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

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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 and his wife, Ann. He entered the navy as midshipman of the Arethusa in 1808. He was present at the destruction of the batteries at ...

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Ronald Bayne

revised by Elizabeth Baigent

Barker, Collet (1784–1831), army officer and explorer, was born near Paradise Gardens, Hackney, Middlesex, on 31 December 1784, the son of William Barker (c.1748–1832), skinner and mercer of Newbury, Berkshire, and Sarah Collet (1755–1808), elder daughter of Samuel Collet, of an established family of ...

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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...

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Borough, Stephen (1525–1584), explorer and naval administrator, was born on 25 September 1525 at Borough House, Northam Burrows, Northam, Devon, the elder son of Walter Borough (1494–1548) and Mary Dough; his younger brother was William Borough (d. 1598).

With his uncle, John Borough (d. 1570)...

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, ...

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Francis Rawdon Chesney (1789–1872) by unknown artist © National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

Stanley Lane-Poole

revised by Roger T. Stearn

Chesney, Francis Rawdon (1789–1872), army officer and explorer, was born on 16 March 1789 at Ballyvea, Annalong, co. Down, the eldest son of Alexander Chesney (1755–1843) and his second wife, Jane, née Wilson (b. c.1763), both Ulster protestants of Scottish descent. ...

Article

J. K. Laughton

revised by Andrew C. F. David

Clerke, Charles (1743–1779), naval officer and circumnavigator, was born in Weatherfield, Essex, the son of Joseph Clerke, a farmer. He had a brother, Sir John Clerke, and a sister who married Paul Henry Maty. He entered the navy in 1755 as captain's servant and midshipman in the ...

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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 ...

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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

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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 ...

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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 ...

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R. H. Vetch

revised by Elizabeth Baigent

Gill, William John (1843–1882), explorer and army officer, was born in Bangalore, India, on 10 September 1843, the eldest son of the three sons of Major Robert Gill (1805–1879) of the Madras native infantry, and his wife, Frances Flowerdew (Fanny) Rickerby (1817–1887). His father was commissioned by the ...

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Gore, John (1729/30?–1790), circumnavigator and naval officer, was reputedly born in Virginia, and was presumably already an experienced seaman when, on 25 August 1755, he joined the Windsor (60 guns) at Portsmouth, and was rated midshipman. He was discharged to sick quarters in ...

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George Francis Lyon (1795–1832) by John Jackson Christie's Images Ltd. (2004)

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Lyon, George Francis [alias Said-ben-Abdallah] (1795–1832), naval officer and explorer, son of a colonel in the army, was born at Chichester, Sussex. Around 1805 he was educated at Dr Burney's naval academy, Gosport, Hampshire, and entered the navy in 1808, had the commission of lieutenant confirmed in 1814, and saw much action....

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Macgregor, Sir Charles Metcalfe (1840–1887), army officer, explorer, and military strategist, was born at Agra on 12 September 1840, the second son of Robert Guthrie Macgregor and his wife, Alexina Watson, daughter of General Archibald Watson of the Bengal army. He had eight sisters and two brothers. ...

Article

J. K. Laughton

revised by Elizabeth Baigent

McCormick, Robert (1800–1890), naval surgeon, explorer, and naturalist, born at Runham, near Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, on 22 July 1800, was the only son of Robert McCormick (d. 1817), surgeon in the navy, son of Robert McCormick of Ballyreagh, co. Tyrone, where the family had been settled for several generations. He spent his childhood near ...