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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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Connor [formerly O'Connor], Bernard (c. 1666–1698), physician and writer on Poland, the son of Bernard O'Connor, born in co. Kerry, Ireland, was descended from the O'Connor Kerry family, lords of Kerry. As a Roman Catholic, he was prohibited from attending school or university, and was therefore taught privately by tutors. Of his life in ...

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J. Hector St John de Crèvecoeur (1735–1813) by L. Massard, after 1786 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Crèvecoeur, J. Hector St John de (1735–1813), writer on America and farmer, was born on 31 January 1735 in Caen, Normandy, and baptized Michel-Guillaume Jean de Crèvecoeur. The son of Guillaume-Augustin Jean de Crèvecoeur, a substantial landowner and member of the provincial nobility, and ...

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Dillon, Peter (1788–1847), adventurer in the south seas, was born on 15 June 1788 on Martinique, the son of an Irishman, Peter Dillon, probably a soldier stationed on the island. About 1806 Dillon appears to have sailed for Calcutta and he later traded sandalwood between the ...

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Gage, Joseph Edward (c. 1687–1766), adventurer, the younger son of Joseph Gage (1652–1700) and his wife, Elizabeth Penruddock (d. 1693), was born about 1687. His father, the third son of Sir Thomas Gage, of Firle, Sussex, inherited Shirburn Castle, Oxfordshire, about 1682 on the death of his aunt ...

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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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G. B. Smith

revised by C. A. Creffield

Godkin, James (1806–1879), writer on Ireland, was born at Gorey, co. Wexford, into a family of moderately prosperous farmers. In his early twenties he married Sarah, daughter of Anthony Lawrence, a 'comfortable proprietor' from co. Wicklow who was of English descent. The couple had three daughters and two sons, one of whom, ...

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Harcourt, Robert (1574/5–1631), colonial adventurer and author, was born at Ellenhall, Staffordshire, the eldest of the five children of Walter (later Sir Walter) Harcourt (c.1553–1639) of Ellenhall and of Stanton Harcourt, Oxfordshire, and his wife and stepsister, Dorothy, daughter of William Robinson...

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Edward Hutton (1875–1969) by Lafayette, 1932 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Hutton, Edward (1875–1969), Italophile and travel writer, was born at Cambridge Villa, Ealing, Middlesex, on 12 April 1875, the eldest child in the family of five sons and one daughter of James Edward Hutton (1838–1890) and his wife, Sarah Abraham, née Salmon (...

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Lassels [Lascelles], Richard (c. 1603–1668), Roman Catholic priest and travel writer, was the younger son of a Catholic gentleman, William Lascelles of Brackenborough in Yorkshire, and grandson of Sir Thomas Lascelles, a member of the council of the north; his mother was Elizabeth Tunstall...

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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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MacCarthy Reagh, Florence [Finian Mac Cárthaigh Riabhach] (1562–c. 1640), chieftain and writer on Ireland, was probably born at Kilbrittan Castle, the eldest son of Sir Donough MacCarthy Reagh (d. 1576), the second of the MacCarthy chiefs, the others being the MacCarthy...

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Gregor MacGregor (1786–1845) by Samuel William Reynolds senior (after Simon Jacques Rochard) © National Portrait Gallery, London