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Butterworth, William (1769–1834), slave-ship sailor and engraver, was born on 2 October 1769 at 55 Kirkgate, Leeds, Yorkshire, the second of five children of the Leeds engraver and copperplate printer John Butterworth, who had set up in business in Leeds in 1758. William...

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Chichester, Sir Francis Charles (1901–1972), navigator and sailor, was born on 17 September 1901 at Shirwell, Devon, the younger son (there were later two daughters) of Charles Chichester, vicar of Shirwell, seventh son of the eighth baronet, and his wife, Emily Annie, the daughter of ...

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Clifford, George, third earl of Cumberland (1558–1605), courtier and privateer, was born on 8 August 1558 in Brougham Castle, Westmorland, the eldest son of Henry Clifford, second earl of Cumberland (1517–1570), and his second wife, Anne (c.1538–1581), daughter of William, third Baron Dacre...

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Drake, Sir Francis (1540–1596), pirate, sea captain, and explorer, was born about February or March 1540 in Crowndale, near Tavistock, Devon, the eldest of five known children of Edmund Drake (d. 1566) of Tavistock. Edmund's wife is unknown, though she may have been named ...

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Dudley, Sir Robert (1574–1649), mariner and landowner, was born at Sheen House, Richmond, Surrey, on 7 August 1574, the son of Robert Dudley, earl of Leicester (1532/3–1588), and Douglas Sheffield (née Howard), Lady Sheffield (1542/3–1608). The status of his birth, which was to become the leading obsession of his life, is still debated, as are the circumstances of his early life, due in part to his own deliberate exaggerations and falsifications. Despite his mother's later claim that she refused to surrender him to ...

Article

Frobisher, Sir Martin (1535?–1594), privateer, explorer, and naval commander, was descended from John Frobisher (b. c.1260), a Scot settled in lands near Chirk in Denbighshire granted in recognition of his services to Edward I during the Welsh wars. In the mid-fourteenth century the family crossed the ...

Article

J. K. Laughton

revised by Roger Morriss

Goodall, Thomas (1767–1832?), naval officer and privateer, was born at Bristol, educated by a Revd Mr Thomas, and was intended by his father to be a lawyer; but at thirteen he ran away from school, and shipped on board a privateer bound for the ...

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Heath, Sir Edward Richard George [Ted] (1916–2005), prime minister, was born at 1 Holmwood Villas, Albion Road, Broadstairs, Kent, on 9 July 1916, the elder son of William George Heath (1888–1976), carpenter and builder, and his wife, Edith Annie, née Pantony (d...

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Morgan, Sir Henry (c. 1635–1688), privateer and colonial governor, was the eldest son of Robert Morgan of Llanrhymny, Glamorgan.

Nothing certain is known about Morgan's education, although he later claimed that it was limited, and that having left school young, he was '...

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Rogers, Woodes (c. 1679–1732), privateer and colonial governor, was born in Bristol, the son of Woodes Rogers (bap. 1650, d. 1706), probably a sea captain, and his wife, Frances (probably née Eyre). His great-grandfather, John Rogers of Poole, had married Ann Woods...

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R. N. Rudmose Brown

revised by Elizabeth Baigent

Young, Sir Allen William (1827–1915), merchant navy officer and polar explorer, was born at Twickenham on 12 December 1827, the son of Henry Young, of Riverdale, Twickenham. After being educated at home he joined the merchant service in 1842 and rose quickly. During the Crimean War he transferred from the ...