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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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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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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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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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Dalyell, Sir John Graham, sixth baronet (1775–1851), antiquary and naturalist, the second son of Sir Robert Dalyell, fourth baronet (1724–1791), an army officer, and his wife, Elizabeth (d. 1825), the only daughter of Nicol Graham of Gartmore, Perthshire, was born at The Binns, Linlithgowshire...

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Frank Spencer

revised by Mark Pottle

Dawson, Charles (1864–1916), palaeontologist and antiquary, was born on 11 July 1864 at Fulkeith Hall, Lancashire, the second of the four children (he had two brothers and a sister) of Hugh Dawson, barrister, and his wife, Mary Anne Chaffer. By 1873 his father had moved to ...

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Needham, (Noël) Joseph Terence Montgomery (1900–1995), biochemist and historian, was born on 9 December 1900 at 2 Westbury Gardens, Loats Road, Clapham, London, the only child of Joseph Needham (1853–1920), physician and anaesthesiologist, and his second wife, Alicia Adelaide, née Montgomery (1863–1945). Born in the last months of the Victorian era, he became one of twentieth-century ...

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Plot, Robert (bap. 1640, d. 1696), naturalist and antiquary, was baptized on 13 December 1640 at Sutton Barne in the parish of Borden, near Sittingbourne, Kent, the son of Robert Plot (d. 1669), who was descended from an old-established Kentish family, and his wife, ...

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Romanes, George John [pseuds. Physicus, Metaphysicus] (1848–1894), evolutionary biologist, was born in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, on 20 May 1848, the third son of the Revd George Romanes and Isabella Gair Smith. His father, who taught Greek at the small university in ...

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Sowerby, James (1757–1822), natural history artist, publisher, and collector, was born on 21 March 1757, at 2 Bolt-in-Tun Passage, Fleet Street, London, the son of John Sowerby (1719–1766), a lapidary, and his wife, Arabella Goodreed (1725–1782). He was educated at a day school, where he often made models during his lessons that he could sell. When he was fourteen friends provided ...

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Spencer, Sir (Walter) Baldwin (1860–1929), biologist and anthropologist, was born on 23 June 1860 at Stretford, Lancashire, the second of eleven children of Reuben Spencer (1830–1901) and his wife, Martha (1832–1906), née Circuit. Reuben, a pillar of Manchester congregationalism, rose from clerk to managing director of ...

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Weiner, Joseph Sidney (1915–1982), human biologist and environmental physiologist, was born on 29 June 1915 at Nourse Mines in Johannesburg, Transvaal, South Africa, the second of the seven children of Robert Weiner (1885–1966), general dealer, and his wife Fanny (Chana), née Simon (1896–1978)...

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Woodward, John (1665/1668–1728), physician, natural historian, and antiquary, was born on 1 May 1665, or possibly 1668, in a village (possibly Wirksworth) in Derbyshire; he may have been of a Gloucestershire family and his mother's maiden surname may have been Burdett. At sixteen he was apprenticed to a ...