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Allen, Thomas (1540?–1632), mathematician and antiquary, was probably born on 21 December 1540 (though some sources suggest 1542) at Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, the son of William Allen. His family were local gentry who are known to have had Roman Catholic connections. Two of his four uncles also lived at ...

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Anning, Mary (1799–1847), fossil collector and dealer, was born on 21 May 1799 in a seaside house in Lyme Regis, Dorset. She and her brother Joseph (1796–1849) were the only surviving children of Richard Anning (c.1766–1810), cabinet-maker and carpenter, and his wife, ...

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Mary Anning (1799–1847) by unknown artist, before 1842 © The Natural History Museum, London

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Backhouse, William (1593–1662), alchemist and antiquary, was born on 17 January 1593, probably at Swallowfield, Berkshire, the youngest of the four sons of Samuel Backhouse (d. 1626), landowner, and his wife, Elisabeth (d. 1630), daughter of John Borlase of Little Marlow...

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Balfour, Sir Andrew, first baronet (1630–1694), botanist and antiquary, was born at Balfour Castle, Denmiln, Fife, on 18 January 1630, the fifth and youngest son in the large family of Sir Michael Balfour and his wife, Jane or Joanna (d. 1640), daughter of ...

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Gordon Goodwin

revised by Simon Harrison

Barlow, Thomas Worthington (1824–1856), antiquary and naturalist, was born in Cheshire on 9 February 1824, the only son of William Worthington Barlow (1782–1846), a surgeon of Cranage, Cheshire, and his wife, Lucy, daughter of the Revd Thomas Hodges, vicar of Bromfield, Shropshire. Educated for the legal profession, he became a member of ...

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Daines Barrington (1727/88–1800) by Charles Knight, 1795 (after Joseph Slater, 1770) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Barrington, Daines (1727/8–1800), judge, antiquary, and naturalist, was born at Becket in the parish of Shrivenham in Berkshire, the fourth son and fourth of nine children of John Shute Barrington, first Viscount Barrington (1678–1734), barrister and politician, and his wife, Anne (d...

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William Beard (1772–1868) by Samuel Griffiths Tovey, c. 1828–9 © Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge

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Beard, William (1772–1868), tourist guide and collector of bones, was born on 24 April 1772 at Woolvershill, Banwell, Somerset, the eldest of the eight children of John Beard (1738–1801), a farmer, and his second wife, Ann Poole (1760–1833). He was educated by John Tuckey...

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Beaumont, John (c. 1640–1731), natural philosopher and collector of geological specimens, spent most of his life at Ston Easton, Somerset, where he practised medicine. He befriended the miners working in the nearby Mendip hills, with whom he explored newly discovered caverns and rock formations. Stimulated by ...

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Bellamy, Frank Arthur (1863–1936), astronomer and philatelist, was born on 17 October 1863 at St John's Street, Oxford, the youngest of the six children of Montague Bellamy (1830–1882), a college butler and master bookbinder in St Giles', Oxford, and his wife, Zilpah, née...

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Etheldred Benett (1775–1845) by unknown artist, 1837 Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery

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Benett, Etheldred (1775–1845), fossil collector and geologist, was born on 22 July 1775 at Pyt House, Tisbury, Wiltshire, the eldest daughter of Thomas Benett (c.1729–1797) and Catherine Darell (d. 1780). Her eldest surviving brother, John (1773–1852), was a deputy lieutenant and magistrate for ...

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Borlase, William (1696–1772), antiquary and naturalist, was born on 2 February 1696, the second son of John Borlase (1666–1755), landowner and twice MP for St Ives, and his wife, Lydia (c.1671–1725), youngest daughter of Christopher Harris of Hayne, Devon, at their home, ...

Article

Thompson Cooper

revised by Anita McConnell

Brerewood, Edward (c. 1565–1613), antiquary and mathematician, was one of three surviving children born to Robert Brerewood (c.1532–1601) of Chester, and his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Horton of Chester. Although illiterate, Robert Brerewood was a prosperous dealer in skins who also manufactured leather goods and dealt in timber and wool. He was three times mayor of ...

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Brown, John (1780x85–1859), geologist and fossil collector, was born at Braintree, Essex. He was apprenticed to a stonemason in Braintree before moving to Colchester as a master mason about 1805. He married first Jane Byford and in 1820, after her death, Elizabeth Eagle...

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Bullock, William (bap. 1773, d. 1849), naturalist and antiquary, was baptized on 8 May 1773 at St Andrew's Church, Plymouth, Devon, the son of James Bullock and his second wife, Sibylla, of Bristol, the owners of a travelling waxworks. He had an older half-brother, ...

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Clark, George Thomas (1809–1898), engineer and antiquary, was born in Chelsea, London, on 26 May 1809, the eldest son of the Revd George Clark (1777–1848), chaplain to the Royal Military Asylum, Chelsea, and Clara, daughter of Thomas Dicey of Claybrook Hall, Leicestershire. He was educated at ...

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George Thomas Clark (1809–1898) by Arthur Pendarves Vivian, 1854 by courtesy of the National Library of Wales