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Cosmo Alexander (1724–1772) self-portrait, before 1745? Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums Collections

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Alexander, Cosmo (1724–1772), portrait painter and traveller, was born probably in Aberdeen, the son and pupil of the Aberdonian painter and engraver John Alexander (1686–c.1766), who had worked in Rome from 1711 to 1719, and his wife, Isobel Innes. John Alexander...

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Busino, Horatio [Orazio] (fl. 1617–1621), Roman Catholic priest and visitor to England, was the rector of Piazzola, a small town north-west of Padua, the location of a grand palace belonging to the Contarini family. In 1617 Pietro Contarini was appointed Venetian ambassador to the court of ...

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Sir Thomas Gascoigne, eighth baronet (1745–1810) by Pompeo Girolamo Batoni, 1779 © Leeds Museums and Galleries (Lotherton Hall), U.K. / The Bridgeman Art Library

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Gascoigne, Sir Thomas, eighth baronet (1745–1810), traveller and politician, was born on 7 March 1745 at the English Benedictine convent at Cambrai, France. He was the sixth child and third son of Sir Edward Gascoigne, sixth baronet (1697–1750), of Parlington, west Yorkshire, and his wife, ...

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Gawen, Thomas (1612–1684), religious writer and traveller, son of Thomas Gawen, a Church of England minister of Bristol city, was born at Marshfield, Gloucestershire. He was admitted a scholar of Winchester College in 1625. In 1632 he was made perpetual fellow of New College, Oxford...

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Alfred Hyman Louis (1829–1915) by Histed © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Louis, Alfred Hyman (1829–1915), scholar and visionary vagrant, was born in 1829 in Birmingham, the eldest son of Hyman Tobias (or Tobar) Louis, a well-to-do merchant, and his wife, Maria. At fifteen he entered King Edward's School, Birmingham, where he began long friendships with ...

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Montagu, Edward Wortley (1713–1776), traveller and criminal, was born in London on 16 May 1713, the elder child and only son of Edward Wortley Montagu (1678–1761), MP, diplomat, and entrepreneur, and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (bap. 1689, d. 1762), writer and traveller. In 1716 ...

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William Gifford Palgrave (1826–1888) by Ernest Edwards © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Palgrave, William Gifford (1826–1888), traveller and diplomatist, was born at 22 Parliament Street, Westminster, London, on 24 January 1826. He was the second son of Sir Francis Palgrave (1788–1861), founder of the Public Record Office, whose name had been Francis Cohen until in 1823 he converted to the ...

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Perlin, Étienne (fl. 1553–1558), writer and traveller, is known largely through his observations of Britain in Description des royaulmes d'Angleterre et d'Escosse, a brief journal of his travels in those two countries, which he visited in 1553. He claimed to have prominent acquaintances at the French court, stating that he was presented to ...

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Shen Fuzong (c. 1658–1691) by Sir Godfrey Kneller, 1687 The Royal Collection © 2006 HM Queen Elizabeth II

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Shen Fuzong [Michael Alphonsus] (c. 1658–1691), traveller and convert to Christianity, was born at Nanking (Nanjing) in Kiangnan (Jiangnan) province along the southern side of the Yangtze (Yangzi) River in the Qing empire. His father, a physician, probably converted to Catholicism in the 1670s. Following this the young ...

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David Ochterlony Dyce Sombre (1808–1851) by Charles Brocky The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent

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Sombre, David Ochterlony Dyce (1808–1851), traveller and putative lunatic, was born in Sardhana, a semi-autonomous princely state near Meerut, India, on 18 December 1808, the eldest of the three surviving children of Colonel George Alexander Dyce (d. 1838), of mixed Scottish and Indian ancestry, and ...

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Somerset, Sir Charles (1587/8–1665), traveller and writer, was the third surviving son of Edward Somerset, fourth earl of Worcester (c. 1550–1628), and his wife, Elizabeth Hastings (d. 1621), the daughter of Francis Hastings, second earl of Huntingdon. After attending Eton College from 1598 to 1602 he matriculated, along with his brother ...

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Strachan, George (fl. 1592–1634), traveller and orientalist, was born the younger son of a noble family in the Mearns (he later used the toponymic Merniensis), perhaps of Thornton, Kincardineshire; nothing else is known of his early life. He was a student in ...

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Swinburne, Henry (1743–1803), traveller, was born in Bristol on 8 July 1743, the fourth son of Sir John Swinburne, third baronet (d. 1745), of Capheaton, Northumberland, head of an old Roman Catholic family, and Mary (d. 1761), only daughter of Edward Bedingfeld...

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Sykes, Christopher Hugh (1907–1986), writer and traveller, was born on 17 November 1907 in Sledmere, near Driffield, Yorkshire, the elder of twins and the second son and third child in the family of three sons and three daughters of Sir Mark Sykes, sixth baronet...