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Article

A. M. Clerke

revised by Anita McConnell

Aubert, Alexander (bap. 1730, d. 1805), merchant and astronomer, was born at Austin Friars, London, and baptized on 11 May 1730 at St Peter-le-Poer, Old Broad Street, London, the second of seven children and eldest of the four sons of Claude Aubert (1692–1774)...

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Bagwell, William (b. c. 1593, d. in or after 1664), merchant and writer on astronomy, was, according to his own account, 'bred a merchant in good quality, skilfully furnished with knowledge in all things necessary, and having seen the world abroad' (Bagwell...

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Chamberlain, Robert (1632?–1696), merchant and mathematician, may have been the Robert Chamberlain who attended Merchant Taylors' School for one year in 1645. If so, he was born on 13 June 1632 in Whitefriars, London, the youngest of ten children of Robert Chamberlain...

Article

Ronald M. Birse

revised by Christine Clark

Coffey, Aeneas (c. 1780–1852), exciseman and inventor of a still, was born probably in Dublin (though one source gives his birthplace as Calais), the son of Andrew Coffey, the city engineer of Dublin, who was employed in the Dublin city waterworks from 1774 to 1832. He is thought to have attended classes at ...

Article

Cuninghame [Cunningham], James (fl. 1698–1709), trader and naturalist, was probably born in Scotland. He trained as a surgeon, and in London became familiar with the botanists Samuel Doody, Charles Dubois, and Robert Uvedale. In 1698 he sailed to China as a surgeon in the ...

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Edgeworth, Michael Pakenham (1812–1881), botanist and East India Company servant, was born on 24 May 1812 at Edgeworthstown, co. Longford, Ireland, the youngest in a family of two sons and four daughters of Richard Lovell Edgeworth (1744–1817), educationist and improver, and his fourth wife, ...

Article

See Freeling, Sir Francis, first baronet

Article

Giesecke, Charles Lewis [formerly Johann Georg Metzler] (1761–1833), mineralogist and mineral dealer, was born on 6 April 1761 in Augsburg, Bavaria, the eldest surviving son of the six children of Georg Melchior Metzler (d. 1805), a protestant tailor, and his wife, ...

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Lampson, Sir Curtis Miranda, first baronet (1806–1885), fur merchant and telegraph cable promoter, the fourth son of William Lampson of Newhaven, Vermont, USA, and his wife, Rachel, daughter of George Powell of Louisborough, Massachusetts, was born in Newhaven, Vermont, on 21 September 1806. He worked first as a clerk in a store in ...

Article

R. B. Prosser

revised by Maxwell Craven and Susan Christian

Lombe, Sir Thomas (1685–1739), merchant and inventor of silk-throwing machinery, eldest son of Henry Lombe, worsted weaver, of Norwich, was born at Norwich on 5 September 1685. The father died about 1695, leaving his sons Thomas and Henry under the care of his executors, while the surviving younger son ...

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Mawe, John (1766–1829), mineralogist and dealer in minerals, was born in Queen Street, Derby, the younger surviving son of Samuel Maw (1735–1783), baker, and his first wife, Elisabeth Massey (d. 1777), originally from Leeds. He became a mariner in the late 1770s, and in 1790 he was appointed commander of the merchant vessel ...

Article

See Mawe, John

Article

Oats, Francis (1848–1918), mining engineer and authority on diamonds, was born on 24 October 1848 at South Torfrey Farm, Golant, near Fowey, Cornwall, the elder child of Francis Oats (1796–1874), farmer, and his wife, Marion, née Rundle (b. 1810). About 1854 his family moved to ...

Article

E. I. Carlyle

revised by Adrian Rice

Smith, James (1805–1872), merchant and mathematician, was born in Liverpool on 26 March 1805, the son of Joshua Smith and Esther Bartley. He entered a merchant's office at an early age, and, after remaining there seventeen years, started in business on his own account. (He retired in 1855.) He studied geometry and mathematics for practical purposes, and made some mechanical experiments with a view to facilitating mining operations. Although his results in this area were not made public, he did publish numerous works relating to his investigations into the geometrical problem known as ‘squaring the circle’. This problem—equivalent to finding the exact value of π—was then believed, and has since been proved, to be impossible. In 1859 he published a work entitled ...

Article

Naomi Evetts

revised by Mike Chrimes

Steers, Thomas (c. 1672–1750), civil engineer and merchant, possibly a native of Rotherhithe, Kent, was of unknown parentage. He was commissioned in the 4th regiment of foot and fought at the battle of the Boyne in 1690. He then served in the Netherlands...

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Stewart, James Hope (1789–1856), factor and natural history illustrator, was born at Hillside, Dryfesdale, Dumfriesshire, on 2 August 1789, the son of William Stewart of Hillhead (1743/4–1822) and Margaret Graham (c.1767/8–1853), daughter of George Graham of Shaw. About 1816 Stewart married ...

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Tennant, James (1808–1881), mineralogist and mineral and shell dealer, was born on 8 February 1808 at Upton, near Southwell, Nottinghamshire, the third child of John Tennant, excise officer, and his wife, Eleanor (née Kitchen). By 1819 his parents had moved to Mansfield...