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Beckman, Sir Martin (1634/5–1702), pyrotechnist and military engineer, was born in Stockholm, Sweden, the son of Melcher Beckman and his wife, Christiana van Benningen. Their names and his profession suggest a Dutch origin.

By his own account Beckman left his native Sweden about 1645 in order to serve the English crown. His brother served as a royalist captain in the civil war and was royal engineer to the exiled ...


Torré, Giovanni Battista (fl. 1753–1776), pyrotechnician and print publisher, was born in Italy and studied under the scene-painter Servandoni. He first travelled to London in 1753 to work with the Brock family on their firework displays at Marylebone Gardens. However, until 1771 he resided mostly in ...