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Alfred, Prince, duke of Edinburgh (1844–1900), duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, naval officer, and son of Queen Victoria, was born Alfred Ernest Albert at Windsor Castle on 6 August 1844, the second son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. An extroverted child, his capacity for learning delighted his parents. They feared that the comparative academic weakness of his elder brother ...

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Allin, Sir Thomas, first baronet (bap. 1612, d. 1685), naval officer, was born at Lowestoft and baptized there on 8 November 1612, the younger son of Robert Allin (d. 1613) and his wife, Alice. Many of his family were seamen. Thomas may perhaps be identified with the ...

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Andrewes, Sir William Gerrard (1899–1974), naval officer, was born on 3 November 1899 at Chilcomb rectory, St Giles Hill, Winchester, the second son of the Revd Canon Gerrard Thomas Andrewes, rector of the parish of Chilcomb, and his wife, Helen Louisa, daughter of ...

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Anson, George, Baron Anson (1697–1762), naval officer and politician, was born on 23 April 1697 at Colwich, Staffordshire, the second son of William Anson (d. 1720) and his wife, Isabella, daughter and coheir of Charles Carrier of Wirksworth, Derbyshire. As the younger son of a minor country gentleman, ...

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Ashmore, Sir Peter William Beckwith (1921–2002), naval officer and courtier, was born on 4 February 1921 at 5 Coombe Villas, Saltash, Cornwall, the younger son (there were no daughters) of Lieutenant (later Vice-Admiral) Leslie Haliburton Ashmore (1893–1974), naval officer, and his wife, Tamara, ...

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Ayscue, Sir George (c. 1615–1672), naval officer, was the eldest son of William Ayscue (d. c.1632), originally of Lincoln, gentleman of the privy chamber to Charles I. The identity of his mother is uncertain. Ayscue was also a godson of George Abbot...

Article

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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Backhouse, Sir Roger Roland Charles (1878–1939), naval officer, was born on 24 November 1878 at The Rookery, Middleton Tyas, Yorkshire, the fourth son (a twin with his brother Miles) of Sir Jonathan Edmund Backhouse, first baronet (1849–1918), and member of a well-known Quaker banking family, and his wife, ...

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Bacon, Sir Reginald Hugh Spencer (1863–1947), naval officer, was born on 6 September 1863 at Wiggonholt rectory, Sussex, youngest of the eight children of the Revd Thomas Bacon and his wife, Emma Lavinia, daughter of George Shaw of Teignmouth. He entered the Royal Navy...

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Baillie, Thomas (c. 1725–1802), naval officer, probably from Dublin, entered the navy about 1740, and became a lieutenant on 29 March 1745, in which rank he served in the Mars, Gloucester, Scorpion, Culloden, and, from 3 June 1752, the Deptford (50 guns), in which he was present at ...

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Balchen, Sir John (1670–1744), naval officer, was born on 2 February 1670 at Godalming, Surrey, the fourth and only surviving child of John Balchin and Ann Edsur. His paternal forebears were yeoman landholders of long standing in the vicinity. (Although the name is commonly spelt ...

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Ball, Sir Alexander John, baronet (1756–1809), naval officer and politician in Malta, was born on 22 July 1756 at Ebworth Park, Painswick, Gloucestershire, the son of Robert Ball (1714/15–1766), high sheriff of that county, and Mary, née Dickinson. He attended Market House School...

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Barker, Nicholas John (1933–1997), naval officer, was born in Sliema, Malta, on 19 May 1933, the son of Lieutenant-Commander John Frederick Barker (c.1906–1940), naval officer, and his wife, Jillian, née Paget (d. 1943), artist. His father was killed in action off ...

Article

J. K. Laughton

revised by Richard Harding

Barnett, Curtis (d. 1746), naval officer, was reputedly the son of Benjamin Barnett, a first lieutenant in the Stirling Castle, who was drowned when that vessel foundered in the great storm of 27 November 1703. Very little is known of Barnett's early career and connections, other than that he served in the ...

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Barrington, Samuel (1729–1800), naval officer, was the fifth son of John Shute Barrington, first Viscount Barrington (1678–1734), barrister and MP, and his wife, Anne (d. 1763), daughter of Sir William Daines, mayor of and MP for Bristol. His brothers included William Wildman Barrington, ...

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Beatty, David, first Earl Beatty (1871–1936), naval officer, was born on 17 January 1871 at Howbeck Lodge, Stapeley, Nantwich, Cheshire, the second of four sons of Captain David Longfield Beatty (1841–1904), of the 4th hussars, and his first wife, Katherine Edith (d...

Article

J. K. Laughton

revised by N. A. M. Rodger

Beaufort, Sir Francis (1774–1857), naval officer and hydrographer, was born on 27 May 1774 at Flower Hill, Navan, co. Meath, the second son of the Revd Daniel Augustus Beaufort (1739–1821), rector of Navan, a topographer and architect of some distinction, and his wife, ...

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Beechey, Frederick William (1796–1856), naval officer and hydrographer, son of Sir William Beechey, RA (1753–1839), and his second wife, Anne Phyllis Beechey, née Jessop (1764–1833) [see under Beechey, Sir William], the miniature painter, was born on 17 February 1796. His brothers were ...

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Benbow, John (1653?–1702), naval officer, was born in Shropshire, the son of William and Martha Benbow. The details of his reputation, birth, family, and lineage have been extensively and inconclusively debated. The astrologer Partridge recorded the exact date of his birth as noon on 10 March 1653 (...

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Bentinck, John Albert (1737–1775), naval officer and inventor of mechanical devices, was born on 29 December 1737, the second son of William, Count Bentinck (1704–1774) and Countess Charlotte Sophie of Aldenburg (1715–1800), and grandson of Hans Willem Bentinck, first earl of Portland. His parents separated when he was about a year old and he never knew his mother. He went to sea at the age of fourteen in the ...