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Sir Gavin Rylands de Beer (1899–1972) by Elliott & Fry, 1950 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Beer, Sir Gavin Rylands de (1899–1972), zoologist and historian, was born on 1 November 1899 at Malden, Surrey, the only son and elder child of Herbert Chaplin de Beer, journalist, and his wife, Mabel. Herbert was the son of Arnold de Beer and ...

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Chibnall, Albert Charles (1894–1988), biochemist and historian, was born on 28 January 1894 in Hammersmith, London, the second of three sons and third of six children (two subsequent daughters died in infancy) of George William Chibnall, baker, and his wife, Kate, daughter of ...

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Cory, Sir George Edward (1862–1935), chemist and historian, was born on 3 June 1862 at 9 Palatine Place, Stoke Newington, London, the son of George Nicholas Cory and his wife, Susannah Emma Flowers. His father followed a variety of occupations and never settled long in one place. ...

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Draper, John William (1811–1882), chemist and historian, was born in St Helens, Lancashire, on 5 May 1811, the third child and only son of John Christopher Draper (d. 1828/9), a Wesleyan minister of Heptonstall, Yorkshire, and his wife, Sarah Ripley (d...

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English, Mary Phyllis (1919–2009), mycologist and historian, was born on 10 April 1919 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaya, the eldest child of Marcus Claude English (1886–1958), rubber planter, and his wife, Gladys Nellie, née Cubitt (1891–1979). In 1926 she was sent back to England...

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Fotheringham, John Knight (1874–1936), historian and astronomer, was born on 14 August 1874 at St John's presbytery, Tottenham, Middlesex, the second son of David Fotheringham (1830–1918), a Presbyterian minister, and his wife, Jane Ross (1834–1917). A delicate child, he was to suffer much ill health later in life. He was educated at the ...

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Fowler, George Herbert (1861–1940), zoologist and historian, was born in Lincoln on 4 September 1861, the only child of the Revd John Fowler (1823/4–1902), headmaster of Lincoln grammar school, and his wife, Martha Bodley, daughter of William Hulme Bodley, a Brighton medical practitioner, and sister of the architect ...

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P. E. Matheson

revised by Myfanwy Lloyd

Fowler, William Warde (1847–1921), historian and ornithologist, was born at Langford Budville, Somerset, on 16 May 1847, the second son of John Coke Fowler, stipendiary magistrate at Merthyr Tudful and afterwards at Swansea, and his first wife, Augusta Bacon, granddaughter of John Bacon RA...

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Geikie, Sir Archibald (1835–1924), geologist and historian, was born in Edinburgh on 28 December 1835, the eldest son of James Stuart Geikie, a shop proprietor and subsequently professional musician, and Isabella Thom. James Murdoch Geikie (1839–1915) was his younger brother. Geikie was educated in ...

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Hinsley, Sir (Francis) Harry (1918–1998), cryptanalyst and historian, was born on 26 November 1918 at 28 Rowland Street, Walsall, the son of Thomas Henry Hinsley, ironworks waggoner, and his wife, Emma, née Adey. He went to the local elementary school and then to ...

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Kingsford, William (1819–1898), civil engineer and historian, born on 23 December 1819 in the parish of St Lawrence Jewry, London, was the son of William Kingsford, innkeeper of Lad Lane, London, and his wife, Elizabeth. Educated at Nicholas Wanostrocht's Alfred House Academy in ...

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Mann, Theodore Augustine [known as Abbé Mann] (1735–1809), natural philosopher and historian, was born in Yorkshire on 22 June 1735, the son of a land surveyor. He was educated at a local school and instructed in scientific principles by his father. In 1753 he was sent to ...

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Augustus De Morgan (1806–1871) by John Jabez Edwin Mayall © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Leslie Stephen

revised by I. Grattan-Guinness

Morgan, Augustus De (1806–1871), mathematician and historian, fifth child of Colonel John De Morgan (1772–1816) of the Indian army, was born on 27 June 1806 at Madura in the far south of India. His mother, Elizabeth (1776–1856), was the daughter of John Dodson...

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Needham, (Noël) Joseph Terence Montgomery (1900–1995), biochemist and historian, was born on 9 December 1900 at 2 Westbury Gardens, Loats Road, Clapham, London, the only child of Joseph Needham (1853–1920), physician and anaesthesiologist, and his second wife, Alicia Adelaide, née Montgomery (1863–1945). Born in the last months of the Victorian era, he became one of twentieth-century ...

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(Noël) Joseph Terence Montgomery Needham (1900–1995) by Ramsey & Muspratt, 1937 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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North, John David (1934–2008), historian, was born at 61 Kipling Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, on 19 May 1934, the son of John Ernest North (1901–1987), wool buyer, and his wife, Gertrude Annie, née Lobley (1902–1989). Both parents were born in Bradford. After attending the grammar school at ...

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Rolt, (Lionel) Thomas Caswall (1910–1974), engineering historian, was born on 11 February 1910 at Eaton Road, Chester, the only child of Lionel Caswall Rolt, a minor country gentleman, and his wife, Jemima Clarke (subsequently Timperley). He was distantly related to Kyrle Willans, the son of ...

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Smith, Geoffrey Francis Hattersley- (1923–2012), polar scientist and historian, was born on 22 April 1923 at 12 Lansdowne Crescent, Kensington, London, the son of Major Wilfrid Percy Ashley Hattersley-Smith (1881–1968), Royal Artillery officer, and his wife, Ethel Mary, née Willcocks (1892–1937). He had a younger brother, ...