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Cobbold [née Murray], Lady Evelyn (1867–1963), traveller and convert to Islam, was born on 17 July 1867 at 13 Great Stuart Street, Edinburgh, the eldest of the six children (five daughters and one son) of Charles Adolphus Murray, seventh earl of Dunmore...

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Montagu, Edward Wortley (1713–1776), traveller and criminal, was born in London on 16 May 1713, the elder child and only son of Edward Wortley Montagu (1678–1761), MP, diplomat, and entrepreneur, and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (bap. 1689, d. 1762), writer and traveller. In 1716 ...

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Osman, Efendi [formerly William Thomson] (b. before 1800, d. 1835), guide to travellers in Egypt, was originally William Thomson, a native of Scotland. Details of his life, gleaned from passing remarks by the many travellers who knew him in Cairo, are scant and occasionally contradictory. This sometimes leads to confusion, as with ...

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Pearce [alias Clark], Nathaniel (1779–1820), traveller, was born on 14 February 1779 at East Acton, Middlesex. Incorrigibly unruly, he was sent to boarding-school at Thirsk, Yorkshire; twice apprenticed to London tradesmen, he twice ran away to sea, the second time joining a naval vessel. In May 1794 he was captured by the French, but eventually succeeded in escaping; he then served on various naval and merchant ships, meeting many adventures round the world. Having survived a shipwreck off ...

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Pellow [Pellew], Thomas (b. 1703/4), writer of an account of Morocco, was born to parents of modest means but who were related to a family with numerous branches in Devon and Cornwall and which included Edward Pellew, first Viscount Exmouth of Canonteign. Pellow...

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Philby, Harry St John Bridger (1885–1960), explorer and Arabist, was born at St John's, Badulla, Ceylon, on 3 April 1885, the second son of Harry Montagu Philby (d. 1913), a coffee planter, and his wife, Queenie (1864–1950), known as May, daughter of ...

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Harry St John Bridger Philby (1885–1960) self-portrait, 1917–18 The Royal Geographical Society, London

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Selim Aga (c. 1826–1875), freed slave, autobiographer, and explorer, was born in the Muslim kingdom of Taquali, in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan, about 1826. The son of a prosperous farmer, he was destined to inherit the family property, but about the age of nine or ten, while tending his father's sheep, he was captured by raiding Arab slavers. After much ill-treatment and being sold to various masters he was transported over ...

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Verney, Sir Francis (1584–1615), pirate, was the elder son of Edmund Verney (1535–1600) of Penley, Hertfordshire, and Middle Claydon, Buckinghamshire, who was knighted in 1597 or 1598. Sir Edmund's first marriage had been childless and Francis's mother was his second wife, Audrey (1543–1588)...

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Ward, John [called Issouf Reis, Captain Wardiyya] (c. 1553–1623?), pirate, was said to have been a fisherman at Faversham, Kent, perhaps (from an informant's estimate of his age as fifty-five in 1608) born about 1553. He was later at Plymouth, where he joined the ...