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Abudacnus, Josephus (fl. 1595–1643), scholar of oriental languages, was born in Cairo. His parents were Copts, his father probably connected with the Ottoman administration. His Arabic name, Yusuf ibn Abu Dhaqn, was Latinized as Josephus Abudacnus (or Barbatus). In 1595, after a rudimentary education in ...

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Baillie, John (1772–1833), army officer in the East India Company and orientalist, younger son of George Baillie of Leys Castle, Inverness, and his wife, Anne (née Baillie), was born at Inverness on 10 May 1772, and entered the East India Company's service in 1790, arriving in ...

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Sidney Lee

revised by Elizabeth Baigent

Balfour, Francis (d. in or after 1816), surgeon and orientalist, was born in Edinburgh and took his MD degree there in 1767. He entered the East India Company's service in Bengal as assistant surgeon on 3 July 1769, and was appointed full surgeon on 10 August 1777....

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Arthur H. Grant

revised by Elizabeth Baigent

Barker, William Burckhardt (1810/11–1856), orientalist, was the son of John Barker (1771–1849), who was consul in Aleppo, Syria, at the time of his son's birth. From both his parents he inherited a remarkable linguistic aptitude. He was the godson of Johann Ludwig Burckhardt...

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Beeston, Alfred Felix Landon (1911–1995), orientalist, was born at 12 Glebe Road, Barnes, south London, on 23 February 1911, the second child and only son of Herbert Arthur Beeston (1872–1941), an engineer and draughtsman, and Edith Mary Landon (1873–1965). In his undergraduate days he came to be called ...

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Bell, Sir Charles Alfred (1870–1945), administrator in India and Tibetologist, was born in Fort William, Calcutta, on 31 October 1870, the third son of Henry Bell, of the Indian Civil Service, and his wife, Anne, daughter of George Dumbell, of Douglas, Isle of Man...

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Bevan, Anthony Ashley (1859–1933), orientalist and biblical scholar, was born at Trent Park, Barnet, on 19 May 1859, the eldest of the three sons of Robert Cooper Lee Bevan (1809–1890), of Fosbury House, Wiltshire, and Trent Park, head of the great banking-house later known as ...

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Beveridge [née Akroyd], Annette Susannah (1842–1929), orientalist, was born in Mount Street, Stourbridge, Worcestershire, on 13 December 1842, the third child and daughter surviving to adulthood of William Akroyd (d. 1869), a currier, and his wife, Sarah, née Walford, a daughter of the local livery stable owner. After his wife's death in 1849, ...

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A. S. Bicknell

revised by Elizabeth Baigent

Bicknell, Herman (1830–1875), orientalist and traveller, was born at Herne Hill, Surrey, on 2 April 1830, the third son of Elhanan Bicknell (1788–1861) and his third wife, Lucinda Sarah (1801–1850), who was the sister of Hablot Knight Browne (‘Phiz’). Clarence Bicknell (1842–1918), archaeologist and botanist, was his brother. He was educated at ...

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T. W. Bayne

revised by R. S. Simpson

Birrell, John (1836–1901), orientalist, was born at Drumeldrie, Newburn parish, near St Andrews, on 21 October 1836, the elder of two sons of Hugh Birrell, architect, and his wife, Margaret Smith. His brother, George, an architect, died in 1876. After attending the parish school and ...

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Bownas, Geoffrey (1923–2011), Japanese scholar, was born on 9 February 1923 at 6 Hawthorne Avenue, Yeadon, Yorkshire, the only son of Frederick Bownas (1892–1959), telephone engineer, and his wife, Grace Ethel, née Richardson (1884–1963), teacher and shopkeeper. At the time of his birth registration his parents lived at ...

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Geoffrey Bownas (1923–2011) by Wiesia Cook-Bownas, 2005 © by kind permission of Geoffrey Bownas widow, Wiesia Cook-Bownas

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See Brunton [née Balfour], Mary

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Cadell [née Nash], Jessie Ellen (1844–1884), novelist and orientalist, was born at Devonshire Lodge, Pancras Vale, Hampstead Road, London, on 23 August 1844, the daughter of William Nash, a City merchant, and his wife, Emma, née Jell. Her father died while she was young, and her mother married ...

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Caldwell, Robert (1814–1891), missionary and orientalist, was born near Belfast, Ulster, on 7 May 1814, into an impoverished family. He began working at the age of nine, after his family moved to Glasgow. Largely self-educated, at fifteen he went to live with his elder brother in ...

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Carey, Felix (1786–1822), orientalist and missionary, was born on 20 October 1786 at Moulton, Northamptonshire, the eldest son of William Carey (1761–1834), missionary to India, and his first wife, Dorothy Plackett (1756–1807). He accompanied his parents to Bengal in 1793 and was baptized at ...

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William Carey (1761–1834) by Robert Home, 1811 [with his chief pandit, Mritunjaya] original owned by BMS World Mission, PO Box 49, Didcot, OX11 8XA, England

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Carey, William (1761–1834), orientalist and missionary, was born on 17 August 1761 at Paulerspury, Northamptonshire, the eldest of the five children of Edmund Carey and Elizabeth Wells. His father, originally a weaver, became in 1767 parish clerk and schoolmaster, which gave Carey access to a wide range of books. At the age of about fourteen he was apprenticed to a shoemaker in the hamlet of nearby ...

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Edmund Castell (bap. 1606, d. 1686) by William Faithorne the elder, pubd 1669 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Castell, Edmund (bap. 1606, d. 1686), orientalist and lexicographer, was baptized on 4 January 1606 at East Hatley, Cambridgeshire, the second son of Robert Castell, a man of property and education, and his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Edmund Alleyn of Hatfield Peverel, Essex...