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Anderson, Sir Alan Garrett (1877–1952), public servant and shipowner, was born in London on 9 March 1877, the only son of James George Skelton Anderson and his wife, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (1836–1917), the first woman to qualify as a doctor in Great Britain...

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Barton, Robert [called Hob a Barton] (d. 1540), sea captain and administrator, known to the English as the pirate Hob a Barton, was one of three sons of John Barton, sea captain in Leith, the port of Edinburgh. Some time prior to 1476 his father's ship and goods were captured by Portuguese ships. ...

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Blogg, Henry George (1876–1954), lifeboat coxswain, was born in Cromer on 6 February 1876, the son of Ellen Blogg. He was educated at the Goldsmiths' School, Cromer, where he proved quick at learning and revealed an unusually retentive memory. He took no part in games, failed to defend himself against bullying, and never learned to swim. When nearly twelve he began life as a longshore fisherman. In 1894 he joined the ...

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Henry George Blogg (1876–1954) by Thomas Cantrell Dugdale, 1942 © reserved; photograph courtesy of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution

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Sir Joseph Guinness Broodbank (1857–1944) by Elliott & Fry © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Broodbank, Sir Joseph Guinness (1857–1944), docks administrator and public servant, was born on 15 July 1857 at Poplar, London, the eldest son of Caleb Broodbank, accountant, of Folkestone, and his wife, Sarah, daughter of Captain Thomas Coburn, merchant navy, of Poplar. In 1872 he entered the service of the ...

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Croft, Thomas (c. 1435–1488), customs official, shipowner, and patron of Atlantic exploration, was the son of William Croft (d. 1439) of Croft Castle, Herefordshire, and Isabella, presumably a second wife. He was born during the 1430s, the youngest of four brothers, including ...

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See Crossley, Francis William

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Gibson, Francis (bap. 1752, d. 1805), mariner and collector of customs, was baptized at Whitby, Yorkshire, on 16 January 1752, the son of Joseph Gibson, commander of a merchant ship, and his wife, Mary, daughter of a customs controller at Whitby. He was sent to the day school run by ...

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Hamilton, Sir James Arnot (1923–2012), aeronautical engineer and civil servant, was born on 2 May 1923 at 18 Kirkhill Road, Penicuik, Midlothian, the son of Andrina Hamilton (d. 1995), a milliner. His mother later married Walter Hogarth, a furniture salesman. Educated at ...

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John Hawley the elder (c. 1350–1408) memorial brass by kind permission of Becky Wright Photos; St Saviour's Church, Dartmouth

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Hawley, John, the elder (c. 1350–1408), pirate, merchant, and administrator, of Dartmouth, Devon, was the younger son of the first John Hawley who settled in Dartmouth some time before 1340. Hawley was elected mayor for the first time in 1374—the beginning of a career which would make him the richest and most important man in ...

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See Hawley, John, the elder

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Peel, Sir Frederick (1823–1906), politician and railway commissioner, born in Stanhope Street, London, on 26 October 1823, was the second son of Sir Robert Peel, second baronet (1788–1850), prime minister, and his wife, Julia (1795–1859), daughter of General Sir John Floyd, first baronet...

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Perring, William George Arthur (1898–1951), aerodynamicist and government scientist, was born on 16 December 1898 in Gillingham, Kent, the eldest son of John Richard Brooking Perring, a shipwright, and his wife, Alice Johns, both formerly of Devon. In 1913 he commenced a seven-year apprenticeship at the ...

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William George Arthur Perring (1898–1951) by Bassano, 1946 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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J. E. Serby

revised by John K. Bradley

Wimperis, Harry Egerton (1876–1960), government scientist, was born on 27 August 1876 at 47 Brighton Road, South Hornsey, London, the only son of Joseph Price Wimperis, a mercantile clerk, later a timber merchant, and his wife, Jemima Samuel, or Wood-Samuel. After his father's early death his mother struggled to educate him. He was apprenticed at the locomotive works of the ...