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Blogg, Henry George (1876–1954), lifeboat coxswain, was born in Cromer on 6 February 1876, the son of Ellen Blogg. He was educated at the Goldsmiths' School, Cromer, where he proved quick at learning and revealed an unusually retentive memory. He took no part in games, failed to defend himself against bullying, and never learned to swim. When nearly twelve he began life as a longshore fisherman. In 1894 he joined the ...

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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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Conrad, Joseph [formerly Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski] (1857–1924), master mariner and author, was born on 3 December 1857 at Berdyczów in Ukraine.

Conrad was the only child of ...

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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 ...

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Eustace the Monk (c. 1170–1217), Benedictine monk, sea captain, and pirate, was the son of Baudoin Busket, a lord of the county of Boulogne. According to his biography, Eustace studied black magic in Toledo, returned home to become a monk at the abbey of ...

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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 ...

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J. K. Laughton

Reviser 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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Hawley, John, the elder (c. 1350–1408), pirate, merchant, and administrator, of Dartmouth, Devon, was the younger son of the first John Hawley who settled in Dartmouth some time before 1340. Hawley was elected mayor for the first time in 1374—the beginning of a career which would make him the richest and most important man in ...

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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 'much more used to the pike than the book' (...

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Nicol, John (1755–1825), sailor, was born at Currie, near Edinburgh, the third of five children. His father was a cooper who died about 1780, and his mother died in childbirth when he was very young. Both his parents were Scottish. His father appears to have tried to give all his children a good education but ...

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Rees, Sarah Jane [pseud. Cranogwen] (1839–1916), sailor, schoolmistress, and poet, was born on 9 January 1839 at Dolgoy Fach, a cottage some 2½ miles from the coastal village of Llangrannog on Cardigan Bay, from which she took her bardic name, Cranogwen. She was the youngest of three children of ...

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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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Smith, Edward John (1850–1912), merchant seaman and master of RMS Titanic, was born on 27 January 1850 at 51 Well Street, Hanley, Staffordshire, the son of Edward Smith (1805–1885), a potter, and his wife, Catherine, formerly Hancock, née Marsh (1809–1893), both Primitive Methodists. ...

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Thornton, Anne Jane (b. 1817), sailor and cross-dresser, was born in Gloucestershire, the daughter of a prosperous merchant. After her mother's death in 1823 her father moved to Donegal, Ireland, where he opened another highly successful shop. At age fifteen she met an American, ...

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Tilman, Harold William (1898–1977x9), mountaineer and sailor, was born in Wallasey, Cheshire, on 14 February 1898, the youngest of three children and younger son of John Hinkes Tilman (1861–1936), a Liverpool sugar broker residing in Wallasey, and his wife, Adeline Rees (d...

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O. J. R. Howarth

Reviser Elizabeth Baigent

Wiggins, Joseph (1832–1905), Arctic explorer and merchant navy officer, born at Norwich on 3 September 1832, was the son of Joseph Wiggins (d. 1843) and his wife, Anne Petty (d. 1847). The father, a driver and later proprietor of coaches serving the ...

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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 ...