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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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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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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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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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Lockyer, Sir Joseph Norman (1836–1920), astronomer and journal editor, was born on 17 May 1836 at Rugby, the only son of Joseph Hooley Lockyer, surgeon-apothecary, and his wife, Ann, daughter of Edward Norman, squire of Cosford, Warwickshire. He was educated at private schools in ...

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Lubbock, John, first Baron Avebury (1834–1913), banker, politician, and scientific writer, was born on 30 April 1834 at 29 Eaton Place, London, the eldest of eleven children of Sir John William Lubbock, third baronet (1803–1865), and his wife, Harriet Hotham (d. 1873)...

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Martin, Benjamin (bap. 1705, d. 1782), lecturer on science and maker of scientific instruments, was baptized at Worplesdon, Surrey, on 1 March 1705, the third son of John Martin (d. 1731) of Broadstreet, who farmed near Worplesdon, and his wife, Jane. Nothing is known about his childhood; it is presumed that he spent his youth working on the land, during which period he acquired (apparently through extensive reading) knowledge of a wide range of subjects. In his late twenties he established a school at ...

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Merret [Merrett], Christopher (1614–1695), physician and writer on natural philosophy, was born at Winchcombe, Gloucestershire, on 16 February 1614, the son of a non-gentry father of the same name, who was at some time involved in a tobacco growing project in the west midlands. On entering ...

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Norman, Sir Richard Oswald Chandler (1932–1993), chemist, was born on 27 April 1932 in Norbury, London, the only child of Oswald George Norman (1890–1941), bank manager, and his wife, Violet Maud, née Chandler (1901–1981). He was educated at Durston House preparatory school in ...

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William Gee

revised by Frank A. J. L. James

Sturgeon, William (1783–1850), electrician and scientific lecturer, was born on 22 May 1783 at Whittington, Lancashire, near Kirkby Lonsdale, the only son of John Sturgeon, shoemaker, and his wife, Betsy Adcock (d. 1793), the daughter of a small shopkeeper. All accounts of his father, who had migrated from ...

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Thornton, Robert John (1767–1837), physician and writer on botany, was born on 17 July 1767, probably in London, where he was baptized at St James, Westminster on 13 August 1767, the youngest of the two sons and a daughter of the writer Bonnell Thornton (1725–1768)...

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Whewell, William (1794–1866), college head and writer on the history and philosophy of science, was born on 24 May 1794 at Brock Street, Lancaster, the eldest of seven children of John Whewell, master carpenter, and his wife, Elizabeth Bennison.