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Baillie, Charles William (1844–1899), inventor of the Baillie sounder and marine meteorologist, was born in Greenwich, Kent, the eldest son of Henry Robert Baillie (1808/9–1882), a master of the nautical school in Greenwich, and his wife, Isabella, née Haselar. He entered the Royal Navy...

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H. M. Chichester

revised by Andrew Lambert

Beeching, James (1788–1858), lifeboat designer, was born at Bexhill, Sussex, and was subsequently apprenticed to a boat builder at Hastings. Some little time after his apprenticeship he went to Flushing, and there, in 1819, built the famous smuggling cutter known as the Big Jane...

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Berthon, Edward Lyon (1813–1899), inventor of nautical aids and Church of England clergyman, was born in Finsbury Square, London, on 20 February 1813, the tenth child of Peter Berthon, an army contractor, who was reduced to comparative poverty by the wreck of a number of his ships and the end of the war in 1814. In 1828 ...

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Chance, Sir James Timmins, first baronet (1814–1902), glass manufacturer and lighthouse engineer, was born in Birmingham on 22 March 1814, the eldest of the six sons of William Chance (1788–1856), merchant and glass manufacturer, of Spring Grove, Birmingham, and his wife, Phoebe (...

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George William Littler Garrett (1852–1902) by unknown photographer © reserved

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Garrett, George William Littler (1852–1902), clergyman and submarine designer, was born on 4 July 1852 at 45 Waterloo Road, Lambeth, London, the third son of John Garrett (d. 1893), an Irish curate, and his wife, Georgina. The Garretts moved to Manchester in the early 1860s, and ...

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Henry Greathead (1757–?1816) by William Ridley, pubd 1804 © National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

James Burnley

revised by Arthur G. Credland

Greathead, Henry (1757–1816?), reported inventor of the lifeboat, was the younger of twin children, born at Richmond, Yorkshire, on 27 January 1757. His father, John Greathead, an officer of salt duties, following promotion removed to Shields in 1763. Greathead was at first apprenticed to a boat builder and subsequently went to sea as a ship's carpenter. In 1785 he returned to ...

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Herbert George Hasler (1914–1987) by Eileen Ramsay, c.1960 © Eileen Ramsay / PPL

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Hasler, Herbert George (1914–1987), inventor of sailing equipment and Royal Marines officer, was born in Dublin on 27 February 1914, the younger child and younger son of Lieutenant Arthur Thomas Hasler, quartermaster, of the Royal Army Medical Corps, and his wife, Annie Georgina Andrews...

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Hayward, Walter Scott (1855–1910), yachtsman and boat designer, was born on 17 April 1855 at 20 St James Walk, Clerkenwell, London, the son of James Robertson Hayward (d. in or before 1880), ironmonger, and his wife, Eliza Isabella Greely. Nothing is known about his education or early life, but he joined ...

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Holland, John Philip (1841–1914), inventor of the modern submarine, was born on 24 February 1841 in Castle Street, Liscannor, co. Clare, Ireland, the son of John Holland, a coastguard, and Mary Scanlon. Educated first at Limerick, he was prevented by poor eyesight from going to sea, so he took the initial vows of the teaching order of the Christian Brothers and studied at their schools in ...

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Hosken, James (1798–1885), naval officer and developer of ocean steam navigation, was born at Plymouth on 6 December 1798. His father, a warrant officer, served with distinction through the American War of Independence and the French Revolution, and was present at seventeen general actions, from ...

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Kirk, Alexander Carnegie (1830–1892), mechanical engineer and inventor, was born in the manse of Barry, Forfarshire, on 16 July 1830, the eldest son in the family of three sons and one daughter of John Kirk (d. 1858), minister of Barry, and his wife, ...

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G. C. Boase

revised by W. Johnson

Lowe, James (1796–1866), inventor of a screw propeller, whose early life is unknown, was initially apprenticed on 2 November 1813 to Edward Shorter, a London master mechanic and a freeman of the City, who had in 1800 taken out a patent for propelling vessels, which he had named 'the perpetual sculling machine'. In 1816 ...

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H. M. Chichester

revised by R. C. Cox

Lukin, Lionel (1742–1834), lifeboat designer, was born at Dunmow, Essex, on 18 May 1742, the youngest son of William Lukin, of Blatches, Little Dunmow, and Anne, daughter of James Stokes. His father belonged to an old Essex family, one of his ancestors being ...

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McDavid, Sir Herbert Gladstone (1898–1966), shipowner, was born on 19 May 1898 at 4 Upper Stanhope Street, Liverpool, the eldest child of Denis McDavid, a tailor's cutter, and his wife, Octavia, née Christian. His grandfather was Jacob Christian, a ship's steward born of African descent in ...

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Patrick Miller (1731–1815) attrib. Sir George Chalmers, c. 1770 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Miller, Patrick (1731–1815), banker and inventor, was born at Glasgow, the third son of William Miller of Glenlee, and his wife, Janet Hamilton. He was a younger brother of Sir Thomas Miller, the lord president of the court of session. Although he was to claim that he began life 'without a ...

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Nicholson, Charles Ernest (1868–1954), yacht designer, was born at Gosport on 12 May 1868, the second son in the family of three boys and five girls of Benjamin Nicholson, naval architect, and his wife, Sarah Watson. Educated at Mill Hill School, he joined the family firm of ...