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Buxton, Richard (1786–1865), botanist and shoemaker, was born on 15 January 1786 at Sedgley Hall Farm, Prestwich, Lancashire, the second son of the seven children of John Buxton and his wife, Ann (née Houghton). His parents, originally from Derbyshire, hit hard times before he turned two, forcing his father to become a labourer in ...

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Edward, Thomas (1814–1886), naturalist and shoemaker, was born on 25 December 1814 at Gosport, Hampshire, one of several children of John Edward, Fife militiaman and weaver, and Margaret Mitchell of Aberdeen. His early years were spent at Kettle, Fife, and at Aberdeen. From childhood he was passionately fond of animals, bringing home so many ‘beasties’ that he was frequently flogged and confined to the house. Utterly unmanageable, by the age of six he had been expelled from three schools because of his zoological pursuits and truancy. Abandoning school, he found employment at ...

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Thomas Edward (1814–1886) by Sir George Reid Scottish National Portrait Gallery