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Blackstone, John (1712–1753), apothecary and botanist, was born at Harefield, Middlesex, the eldest of three sons of Edward Blackstone (d. 1730), ironmonger and citizen of London, and his wife, Sarah, daughter of Francis Ashby of Brakspeare, Harefield. In 1729 he was apprenticed to ...

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Buxton, Richard (1786–1865), botanist and shoemaker, was born on 15 January 1786 at Sedgley Hall Farm, Prestwich, Lancashire, the second son of the seven children of John Buxton and his wife, Ann (née Houghton). His parents, originally from Derbyshire, hit hard times before he turned two, forcing his father to become a labourer in ...

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Caley, George (1770–1829), farrier and botanist, was born on 10 June 1770 in Craven, Yorkshire, the oldest son of William Caley, horse dealer, and Martha Norbury. His parents were married in Manchester in February 1770 but moved to Yorkshire before Caley's birth. After several years, they moved to ...

Article

Crowther, James (1768–1847), botanist and porter, was born on 24 June 1768 in a cellar near the Wheat Sheaf inn, Deansgate, Manchester, the youngest of the seven children of Richard Crowther, a labourer, and his wife, Hannah. He attended three schools between the ages of six and nine before starting work as a draw-boy in petticoat weaving. For most of his working life he was employed as a porter, first in ...

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Duncan, John (1794–1881), hand-loom weaver and botanist, was born on 19 December 1794 at Stonehaven, Kincardineshire, the illegitimate son of John Duncan, weaver and soldier, from Drumlithie, and Ann Caird (c.1773–c.1830), also of Drumlithie, who decided to support herself and her child by weaving stockings and harvesting at nearby ...

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John Duncan (1794–1881) by unknown engraver, c. 1865–6 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Edgeworth, Michael Pakenham (1812–1881), botanist and East India Company servant, was born on 24 May 1812 at Edgeworthstown, co. Longford, Ireland, the youngest in a family of two sons and four daughters of Richard Lovell Edgeworth (1744–1817), educationist and improver, and his fourth wife, ...

Article

G. S. Boulger

revised by Peter Osborne

Gourlie, William (1815–1856), calico printer and botanist, was born in Glasgow in March 1815, the son of William Gourlie, merchant, and his wife, Agnes (née Bankier). He was educated at the public school and university of Glasgow, studying botany under W. J. Hooker...

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Hobson, Edward (1782–1830), botanist and weaver, was born on 23 May 1782 in Ancoats Lane, Manchester. When he was three he was taken in by an uncle in Ashton under Lyne following his father's death and the subsequent alcoholism of his mother, while a younger brother remained in ...

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Horsefield, John (1792–1854), botanist and weaver, was born on 18 July 1792, probably at Besses o' th' Barn, near Prestwich, Lancashire, the eldest son of Charles Horsefield (b. 1764). Born 'dead', according to his mother, he was restored to life by a medical attendant but remained a sickly child unable to tolerate the staple ...

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Irvine, Alexander (bap. 1794, d. 1873), botanist and bookseller, was born at Daviot, Aberdeenshire, the second of three sons of James Irvine of Skellarts, a well-to-do farmer, and baptized there on 27 April 1794. He was educated at the grammar school at Daviot...

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Jenner, Charles (1810–1893), department store owner and botanist, was born on 1 September 1810 in Chatham, Kent, one of at least four sons of John Jenner (1768/9–1852), an innkeeper, and Elizabeth Terry. Much of Jenner's childhood was spent in Rochester, where he was apprenticed at the age of thirteen to a local draper. He moved to ...

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Martin, John (1783–1855), botanist and hand-loom weaver, was born on 17 November 1783 in Tyldesley, Lancashire, the son of a poor shopkeeper and farmer. He lived with his parents, of whom little is known, until about 1802, during which time he received some schooling and began weaving. When he was fifteen he became intensely religious, advocating voluntary poverty. None the less, when his father began losing property to creditors, ...

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Morgan, Hugh (c. 1530–1613), botanist and apothecary, was the elder son of John Morgan of Great Bardfield, Essex, and his wife, Joan, daughter of Richard Copcott of Buckinghamshire. Hugh's brother John was to succeed to the family estates. Hugh was apprenticed to a ...

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Nowell, John (1802–1867), weaver and bryologist, was born at Springs, near Todmorden, Yorkshire, the illegitimate son of William Midgley, smallholder and publican at Kebcote, and Miriam Nowell (c.1781–1852). He lived with his grandparents and, other than a short attendance at Sunday school, received no education until, aged twenty, he joined a grammar class held at ...

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Preston, George (1664/5–1749), apothecary and botanist, was the sixth child and fourth son of Sir Robert Preston and his second wife, Margaret Bothwell. Charles Preston (1660–1711), professor of botany in the University of Edinburgh, was his older brother. The place of his birth is not recorded, although the ...

Article

W. W. Webb

revised by Scott Mandelbrote

Sherard, James (1666–1738), apothecary and botanist, and son of George Sherard or Sherwood of Bushby in Leicestershire, and Mary, his second wife, was born at Bushby on 1 July 1666. William Sherard (1659–1728) was his brother. On 7 February 1682 he was apprenticed to ...

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G. S. Boulger

revised by Anita McConnell

Sole, William (1741–1802), apothecary and botanist, was born at Thetford, Norfolk, the eldest son of John Sole and his wife, Martha, the daughter of John Rayner, banker, of Ely. The family claimed to have originated at Soules in Normandy, and to have settled in ...

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See Uvedale, Robert

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D'A. Power

revised by Juanita Burnby

Wheeler, Thomas (1754–1847), apothecary and botanist, second son of Thomas Wheeler (bap. 1710, d. 1769/70), and his wife, Susan Rivington, was born on 24 June 1754 in Basinghall Street, London, where his father practised as an apothecary. Mrs Cibber, the actress, was his father's first cousin. His grandfather, ...