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Blood, Thomas (1617/18–1680), adventurer and spy, was born at Sarney, co. Meath. His early life is obscure, but it was later claimed that his father (who was possibly Neptune Blood) was a blacksmith and ironworker, 'serious, honest and of no inferior credit...

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Burnaby, Frederick Gustavus (1842–1885), army officer and traveller, was born at the old rectory, St Peter's Green, Bedford, on 3 March 1842, the elder son of the Revd Gustavus Andrew Burnaby (1802–1872) of Somerby Hall, near Oakham, Rutland, rector of St Peter's, Bedford...

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Stanley Lane-Poole

revised by Roger T. Stearn

Chesney, Francis Rawdon (1789–1872), army officer and explorer, was born on 16 March 1789 at Ballyvea, Annalong, co. Down, the eldest son of Alexander Chesney (1755–1843) and his second wife, Jane, née Wilson (b. c.1763), both Ulster protestants of Scottish descent. ...

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Colby, Thomas Frederick (1784–1852), surveyor and army officer, was the eldest child of Major Thomas Colby (d. 1813), Royal Marines, and his wife, Cornelia Hadden, sister of Major-General John Murray Hadden, Royal Artillery, surveyor-general of the ordnance. He was born in the parish of ...

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Devereux, Walter, first earl of Essex (1539–1576), nobleman and adventurer, was born on 16 September 1539 at Chartley, Staffordshire, the eldest son of Sir Richard Devereux and his wife, Dorothy, daughter of George Hastings, first earl of Huntingdon. Sir Richard, who was created a knight of the Order of the Garter on 20 February 1548, died the same year, in the lifetime of his father, ...

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Fermor, Sir Patrick Michael [Paddy] Leigh (1915–2011), special operations officer and author, was born on 11 February 1915 at 20 Endsleigh Gardens, Bloomsbury, London, the younger child and only son of Sir Lewis Leigh Fermor (1880–1954), geologist, and his first wife, Muriel Aileen (otherwise Eileen or Æileen), ...

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Laing, Alexander Gordon (1794–1826), army officer and explorer in Africa, was born in Edinburgh on 27 December 1794, the eldest son of William Laing, a schoolmaster and the founder of a classical academy in Edinburgh, and his wife, Margaret, the daughter of William Gordon...

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MacGregor, Gregor (1786–1845), soldier and adventurer, was the grandson of Gregor MacGregor Drummond who had enlisted in the forerunner of the Black Watch (then Sempill's Highlanders), served abroad with distinction, and been instrumental in obtaining the repeal of legislation which had outlawed the clan ...

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Oglethorpe, James Edward (1696–1785), army officer and founder of the colony of Georgia, was born in London on 22 December 1696, the third and youngest surviving son of Sir Theophilus Oglethorpe (1650–1702), politician and army officer, and his wife, Eleanor, née Wall (1662–1732)...

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Portlock, Joseph Ellison (1794–1864), surveyor, army officer, and geologist, the only son of Captain Nathaniel Portlock (d. 1817), was born at Gosport, Hampshire, on 30 September 1794. After passing through the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich, he was commissioned second lieutenant, Royal Engineers...

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Sherley [Shirley], Anthony [known as Sir Anthony Sherley], Count Sherley in the nobility of the Holy Roman empire (1565–1636?), adventurer and diplomat in the Persian service, was born at the family estate of Wiston in Sussex, one of nine children of Sir Thomas Sherley (c. 1542–1612)...

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Sturt, Charles (1795–1869), soldier and explorer in Australia, was born on 28 April 1795 at Chunar-Ghur, Bengal, India, the eldest of the eight surviving sons and third of the thirteen children of Thomas Lenox Napier Sturt (1767–1837), an East India Company judge from a genteel but not well-to-do ...

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Talbot, Thomas (1771–1853), army officer and settler in Canada, was born at Malahide Castle, co. Dublin, on 19 July 1771, the fourth son of Richard Talbot (d. 1788) of Malahide Castle and his wife, Margaret (d. 1834), the daughter of James O'Reilly...

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Warburton, George Drought (1816–1857), army officer and writer on Canada, the third son of George Warburton, of Aughrim, Galway, formerly inspector-general of constabulary in Ireland, and his wife, Anna, the daughter of Thomas Acton of Westaston, co. Wicklow, was born at Wicklow on 2 June 1816. He was educated at the ...

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R. H. Vetch

revised by Elizabeth Baigent

Waugh, Sir Andrew Scott (1810–1878), army officer and surveyor, eldest son of General Gilbert Waugh, military auditor-general at Madras, grandson of Colonel Gilbert Waugh of Gracemount, Midlothian (descended from Waugh of Shaw, standard-bearer at Flodden Field), and nephew of Sir Murray Maxwell...

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Wavell, Arthur John Byng (1882–1916), army officer and explorer, was born on 27 May 1882 at 6 Neville Street, South Kensington, London, the first of four children (three sons and a daughter) of Colonel Arthur Henry Wavell (1836–1891) of the Welsh regiment, and ...