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Aickman, Robert Fordyce (1914–1981), writer and campaigner for inland waterways, was born on 27 June 1914 at 77 Fellows Road, Hampstead, London, the only child of William Arthur Aickman (1858-1941), an architect, and his wife, Mabel Violet (1890–1943), daughter of ...

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Robert Fordyce Aickman (1914–1981) by Ida Kar, late 1950s © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Baker, Robert (fl. c. 1563), mariner and poet, is known only through his one published writing. Possibly a relative of the Bakers of Sissinghurst who had connections with the London overseas trading community, Robert Baker composed a poem about two English voyages to ...

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Barron, William (1835–1913), mariner and autobiographer, was born in Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, on 27 April 1835, the son of William Stephenson Barron (1797–1855), mariner. After three years at the Hull Trinity House Navigation School he was apprenticed on 27 March 1849, aboard the whaleship ...

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Barry, Lording (bap. 1580, d. 1629), playwright and pirate, was baptized on 17 April 1580 in St Laurence Pountney, St Laurence Pountney Lane, London, the fifth of eleven children of Nicholas Barry (d. 1607), citizen and fishmonger, and his second wife, Anne (...

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Crofts, Freeman Wills (1879–1957), railway engineer and writer of detective stories, was born at 26 Waterloo Road, Dublin, on 1 June 1879, the son of Freeman Wills Crofts, a surgeon-lieutenant in the Army Medical Service, who died before his son's birth, and his wife, ...

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J. M. Rigg

revised by Philip Carter

Elsdale, Robinson (bap. 1744, d. 1783), author and privateer, the son of Samuel and Mary Elsdale, was baptized on 25 December 1744 at Surfleet, Lincolnshire, where his family had long maintained an estate. He entered the navy as a midshipman, but left soon afterwards on account of the slowness of promotion. From 1762 he served in various privateers cruising against the French, chiefly off the coast of ...

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Fullam, George Townley (1841–1879), mariner and diarist, was born at 37 English Street, Kingston upon Hull, on 21 March 1841, the son of George Townley Fullam (1816–1883), schoolmaster, and his wife, Ann, née Parker (1812/13–1885). He attended the Charterhouse School in Hull, and was instructed in seafaring by his father, who had established a school of navigation in ...

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George Townley Fullam (1841–1879) by unknown artist, 1864 image courtesy of 290 Foundation (BVI) Inc.

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Gwyn, David (fl. 1588–1602?), poet and pirate, was doubtless of Welsh extraction, though his origins remain obscure. According to his one work published in 1588, Gwyn was a Spanish prisoner and a galley slave for nearly twelve years; he appears in Richard Topcliffe's...

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Dorothy Elizabeth Levitt (1882–1922) by Foulsham & Banfield, pubd 1909 © Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

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Levitt, Dorothy Elizabeth (1882–1922), motorist and author, was born Elizabeth Levi at 11 Colvestone Crescent, Hackney, London, on 5 January 1882, the second of three daughters of Jacob Levi (1852–1934) and Julia Raphael (1856–1942). The Levi family was a prosperous and well-established Jewish family. ...

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Sir Peter Gordon Masefield (1914–2006) by J. Russell & Sons Royal Aeronautical Society (National Aerospace Library)

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Masefield, Sir Peter Gordon (1914–2006), aeronautical engineer, journalist, and industrialist, was born at Tolima, Albert Road, Trentham, Staffordshire, on 19 March 1914, the son of William Gordon Masefield (1885–1974), a doctor specializing in mental health, and his wife, Marian Ada (1885–1976), daughter of ...

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Measom, Sir George Samuel (1818–1901), publisher and philanthropist, was born in Blackheath, Kent, on 3 December 1818, and baptized in St Alfege, Greenwich, on 12 July 1819, perhaps the eldest of the five children of Daniel Measom (b. c.1790), carver and gilder, and his wife, ...

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Midleton [Myddelton], Wiliam (c. 1550–1596?), poet and sailor, was the fourth son of Ffowc Midleton (d. 1571), a gentleman of Archwedlog, Llansannan, Denbighshire, and Alis (d. 1590/91), daughter of Maredudd ap Gronw. Sources that make him the son of Richard Myddelton...

Article

J. K. Laughton

revised by Michael S. Moss

Mills, George (1808–1881), shipbuilder and newspaper proprietor, was the son of William Mills, a Glasgow merchant and steamboat pioneer who served as lord provost of Glasgow in 1834–7. William Mills, who was engaged in the cotton trade, started a steamer service between the ...

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Morrice, Bezaleel (1678–1749), writer and sea captain, was baptized 'aged 3 days' (private information) on 8 May 1678 at St Dunstan and All Saints, Stepney, the third son of William Morrice (d. 1680), sea captain, and his wife, Jane, née...

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Norway, Nevil Shute [pseud. Nevil Shute] (1899–1960), novelist and aeronautical engineer, was born in Ealing, London, on 17 January 1899, the younger son of Arthur Hamilton Norway CB (1859–1938), who became an assistant secretary at the General Post Office and wrote erudite travel books, and his wife, ...

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Sarah Jane Rees [Cranogwen] (1839–1916) by John Thomas by courtesy of the National Library of Wales