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Aikin, Arthur (1773–1854), natural scientist and author, was born on 19 May 1773 at Warrington, Lancashire, the eldest son of John Aikin (1747–1822) and his wife, Martha (c.1746–1830), daughter of Arthur Jennings of Cheapside, London. His brothers were Charles Rochemont Aikin...

Article

L. R. Cox

revised by J. H. Callomon

Arkell, William Joscelyn (1904–1958), geologist, was born in Highworth, Wiltshire, on 9 June 1904, the youngest of a family of seven of James Arkell, brewer, and his wife, a talented artist, Laura Jane, daughter of Augustus William Rixon, a London solicitor. From an early age ...

Article

Kenneth Mason

revised by Elizabeth Baigent

Austen, Henry Haversham Godwin- (1834–1923), explorer and geologist, was born at Teignmouth on 6 July 1834, the eldest son of Robert Alfred Cloyne Godwin-Austen (1808–1884), geologist, of Shalford House, near Guildford, Surrey, and his wife, Maria Elizabeth (d. 1904), only daughter of ...

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Ball, John (1818–1889), glaciologist and politician, was born in Dublin on 20 August 1818, the eldest child of Nicholas Ball (1791–1865), judge and politician, and his wife, Jane (née Sherlock) of Butlerstown Castle in co. Waterford. Until the age of eleven he received little formal education, but from his earliest years he displayed a precocious interest in science. In his seventh year he was taken to ...

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, ...

Article

Beche, Sir Henry Thomas De la (1796–1855), geologist, was born on 10 February 1796 at Welbeck Street, Cavendish Square, London, the only son of Thomas De la Beche (1755–1801), a brevet major (later lieutenant-colonel) in the Norfolk fencible cavalry regiment, 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 ...

Article

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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Bowerbank, James Scott (1797–1877), geologist and zoologist, was born on 14 July 1797 in Sun Street, Bishopsgate, London, the fourth of six children of Edward Bowerbank, distiller, and his wife, Fanny. He went to Dr Kelly's school in Finsbury Square, and is said to have developed a love of nature from studying the plants growing alongside the ...

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Bragg, Sir (William) Lawrence (1890–1971), physicist and crystallographer, was born on 31 March 1890 at 58/60 Lefevre Terrace, Adelaide, Australia, the elder son (the younger, Robert, was killed at Gallipoli in 1915) and eldest of the three children of Sir William Henry Bragg (1862–1942)...

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Buckland, William (1784–1856), geologist and dean of Westminster, was born on 12 March 1784 at Axminster, Devon, the eldest son of Charles Buckland (1750–1828/9), rector of Templeton and Trusham, and his first wife, Elizabeth (1756–1812), daughter of John Oke, of Combpyne near Axminster...

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Chapman, Sydney (1888–1970), mathematician and geophysicist, was born on 29 January 1888 in Eccles, Lancashire, the second son of Joseph Chapman, chief cashier at Rylands, a Manchester textiles firm, and his wife, Sarah Gray. He left elementary school at the age of fourteen and attended the ...

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Chenevix, Richard (1774–1830), chemist and mineralogist, was born at Ballycommon, near Dublin, the son of Daniel Chenevix, lieutenant-colonel in the Royal Irish Artillery, and his wife, Elizabeth Arabin. His ancestors had left France for Ireland after the revocation of the edict of Nantes and his father was a nephew of an earlier ...

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Clarke, Edward Daniel (1769–1822), antiquary and mineralogist, was born on 5 June 1769 at the vicarage of Willingdon in Sussex. He was the second of four children of the Revd Edward Clarke (1730–1786), traveller and antiquary, and his wife, Anne (1737/8–1802), daughter of ...

Article

Clarke, William Branwhite (1798–1878), geologist and Church of England clergyman, was born on 2 June 1798 at East Bergholt, Suffolk, the eldest of the five children of William Clarke (d. 1829), headmaster of the East Bergholt Free School and his wife, Sarah (...

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Darwin, Charles Robert (1809–1882), naturalist, geologist, and originator of the theory of natural selection, was born on 12 February 1809 at The Mount, Shrewsbury, the fifth child and second son of Robert Waring Darwin (1766–1848), Shrewsbury's principal physician, and Susannah Wedgwood (1765–1817). His sisters were ...

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Darwin, Sir George Howard (1845–1912), mathematician and geophysicist, was born on 9 July 1845 at Down House, Downe, Kent, the fifth child (the third of seven to survive childhood) of Charles Robert Darwin (1809–1882), the naturalist, and his wife, Emma Wedgwood (1808–1896), granddaughter of the potter ...

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Dawkins, Sir William Boyd (1837–1929), geologist and palaeontologist, was born on 26 December 1837 at the vicarage, Buttington, near Welshpool, the only son of the Revd Richard Dawkins and his wife, Mary Ann Youngman. He was educated at Rossall School, an Anglican public school near ...

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Dawson, Sir John William (1820–1899), geologist and educationist, was born on 13 October 1820 in Pictou, Nova Scotia, the elder of the two sons of James Dawson (1789–1858?), then a merchant and later a bookseller, and Mary Rankine of Stirlingshire. Mary, whose parents had died when she was young, was raised by relatives in ...

Article

J. A. Steers

revised by Elizabeth Baigent

Debenham, Frank (1883–1965), geographer and polar scientist, was born at Bowral, New South Wales, on 26 December 1883, the second son of the Revd John Willmott Debenham, vicar of Bowral and schoolmaster, and his wife, Edith Cleveland. He attended the school run by his father and, after his death in 1898, by his mother, and from there went to the ...