1758 at Turnham Green, Middlesex, according to ship musters; parish church registers confirm the birth of Joseph, son of Thomas and Mary Billing, on 6 September 1758. Billings's signed Russian service record, however, gives 1761 as the year of his birth. Other sources indicate that ...

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Horsburgh [Horsbrough], James (1762–1836), hydrographer and chart maker, was born at Elie, Fife, on 23 September 1762, the son of William Horsbrough, shoemaker, and his wife, Jean Given or Givan. In materials for an autobiographical account Horsburgh described them as 'pious, and respectable, but not opulent'; his mother, from accounts of her son's provision for her, continued to live in ...

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Jones, James Felix (1813/14–1878), officer in the Indian navy and surveyor, joined the Bombay marine on 14 June 1828 when he was fourteen years old. As midshipman and lieutenant of the East India Company's ship Palinurus, under Commander Robert Moresby, engaged in the survey of the northern part of the ...

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John William Norie (1772–1843) by Adam Buck (after Solomon? Williams, c. 1803) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Norie, John William (1772–1843), hydrographer and writer on navigation, was born at 39 Burr Street, Wapping, London, on 3 July 1772, the eldest of the eight children of James Norie (1737–1793), a Scot who had trained for the Presbyterian church and kept a school in ...