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Article

J. K. Laughton

revised by Peter Le Fevre

Barker, John (c. 1600–1653), naval officer and shipmaster, was possibly related to the John Barker of Ratcliffe, Middlesex, shipmaster and captain of the Golden Cock who in 1629, aged forty-five, appeared before the admiralty court in connection with illegally seizing, and selling, a ship belonging to the ...

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Barton, Andrew (c. 1470–1511), seaman and shipowner, was one of three brothers, Robert Barton, John, and Andrew, sons of the seafaring merchant John Barton (d. in or before 1494). Like his brothers, Andrew was frequently employed as a naval commander by James IV...

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Beamont, Roland Prosper (1920–2001), air force officer and aviator, was born on 10 August 1920 at 8 Private Road, Enfield, Middlesex, the son of Lieutenant-Colonel Ernest Clement Beamont, a trade officer with the Foreign Office, and his wife, Dorothy Mary, née Haynes. Educated at ...

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Roland Prosper Beamont (1920–2001) by William Vanderson, 1958 [with the English Electric P1B Lightning at Farnborough] Getty Images

Article

Best, Thomas (1570–1639), sea captain and master of Trinity House, was baptized on 8 June 1570 at Merstham, Surrey, the youngest son of Robert Best, an interpreter for the Muscovy Company, and Anne, formerly Bowman. Later, in 1623, Best told Sir William Conway...

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Sir James Bird (1883–1946) by Walter Stoneman, 1946 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bird, Sir James (1883–1946), naval architect and aircraft manufacturer, was born on 19 March 1883 in London, the second son of Samuel Bird, merchant, of East Cowes, Isle of Wight, and his wife, Freda. He was educated at Marlborough School, where he was a prefect, played in the hockey eleven, and captained the football fifteen. He next served an apprenticeship with ...

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Sir John Nelson Boothman (1901–1957) by Walter Stoneman, 1946 © National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

Boothman, Sir John Nelson (1901–1957), air force officer and aviator, was born at Napier Road, Wembley, Middlesex, on 19 February 1901, the son of Thomas John Boothman, a railway clerk, and his wife, Mary, née Burgess. Educated at Harrow county school he was, in January 1918, too young to enlist in the British forces, so he joined the French ...

Article

Brackley, Herbert George (1894–1948), air force officer and airline executive, was born in Islington, London, on 4 October 1894, the second of the seven children of George Herbert Brackley, a master tailor, and his wife, Lilian Sarah Partridge. The family later moved to ...

Article

Bulloch, Terence Malcolm [Terry] (1916–2014), air force officer, was born at Montreagh, 1 Belsize Road, Lisburn, co. Antrim, on 19 February 1916, the second son, twinned with a sister, of Samuel Arthur Bulloch, linen merchant, and his wife, Elizabeth (Elsie), née...

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Clerke, Richard (fl. 1572–1596), navigator and privateer, claimed to have been born at Buckhurst, Essex, but is generally referred to as 'of Weymouth'. He presumably learned his trade in the ships of the latter port, being master of the Pilgrim between Weymouth...

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Clifford, George, third earl of Cumberland (1558–1605), courtier and privateer, was born on 8 August 1558 in Brougham Castle, Westmorland, the eldest son of Henry Clifford, second earl of Cumberland (1517–1570), and his second wife, Anne (c.1538–1581), daughter of William, third Baron Dacre...

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George Clifford, third earl of Cumberland (1558–1605) by Nicholas Hilliard, c. 1590 © National Maritime Museum, London

Article

Coxere, Edward (bap. 1633, d. 1694), sailor, was baptized on 16 June 1633 at St Mary's Church, Dover, the seventh (but second surviving) child of John Coxere (d. 1633), sailor, and his wife, Wealthan, née Peace. His mother, widowed when he was only five months old, quickly married a local cordwainer, ...

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See Crichton, Sir Archibald William

Article

Crow, Hugh (1765–1829), privateer and slave trader, was born in Ramsey, Isle of Man, the son of Edmund Crow (1730–1809), a tradesman, and his wife, Judith (1737–1807). He lost his right eye in infancy, but despite this was apprenticed to a boat builder in ...

Article

Cunningham, John [Cats-Eyes Cunningham] (1917–2002), aviator and businessman, was born on 27 July 1917 at Canley, 17 Castlemaine Avenue, Croydon, Surrey, the elder son and third of the four children of Arthur Gillespie Cunningham (d. 1930), company secretary of the Dunlop Rubber Company...

Article

Francis Watt

revised by Christopher Doorne

Davidson, William (c. 1756–1797), privateer, was born in Scotland; further details of his family and upbringing are unknown. In 1791 he was serving as an able seaman on the Niger, then commanded by Sir Richard Keats. Davidson was noted as a comparatively well-educated man of gloomy and silent disposition, but liable to sudden outbursts of temper. While the ship was at ...

Article

Davies, Richard Bell (1886–1966), pilot and naval officer, was born at 3 Fopstone Road, Brompton, London, on 19 May 1886, the son of William Bell Davies (1845–1891), civil engineer, of Croxley Grove, Rickmansworth, and his wife, Mary Emma, née Beale (1848–1892). Orphaned at the age of five, he was brought up by his uncle, ...