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Bolton, Sir George (fl. 1790–1799), tutor and inventor of gun-locks, of unknown parentage and early life, was schooled in military tactics and mathematics preparatory to a career in the army, but was instead appointed instructor to the royal princesses in writing, geography, and arithmetic. Being of independent means, he indulged his interest in firearms by seeking to improve the musket gun-lock, which in both military and sporting firearms was so defective that accidents were frequently caused by guns going off at half-cock in the heat of battle or when forging through dense vegetation. The self-acting and detached bolting lock that he designed was constructed by mathematical instrument makers (whom he found more obedient to his orders than the gun makers), and patented in 1795 (no. 2041). The ...

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Polier, Antoine Louis Henri (bap. 1741, d. 1795), military engineer and collector of oriental manuscripts, was baptized on 28 February 1741 at Lausanne, Switzerland, the younger son of Jacques Henri Polier (bap. 1700, d. 1781), of a French protestant family which had settled in ...

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Vallancey, Charles (c. 1726–1812), antiquary and military surveyor, was born in Flanders of French Huguenot parents (the name was originally De Vallance) who had moved to Windsor after his father was appointed to the royal service. Educated at Eton College and the recently established ...