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Adair, John (1660–1718), geographer and cartographer, was born on 2 September 1660 in Leith, Scotland. Nothing is known of his parents or his early education. The first firm reference to Adair dates from May 1681, when he was granted a licence by the ...

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Ainsworth, William Francis (1807–1896), geographer and geologist, was born on 9 November 1807, in Exeter, the third son of John Ainsworth of Rostherne, Cheshire, army officer. At the suggestion of his cousin, the novelist William Harrison Ainsworth, he adopted the additional forename Francis...

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Armstrong, Terence Edward (1920–1996), polar scholar, was born on 7 April 1920 at Oxted, Surrey, the youngest of three sons in the family of six children of Thomas Mandeville Emerson Armstrong (1869–1922), director of the Commercial Union Insurance Company, and his wife, Jane Crawford Young (1881–1945)...

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Terence Edward Armstrong (1920–1996) by unknown photographer © reserved; News International Syndication; photograph National Portrait Gallery, London

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Aston, Michael Antony [Mick] (1946–2013), geographer and archaeologist, was born on 1 July 1946 at 112 Birch Road, Oldbury, Worcestershire, the son of Harold Henry Aston, a joiner's toolmaker, and his wife, Gladys, née Bagnall. Oldbury belonged to the industrial Black Country (on the border between ...

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Michael Antony Aston (1946–2013) by Mark Thomas, 2000 Rex Features

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Baker, John Norman Leonard (1893–1971), geographer, was born on 12 December 1893 at 33 Beaumont Street, St Clements, Liverpool, the first son of the Revd John William Baker, Church of England clergyman, and his wife, Louisa (1858–1945). From Liverpool College (1911–13) he went up to ...

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Balchin, William George Victor [Bill] (1916–2007), geographer, was born on 20 June 1916 at 1 Ivy Cottages, Bellevue Road, Aldershot, the only child of Victor Balchin (1884–1944), steam lorry driver, and later publican, and his wife, Ellen Winifred Gertrude, née Chapple (1891–1988). His family life in ...

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See Bartholomew family

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M. J. Wise

revised by Elizabeth Baigent

Beaver, Stanley Henry (1907–1984), geographer, was born on 11 August 1907 at 69 Clifford Gardens, Willesden, London, the second son and fifth child in the family of two sons and three daughters of William Henry Beaver, Post Office letter sorter, and his wife, ...

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Beckinsale, Robert Percy [Becky] (1908–1998), geographer, was born on 23 July 1908 at Stanford in the Vale, near Faringdon, Berkshire, one of four children of Percy Beckinsale (1880–1947), gardener and harness maker, and his wife, Annie, née Bunce (1880–1959), a governess. At the age of ten he went to the grammar school in ...

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Charles Tilstone Beke (1800–1874) by Maull & Fox © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Beke, Charles Tilstone (1800–1874), traveller and geographer, was born on 10 October 1800 at Stepney, London, the son of James Beke. The family had ancestral connections to Bekesbourne in Kent, where Beke lived in later life. He was educated at a private school in ...

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Bell, James (1769–1833), geographer, was born in Jedburgh, the son of Thomas Bell (1733–1802), Presbyterian minister of the Relief church. Nothing is known of his mother or any siblings. In 1777 he accompanied his father to Glasgow, where the latter was appointed minister of ...

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Bowen, Emrys George (1900–1983), geographer, was born on 28 December 1900 at 1 Towy View, Carmarthen, the elder child of Thomas Bowen, insurance agent, and Elizabeth Ann Lynch. He was educated at the council school, Pentre-poeth, and from 1912 to 1919 at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Carmarthen...

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Broke [Brooke], Sir Arthur de Capell [formerly Arthur Supple], second baronet (1791–1858), geographer, was born in Bolton Street, Mayfair, Westminster, on 22 October 1791. His family was originally from Cheshire. He was the elder son of Sir Richard de Capell Brooke (1758–1829)...

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Brown, John (1797–1861), geographer, was born at Dover on 2 August 1797 into an old Kentish family. From 1811 to 1815 he was a midshipman in the service of the East India Company and sailed to China and the spice islands. He then took other appointments at sea until, in March 1818, he was forced to change his career because of a defect in his sight. After trying various alternative occupations, including that of assistant to a surgeon, he set up as a wholesale goldsmith and diamond merchant in ...

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Thomas Seccombe

revised by Elizabeth Baigent

Brown, Robert (1842–1895), geographer, the only son of Thomas Brown of Campster, Caithness, was born at Campster on 23 March 1842. He is sometimes known humorously as Robert Brown ‘Campsterianus’ to distinguish him from the other geographer and botanist Robert Brown (1773–1858). He was educated at the ...

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Buchanan, Keith McPherson (1919–1997), geographer, was born at 117 Wellington Road, Dudley, Worcestershire, on 14 February 1919, the eldest of three sons of Frederick Stuart McPherson Buchanan, a lieutenant in the machine-gun corps, and his wife, Marjorie Eleanor, née Dickinson. His father had fought at ...

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Buchanan, Robert Ogilvie (1894–1980), geographer, was born at Maheno, Otago, New Zealand, on 12 September 1894. His father, Duncan Buchanan, of Scottish origin, was an engine driver at the time of his marriage in Dunedin in 1887, but he then took his bride, ...