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Anning, Mary (1799–1847), fossil collector and dealer, was born on 21 May 1799 in a seaside house in Lyme Regis, Dorset. She and her brother Joseph (1796–1849) were the only surviving children of Richard Anning (c.1766–1810), cabinet-maker and carpenter, and his wife, ...

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Banks, Sir Joseph, baronet (1743–1820), naturalist and patron of science, was born on 13 February 1743 at 30 Argyll Street, London, the first child and only son of William Banks (1719–1761), gentleman, of Revesby Abbey, Lincolnshire, previously named William Banks Hodgkinson, of Overton, Derbyshire...

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Barrington, Daines (1727/8–1800), judge, antiquary, and naturalist, was born at Becket in the parish of Shrivenham in Berkshire, the fourth son and fourth of nine children of John Shute Barrington, first Viscount Barrington (1678–1734), barrister and politician, and his wife, Anne (d...

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Beard, William (1772–1868), tourist guide and collector of bones, was born on 24 April 1772 at Woolvershill, Banwell, Somerset, the eldest of the eight children of John Beard (1738–1801), a farmer, and his second wife, Ann Poole (1760–1833). He was educated by John Tuckey...

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Benett, Etheldred (1775–1845), fossil collector and geologist, was born on 22 July 1775 at Pyt House, Tisbury, Wiltshire, the eldest daughter of Thomas Benett (c.1729–1797) and Catherine Darell (d. 1780). Her eldest surviving brother, John (1773–1852), was a deputy lieutenant and magistrate for ...

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Benson, Margaret Jane (1859–1936), botanist and palaeontologist, was born on 20 October 1859 in London, the sixth of the nine children of William Benson, architect and civil engineer, and his wife, Edmunda, daughter of landscape painter James Bourne. The family moved to Norton House, Hertford...

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Bentinck, Margaret Cavendish [née Lady Margaret Cavendish Harley], duchess of Portland (1715–1785), collector of art and natural history specimens and patron of arts and sciences, was born on 11 February 1715 in London, the only surviving child of Edward Harley, later second earl of Oxford...

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Thomas Seccombe

revised by Roger F. Vaughan

Blomefield [formerly Jenyns], Leonard (1800–1893), naturalist, was born on 25 May 1800 at 85 Pall Mall, London (his maternal grandfather's home). He was the youngest son of George Leonard Jenyns (1763–1848), canon of Ely and chairman of the board of agriculture, and his wife, ...

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Cautley, Sir Proby Thomas (1802–1871), civil engineer and palaeontologist, was born on 3 January 1802 in Raydon, Suffolk, son of Thomas Cautley (c.1756–1817), rector of Raydon, and his second wife, Catherine Proby (c.1772–1830), daughter of the Revd Narcissus Charles Proby...

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Clare, John (1793–1864), poet, farm labourer, and naturalist, was born on 13 July 1793 in West Street, Helpston, Northamptonshire, the son of Parker Clare (1765–1846), a thresher and local wrestler, known as 'the lame man of Helpstone', and his wife, Ann (1757–1835)...

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Robert Steele

revised by Giles Hudson

Collingwood, Cuthbert (1826–1908), naturalist, was born on 25 December 1826, probably at Christchurch, Hampshire, the fifth of six sons of Samuel Collingwood, architect and contractor, of Wellington Grove, Greenwich, and his wife, Frances, daughter of Samuel Collingwood, printer to Oxford University. Educated at ...

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Darwin, Charles Robert (1809–1882), naturalist, geologist, and originator of the theory of natural selection, was born on 12 February 1809 at The Mount, Shrewsbury, the fifth child and second son of Robert Waring Darwin (1766–1848), Shrewsbury's principal physician, and Susannah Wedgwood (1765–1817). His sisters were ...

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Dawkins, Sir William Boyd (1837–1929), geologist and palaeontologist, was born on 26 December 1837 at the vicarage, Buttington, near Welshpool, the only son of the Revd Richard Dawkins and his wife, Mary Ann Youngman. He was educated at Rossall School, an Anglican public school near ...

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Fisher, Sir Ronald Aylmer (1890–1962), statistician and geneticist, was born on 17 February 1890 at his parents' home in East Finchley, Middlesex, the last of seven surviving children born to George Fisher (1843–1920), a dealer in fine arts, and his wife, Katie (1855–1904)...

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Forbes, Edward (1815–1854), natural historian, was born on 12 February 1815 in Douglas, Isle of Man, the oldest of eight surviving children of Edward Forbes (b. 1786), banker, and his wife, Jane Teare (d. 1836). He was the elder brother of ...

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Ford, Charles Edmund (1912–1999), cytogeneticist, was born on 24 October 1912 at Eversleigh, Fairfield Road, Latchford Without, Runcorn, Cheshire, the eldest of the six children of Charles Ford (b. 1884), a commercial clerk, later works manager for the St Helens Cable and Rubber Company...

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Gates, Reginald Ruggles (1882–1962), botanist and geneticist, was born on 1 May 1882 near Middleton, Nova Scotia, the eldest son of Andreas Bohaker Gates and his wife, Charlotte Elizabeth Ruggles. The Gates family was descended from Stephen Gates of Higham, Essex, who emigrated to ...

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Gunn, Ronald Campbell (1808–1881), naturalist and colonial official, was born in Cape Town on 4 April 1808, the son of an army officer, William Gunn (d. 1826), and his wife, Margaret, née Wilson (d. 1812). After a period spent as a child on ...

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Huxley, Thomas Henry (1825–1895), biologist and science educationist, was born on 4 May 1825 in Ealing, the youngest of the six surviving children of George Huxley (1780–1853) and Rachel Withers (1785–1852); an elder sister and younger brother died in infancy. His mother was born in ...

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Impey [née Reade], Mary, Lady Impey (1749–1818), natural historian and patron of the arts, was born on 2 March 1749, the daughter of Sir John Reade (1721–1773) of Shipton Court, Oxfordshire, and his wife, Harriet, née Barker (d. 1811). She was the eldest of three children—the others, ...