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A. H. Beesly

revised by Andrew Lambert

Back, Sir George (1796–1878), naval officer and explorer, was born on 6 November 1796 at Stockport, Cheshire, the second son of John Back (1766–1815) and his wife, Ann Cook (1760/61–1822). He entered the navy as midshipman of the Arethusa...

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Maker: Maull & Polyblank

Sir George Back (1796–1878) by Maull & Polyblank Howarth-Loomes Collection; photograph National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

H. E. D. Blakiston

revised by Christopher J. Schmitz

Blakiston, Thomas Wright (1832–1891), army officer and explorer, was born at Lymington in Hampshire on 27 December 1832, the second of three sons of John Blakiston (1785–1867), army officer, and his wife, Jane, daughter of the Revd Thomas Wright of Market Harborough, Leicestershire...

Article

Borough, William (bap. 1536, d. 1598), explorer and naval administrator, was born at Borough House, Northam Burrows, Northam, Devon, to Walter Borough (1494–1548) and Mary (née Dough) and baptized on 18 August 1536 in St Mary's, Northam. His childhood experiences included voyages made with his elder brother, ...

Article

J. K. Laughton

revised by Andrew Lambert

Collinson, Sir Richard (1811–1883), naval officer and explorer, was born on 7 November 1811 at Gateshead, co. Durham, where his father, the Revd John Collinson (c.1791–1857), was rector. His mother was Amelia, née King (b. 1783), daughter of the philanthropist ...

Article

Fawcett, Percy Harrison (b. 1867, d. in or after 1925), soldier and explorer, was born on 31 August 1867 at Devonia, Torquay, Devon, the son of Edward Boyd Fawcett (1839–1884), of independent means, a noted amateur cricketer who had played for Cambridge University...

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Sir Martin Frobisher (1535?–1594) by Cornelius Ketel, 1577 © Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

Article

Frobisher, Sir Martin (1535?–1594), privateer, explorer, and naval commander, was descended from John Frobisher (b. c.1260), a Scot settled in lands near Chirk in Denbighshire granted in recognition of his services to Edward I during the Welsh wars. In the mid-fourteenth century the family crossed the ...

Article

Gilbert, Sir Humphrey (1537–1583), explorer and soldier, was born in Greenway, near Dartmouth, Devon between January and May 1537, the second son of Otho Gilbert of Compton, Devon (d. 1547), landowner, and Katherine, daughter of Sir Philip Champernoun of Modbury, Devon. Following ...

Article

Humfrey, John (c. 1597–1651), colonist and parliamentarian army officer, was born in Dorset, the only son of Michael Humfrey (c.1572–1626), of Chaldon and Fordington, Dorset, and his wife, Dorothy, née Bawler, daughter of William Bawler of Sherborne. His father was a clerk and factotum to ...

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Gregor MacGregor (1786–1845) by Samuel William Reynolds senior (after Simon Jacques Rochard) © National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

MacGregor, Gregor (1786–1845), soldier and adventurer, was the grandson of Gregor MacGregor Drummond who had enlisted in the forerunner of the Black Watch (then Sempill's Highlanders), served abroad with distinction, and been instrumental in obtaining the repeal of legislation which had outlawed the clan ...

Article

H. M. Chichester

revised by John Dickenson

Musters, George Chaworth (1841–1879), naval officer and explorer, was the younger son of John George Musters of Wiverton Hall, Nottinghamshire, formerly of the 10th Royal Hussars, and his wife, Emily, daughter of Philip Hamond, of Westacre, Norfolk. His grandmother, Mary Ann Musters née...

Article

Gordon Goodwin

revised by Stuart Handley

Neale, Walter (fl. 1617–1639), army officer and explorer, used a coat of arms of the Neale family of Leicestershire and Northamptonshire, although nothing is known of his parentage or background. He has often been confused with Walter Neale (d. 1612/13), the son of ...

Article

Pring, Martin (bap. 1580, d. 1626), naval officer and explorer, was baptized on 23 April 1580 at Feniton, Devon, the son of John Pring of Awliscombe. His early life is obscure, but by 1603 he had gained the confidence of Richard Hakluyt and the patronage of the ...