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Allen, (Charles) Grant Blairfindie (1848–1899), writer on science and novelist, was born at Alwington, near Kingston, Ontario, Canada, on 24 February 1848, the second but only surviving son of Joseph Antisell Allen (1814–1900), a clergyman of the Church of Ireland who had emigrated to ...

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Bauer, Franz Andreas (1758–1840), microscopist and botanical artist, was born on 4 October 1758 in Feldsberg, Austria (now Valtice, Czech Republic). He was the second of the four sons of Lukas Bauer or Baur (1706/7–1762), a religious and court painter to the ...

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Clarke, Sir Arthur Charles (1917–2008), science and science fiction writer, was born on 16 December 1917 at 4 Blenheim Terrace, Minehead, Somerset, the eldest of the four children of Charles Wright Clarke (1888–1931) and his wife, (Mary) Nora Jessie, née Willis (1892–1980). His father was a ...

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Clifford, William Kingdon (1845–1879), mathematician and philosopher of science, was born on 4 May 1845 at Exeter, the eldest son of William Clifford, a justice of the peace who died in 1878. His mother, whose maiden name was Kingdon, died not long after he was born. ...

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Crookes, Sir William (1832–1919), chemist and science journalist, was born on 17 June 1832 at 143 Regent Street, London, the eldest son of the sixteen children of Joseph Crookes (1792–1884), a tailor from Yorkshire, and his second wife, Mary Scott of Aynhoe, Northamptonshire...

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Dick, Thomas (1774–1857), writer on science and philosopher, was born on 24 November 1774 in the Hilltown of Dundee, the youngest of three children of Mungo Dick and Margaret Stroak. His father was a handloom weaver of moderate means who served as treasurer for the ...

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Dreyer, John Louis Emil (1852–1926), astronomer and historian of astronomy, was born at Copenhagen on 13 February 1852, the third son of John Christopher Dreyer, lieutenant-general in the Danish army, and his wife, Ida Nicoline Margarethe Rangrup. At the age of fourteen he read a book about ...

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Edwards, George (1694–1773), ornithologist and artist, was born on 3 April 1694 at Stratford, West Ham, Essex, to a family of Welsh descent. He was educated at a boarding-school in Leytonstone and at Brentwood grammar school. He was then apprenticed to John Dod...

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Englefield, Sir Henry Charles, seventh baronet (c. 1752–1822), antiquary and writer on science, was the eldest of the five children of Sir Henry Englefield, sixth baronet (1715–1780), landowner, and his second wife, Catharine Buck (1725–1805), daughter of Sir Charles Buck, third baronet. A member of a long-established family of Catholic gentry, he is said to have been educated at one of the English Catholic colleges abroad. He succeeded his father as the seventh baronet in 1780, but moved from the family home at ...

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Ferguson, James (1710–1776), lecturer on natural philosophy and inventor of scientific instruments, was born on 25 April 1710 at Core of Mayen, Rothiemay, Banffshire, the second of at least six children of John Ferguson, a farmworker renting a smallholding, and his wife, Elspeth Lobban...

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Fitch, Walter Hood (1817–1892), botanical artist and lithographer, was born on 29 January 1817 in Lanark, Scotland, the second son of five children of John Fitch (1790–c.1850), cloth merchant, and his wife, Catherine Maria Hood (1786–1859), a milliner and dressmaker. After a year at ...

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Gray, Edward Whitaker (1748–1806), physician and museum curator, was born on 21 March 1748, probably in London, the second son of Samuel Gray (bap. 1693?, d. 1766), seedsman, and his wife, Juliana, née Kelly (d. 1774). An older brother, Samuel Gray (1739–1771)...

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Gregory, Sir Richard Arman, baronet (1864–1952), writer on science, was born on 29 January 1864 in Bristol, the son of John Gregory, cobbler and poet, and his wife, Ann, daughter of Richard Arman, farm overseer of Chiseldon, Wiltshire. He first attended the Wesleyan day school at ...

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Harris, John (c. 1666–1719), writer and lecturer on science, was reportedly the son of Edward Harris, or possibly Fitzharris (c.1648–1681), an army lieutenant. He entered Trinity College, Oxford, as a scholar in 1683, and graduated BA in 1686 and MA at ...

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Heydon, John (b. 1629, d. in or after 1670), writer on astrology and alchemy, and occultist, was born on 10 September 1629 in Green Arbour, London, the son of Francis Heydon of Sidmouth, Devon, and Mary Chandler of Worcestershire. He was the grandson of ...

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Huxley, Thomas Henry (1825–1895), biologist and science educationist, was born on 4 May 1825 in Ealing, the youngest of the six surviving children of George Huxley (1780–1853) and Rachel Withers (1785–1852); an elder sister and younger brother died in infancy. His mother was born in ...

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G. T. Bettany

revised by Alexander Goldbloom

Jesse, Edward (1780–1868), writer on natural history, was born at Hutton Cranswick, near Driffield, Yorkshire, on 14 January 1780, the third son of the Revd William Jesse (1738–1814), vicar of Hutton Cranswick. His father was descended from a branch of the Languedoc barons de Jessé Lévas...

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Jevons, William Stanley (1835–1882), economist and philosopher of science, was born on 1 September 1835 at 14 Alfred Street, Liverpool, the ninth of the eleven children (of whom only six survived beyond infancy) of Thomas Jevons (1791–1855), iron merchant and inventor, and his wife, ...

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Jourdain, Philip Edward Bertrand (1879–1919), historian of mathematics and logic, was born on 16 October 1879 at Ashbourne vicarage, Derbyshire, one of the large family of Francis Jourdain, vicar of Ashbourne, and his wife, Emily, formerly Clay. Among his siblings, an elder sister, ...

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Lardner, Dionysius (1793–1859), writer on science and public lecturer, was born on 3 April 1793 in Dublin, the son of William Lardner (d. 1808), a solicitor.