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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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Armstrong, Henry Edward (1848–1937), chemist and educational reformer, was born on 6 May 1848 at Caroline Place, Avenue Road, Lewisham, Kent, the eldest son of Richard Armstrong (1827–1884), a commission agent and importer, and his wife, Mary Ann Biddle. He was educated at ...

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Ashby, Eric, Baron Ashby (1904–1992), botanist and university administrator, was born on 24 August 1904 at 12 Fairlop Road, north Leyton, London, the eldest of three sons of Herbert Charles Ashby, commercial clerk (and later accountant), and his wife, Helëna Maria, née Chater...

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Baker, Henry (1698–1774), natural philosopher and teacher of deaf people, was born on 8 May 1698 in Quality Court, Chancery Lane, London, to William Baker, a clerk in chancery, and his wife, Mary, the daughter of Aaron Pengry, comptroller of the petty bag office. His father died when he was very young, and he himself recorded that he was brought up by his paternal grandmother. At the age of fifteen he was apprenticed to a bookseller of ...

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Barlow, Harold Everard Monteagle (1899–1989), electrical engineer, was born on 15 November 1899 at 45 Balfour Road, Islington, London, the second child in the family of four sons and two daughters of Leonard Barlow, professional electrical engineer, and his wife, Katharine Monteagle, of ...

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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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Beer, Sir Gavin Rylands de (1899–1972), zoologist and historian, was born on 1 November 1899 at Malden, Surrey, the only son and elder child of Herbert Chaplin de Beer, journalist, and his wife, Mabel. Herbert was the son of Arnold de Beer and ...

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Bell, Alexander Graham (1847–1922), teacher of deaf people and inventor of the telephone, was born on 3 March 1847 at 16 South Charlotte Street, Edinburgh, the second of three sons of Alexander Melville Bell (1819–1905), speech therapist and elocutionist, and his first wife, ...

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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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Blumberg, Baruch Samuel [Barry] (1925–2011), biochemist and college head, was born on 28 July 1925 in Brooklyn, New York, the second of three children of Meyer Blumberg, lawyer, and his wife, Ida, née Simonoff. His grandparents had emigrated from Europe to the USA...

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Blyth, James (1839–1906), electrical engineer and university teacher, was born on 4 April 1839 at Marykirk in Kincardineshire, near Montrose (Forfarshire), the son of John Blyth (1793/4–1874), an innkeeper and small farmer, and his wife, Catherine (1802/3–1884), daughter of John Grant, militia officer; his parents were both originally from ...

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Boole, George (1815–1864), mathematician and logician, was born on 2 November 1815 in Lincoln, the eldest of four children of a local tradesman, John Boole (1777–1848), and his wife, Mary Ann (1780–1854). He adopted a love of learning from his father, who was active in the local mechanics' institute, to such an extent that in his teens he was employed as a teacher at schools in ...

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Bowden, (Bertram) Vivian, Baron Bowden (1910–1989), scientist and educationist, was born on 18 January 1910 in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, the elder child and only son of Bertram Caleb Bowden, primary school headmaster in Chesterfield, and his wife, Sarah Elizabeth, daughter of John Thomas Moulton...

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Brewster, Sir David (1781–1868), natural philosopher and academic administrator, was born on 11 December 1781 in a house in the Canongate, Jedburgh, second son and third of the six children of James Brewster (c.1735–1815), rector of Jedburgh grammar school, and his wife, ...

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Bronowski, Jacob (1908–1974), mathematician, poet, and humanist, was born on 18 January 1908 in Łódź, Poland, the first of the three children of Abram Bronowski, haberdasher, and his wife, Celia Flatto. During the First World War the family lived in Germany, and in 1920 they moved to ...

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Bryan, Margaret (fl. 1795–1816), educator and writer on natural philosophy, was a noted early example of a woman teaching natural science to other women. Little is known about her life; such information as is available comes from her own writings. She was married to a ...

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Burnet, Thomas (c. 1635–1715), natural philosopher and headmaster, was born at Croft in Yorkshire, the son of John Burnet, and educated at the free school of Northallerton under Thomas Smelt, who held him up as an example to his later pupils. He was admitted as a pensioner at ...

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Carpenter, William Benjamin (1813–1885), biologist and university administrator, was born in Exeter on 29 October 1813, the fourth child and eldest son of Dr Lant Carpenter (1780–1840) and his wife, Anna (d. 1856), daughter of James Penn, of Kidderminster. He was the brother of ...

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Christie, Samuel Hunter (1784–1865), experimental philosopher and scientific administrator, was born on 22 March 1784, the son of James Christie (c.1739–1825), tailor, and his wife, Sarah Margaret Pomroy (c.1737–1813). From a very early age Christie displayed great mathematical ability, and he was first educated at the school in ...