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Brampton, Sir Edward [Duarte Brandão] (c. 1440–1508), soldier and merchant, was born in Lisbon c.1440, reputedly the illegitimate son of Rui Barba and the wife of a Jewish blacksmith. About 1468 he travelled to England and converted to Christianity. As was usual in such cases, the ...

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Bulloch, James Dunwoody (1823–1901), naval officer and merchant, was born near Savannah, Georgia, USA, on 25 June 1823, the son of Major James Stephens Bulloch (1793–1849), a member of the company which owned the pioneer steamship Savannah, and his wife, Hester Amarintha (1797–1831)...

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Burton, William (c. 1608–1673), merchant and naval administrator, came from an obscure and probably humble Norfolk family. Nothing is known of his parents. He was apprenticed to a Yarmouth merchant and became a freeman of the town in 1630, a common councillor by 1641, and an alderman in 1649. ...

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Call, Sir John, first baronet (1732–1801), East India Company servant and military engineer, was born on 30 June 1732 at Fenny Park, near Tiverton, Devon, the son of John Call (1704–1766) of Prestacott in Launcells, Cornwall, and his wife, Jane, daughter of John Mill...

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Colnett, James (bap. 1753, d. 1806), naval officer and fur trader, was baptized on 18 October 1753 at Stoke Damerel parish church, Plymouth, the son of James and Sarah Colnett. He went to sea in June 1770 as an able seaman in the ...

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Crawford, John Scott (1889–1978), army officer and military supplies administrator, was born on 6 February 1889 at 13 Clifton Road, West Derby, Lancashire, the son of John Paton Crawford, an assistant manager at a marine engine works, and his wife, Ellen Edith Scott...

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J. K. Laughton

revised by Barry M. Gough

Dixon, George (1748?–1795), naval officer and fur trader, was born in Kirkoswald, Cumberland; further details of his upbringing are unknown, though he did practise as a jeweller before going to sea. He served as a petty officer and armourer in the Discovery...

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Fenner, George (c. 1540–1618), merchant and privateer, is of unknown parentage. However, the name Fenner was common in west Sussex, and the family into which he was born has been described variously as a mercantile clan in Chichester itself, or as a minor but armigerous gentry family based at ...

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Fenwick [Fenwicke], John (b. in or after 1593, d. c. 1670), merchant and parliamentarian army officer, was a younger son of Roger Fenwick (c.1566–1618), gentleman, of Bitchfield, in the parish of Stamfordham, Northumberland, and his wife, Mabel. His approximate date of birth is derived from that of his elder brother, who was born in 1592 or 1593. ...

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Forbes, James [Jacob] (1580–1656), merchant and army officer in the Swedish service, was the eldest son of Henry Forbes (d. 1605), a soldier, of Thainstone and Margaret Forbes, eldest daughter of William Forbes of Corse and Susanna Stauchan. James was born in ...

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Grantham, Sir Thomas (bap. 1641, d. 1718), tobacco trader and naval officer, was baptized on 23 December 1641, the first of three children of Thomas Grantham (d. 1643 or 1645) of Bicester, Oxfordshire. In 1664 Grantham was acting as a merchant, shipping woollen goods to ...

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Sir John Hawkins (1532–1595) attrib. Federico Zuccaro, 1591 Plymouth City Art Gallery; photograph National Portrait Gallery, London

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Hawkins, Sir John (1532–1595), merchant and naval commander, was born in Plymouth, the second son of William Hawkins (b. before 1490, d. 1554/5), merchant, sea captain, and shipowner, and his wife, Joan, only child of Roger Trelawny of Brightor, Cornwall.

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Holditch, Abraham (bap. 1639, d. 1678), naval officer and merchant adventurer, was baptized on 12 May 1639 at Totnes, Devon. He was probably the son of William Holditch (d. 1646?) and his wife, Agnes (bap. 1617), formerly Jakes. He married at ...

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James, Sir William, first baronet (1722–1783), naval officer and director of the East India Company, was born on 5 September 1722 near Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire. Sir Nathaniel Wraxall, who knew him well, wrote that 'His origin was so obscure as almost to baffle inquiry' (...

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Le Mesurier, Havilland (1758–1806), merchant and commissary officer, was born on 8 May 1758 in Guernsey, the youngest of the five sons of John Le Mesurier (1717–1793), hereditary governor of Alderney, and his wife, Martha (d. 1764), the daughter of Peter Dobrée...

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Napier, William John, ninth Lord Napier of Merchistoun (1786–1834), naval officer and trade envoy, the eldest son of Francis Napier, eighth Lord Napier of Merchistoun (1758–1823), and his wife, Maria Margaret, née Clavering (1756?–1821), was born at Kinsale in Ireland on 13 October 1786. He entered the ...

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Parker, William (d. 1618), privateer and merchant, appears to have been born into the minor ranks of the Elizabethan gentry, although his parentage has yet to be traced. His brother John was a man of property in Southampton. On 18 June 1590 William Parker...

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Pepperrell, Sir William, first baronet (1696–1759), army officer and merchant, was born on 27 June 1696 at Kittery Point, Maine (then part of Massachusetts), the sixth of eight children of William Pepperrell (1648–1734), merchant and shipowner, and his wife, Margery (1659–1741), daughter of ...

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Sir William Pepperrell, first baronet (1696–1759) by John Smibert, 1746 photography courtesy Peabody Essex Museum