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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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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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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 ...

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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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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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Lygo, Sir Raymond Derek (1924–2012), naval officer and industrialist, was born on 15 March 1924 at 41 Richmond Road, Ilford, Essex, the second son of Edwin Thomas Lygo (1884–1962), newspaper compositor, and his wife, Ada Emily, née Cushing (1889–1973). Educated at Ilford county high school...

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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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Portlock, Nathaniel (b. in or before 1747, d. 1817), naval officer and fur trader, was probably born at or near Norfolk, Virginia, possibly the son of Charles Portlock (d. after 15 February 1750) and his wife, Lydia, née Ridley (d. after 1756)...

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Towerson, Gabriel (bap. 1576, d. 1623), naval officer and agent for the East India Company, was baptized on 27 February 1576 in the parish church of St Michael Cornhill, London, the tenth of twelve children of William Towerson (d. 1584), member of the ...

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Watts, Sir John (c. 1550–1616), merchant and privateer, was the son of Thomas Watts of Buntingford in Hertfordshire, where he was born. He married Margaret Hawes, daughter of Sir James Hawes, who was lord mayor of London from 1574 to 1575. They had eight children, four sons and four daughters....

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Wright, Fortunatus (d. 1757), merchant and privateer, was the second son of John Wright (d. 1717), a Liverpool shipowner and merchant. It is highly likely that Fortunatus served his apprenticeship with his father. Some confirmation of this early seafaring background may be taken from ...