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Churcher, Richard (1659–1723), educational benefactor, was born on 10 July 1659 at Funtington, near Chichester, Sussex, the eldest son of Richard Churcher (d. 1676) and his wife, Elinor (d. 1710). His father was a yeoman farmer in comfortable circumstances who decided, however, that none of his children should follow him in agriculture. ...

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Fox, Samson (1838–1903), mechanical and chemical engineer, and benefactor, born at Bowling, near Bradford, Yorkshire, on 11 July 1838, was one of three sons of James Fox, a Leeds cloth-mill worker, and his wife, Sarah Pearson. From the age of ten he worked with his father at the mill; but, showing mechanical aptitude, he was soon apprenticed to the ...

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McClean, Frank (1837–1904), astronomer and educational benefactor, was born at Glasgow on 13 November 1837, the only son of the six children of John Robinson McClean MP FRS FRAS (1813–1873), a civil engineer of repute, and his wife, Anna, née Newsam. He entered ...

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Hugh Frank Newall (1857–1944) by Olive Edis, c. 1926 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Newall, Hugh Frank (1857–1944), astrophysicist and educational benefactor, was born at Ferndene, near Gateshead, on 21 June 1857, the youngest of six children of Robert Stirling Newall (1812–1889), engineer, and his wife, Mary, daughter of Hugh Lee Pattinson FRS (1796–1858), metallurgical chemist and astronomer. At the ...

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Robert Smith (bap. 1689, d. 1768) by John Vanderbank, 1730 The Master and Fellows, Trinity College, Cambridge

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Smith, Robert (bap. 1689, d. 1768), mathematician and benefactor, was baptized on 16 October 1689 at Lea, near Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, the son of John Smith (d. 1710), rector of Gate Burton, Lincolnshire, and his wife, Hannah, née Cotes (d. 1719). His father, who had been educated at ...

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James Lewis Smithson (1764–1829) by Henri-Joseph Johns, 1816 National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

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Smithson [formerly Macie], James Lewis (1764–1829), mineralogist and benefactor, was born Jacques Louis Macie in Paris in early 1764, the illegitimate son of a long-term liaison between Hugh Percy (formerly Smithson), second earl and later first duke of Northumberland (bap. 1712, d. 1786)...

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Sir Henry Solomon Wellcome (1853–1936) by Hugh Goldwin Riviere, 1906 Wellcome Library, London

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Wellcome, Sir Henry Solomon (1853–1936), pharmacist and benefactor, was born on 21 August 1853 in his grandfather's log cabin at Almond in northern Wisconsin, USA. He was the younger son of Solomon Cummings Wellcome (d. 1876), an unsuccessful farmer and subsequently an itinerant Adventist minister, and his wife, ...