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Abbot, John (1751–1840?), naturalist and artist, born at Bennet Street, St James, London, on 1 June 1751, was the second of the five children of John Abbot (d. 1787), a prosperous attorney, and his wife, Ann Clousinger. As a youth, Abbot developed a passion for entomology and for drawing, an enthusiasm that was supported by his father, who retained ...

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Albin, Eleazar (d. 1742?), naturalist and watercolour painter, may have been born somewhere in the German states to a family named Weiss. Nothing is known of his early life, although he later claimed, in his Natural History of Birds (1731–8), to have been '...

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Margaret Cavendish Bentinck [Lady Margaret Cavendish Harley], duchess of Portland (1715–1785) by Joseph Brown, pubd 1861 (after Christian Friedrich Zincke, 1738) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bentinck, Margaret Cavendish [née Lady Margaret Cavendish Harley], duchess of Portland (1715–1785), collector of art and natural history specimens and patron of arts and sciences, was born on 11 February 1715 in London, the only surviving child of Edward Harley, later second earl of Oxford...

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Bolton, James (bap. 1735, d. 1799), natural history artist and mycologist, was baptized on 23 November 1735; he was probably born on a farm in the Calder valley, Yorkshire. He was the younger son of a weaver, William Bolton (or Boulton). His elder brother, ...

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Albert George Brighton (1900–1988) by unknown photographer [centre, in fedora] © reserved; photograph courtesy of Nicola Hanscombe

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Brighton, Albert George [Peter] (1900–1988), palaeontologist and curator, was born on 29 December 1900 at 13 Conyers Road, Streatham, London, the son of George Freeston Brighton, gardener, and his wife, Susan Alice Jayne. He was educated at St Leonard's School, Streatham, and Westminster City School...

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Davidson, Thomas (1817–1885), natural history artist and palaeontologist, was born in Edinburgh on 17 May 1817, the eldest of the three children of William Davidson, the wealthy owner of Muirhouse and other Midlothian estates, and his wife, Jane, daughter of Alexander Horsebrugh of ...

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Donovan, Edward (1768–1837), natural historian and artist, is of obscure origin and little is known of his early life and education. His interest in natural history started with the collecting of shells and preservation of insects, probably before 1788. He was a prolific author and skilled artist who etched and engraved the plates for all his works. He became a fellow of the ...

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Drury, Dru (1725–1804), silversmith and naturalist, was born on 4 February 1725, probably in Lad Lane, Wood Street, London, the son of Drew Drury, silversmith, and only surviving child of the eight children of his father's second marriage, to Mary Hesketh. (The unusual forename was bestowed through many generations, from ...

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Etheridge, Robert (1819–1903), palaeontologist and museum curator, was born at Ross, Herefordshire, on 3 December 1819, the elder of the two sons of Thomas Etheridge, a Gloucester shipper, and his wife, Hannah Pardoe. Details of his education are uncertain; Etheridge is said to have attended a private school in ...

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Ferryman, Robert (1752–1837), naturalist and museum keeper, was born at Barrow-on-Soar, Leicestershire, the son of John Ferryman (c.1720–1784), gentleman and probably farmer, and his wife, Elizabeth, née Beaumont (c.1727–1797), and was baptized there on 2 January 1753. Robert took an early interest in natural history and had started to collect animals by 1769. He was ordained deacon in ...

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Foord, Arthur Humphreys (1844–1933), palaeontologist and scientific illustrator, was born on 14 September 1844 at Brixton, Surrey, together with his twin brother, Alfred Stanley Foord (1844–1934), also an illustrator of scientific papers, and secretary of a mining company. Arthur was the fourth, and youngest, son of ...

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Fraser, Louis (b. 1819/20–d. in or after 1883), naturalist and museum curator, was the son of Hugh Fraser, mariner (d. in or before 1844); details of his mother are unknown. The form of his education is likewise obscure, but from his writings he appears to have been a careful naturalist with limited scope and ambitions. In 1832 he began work as an assistant at the ...

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Seton Paul Gordon (1886–1977) by Bassano, 1928 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Gordon, Seton Paul (1886–1977), naturalist and photographer, was born at 26 Rubislaw Terrace, Aberdeen, on 11 April 1886, the only child of William Gordon (1839–1924), advocate and town clerk of Aberdeen, and his wife, Ella Mary, daughter of the horticulturist William Paul of ...

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Gutteridge, Joseph (1816–1899), silk weaver and naturalist, was born on 23 March 1816 in Coventry, the eldest of the three sons of Joseph Gutteridge, a recruiting sergeant, and his first wife, Sarah Shaw. Educated from 1821 in two schools, run by a Quaker woman and Wesleyan preacher respectively, he then went to ...

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Harris, Sir Henry (1925–2014), cell biologist, was born in Potchep, Russia, on 28 January 1925, the son of Sam and Ann Khoros, Russian Jewish immigrants. He never spoke of his origins and his autobiography started at the age of four with ‘my earliest memories’ in ...

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Hawkins, Benjamin Waterhouse (1807–1894), natural history artist and sculptor, was born on 8 February 1807 in Devonshire Street, London, the son of Thomas Hawkins (1777/8–1811), artist, and his wife, Louisa Anna (b. 1781/2), daughter of William Waterhouse, plantation owner in Jamaica. Educated at ...

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Hulme, Frederick Edward (1841–1909), naturalist and artist, was born at Hanley, Staffordshire, on either 29 (his own claim) or 30 (according to his birth certificate) March 1841, the only son of Frederick William Hulme (1816–1884), landscape painter, and his wife, Caroline Jackson. In 1844 the family moved to ...