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Clapperton, Hugh (1788–1827), naval officer and traveller in Africa, was born at Annan, Dumfriesshire, Scotland, the youngest son of George Clapperton, a surgeon, and his first wife, the daughter of John Johnstone. His mother died when he was a child, and his father remarried. Feckless (he fathered altogether twenty-one children), negligent of his medical practice, and, as a result, impoverished, his father left him to the charge of a spiteful stepmother who cared only for her own children. His schooling was neglected, and he learned little more than to read and write. Eventually the town schoolmaster gave him lessons in practical mathematics and navigation, and he taught himself to draw....