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Allan, George (1736–1800), antiquary and topographer, was born on 7 June 1736 in Darlington, co. Durham, the eldest son of James Allan (1712–1790) and Elizabeth Pemberton (1710–1756). His father, ‘Auld Jem’, fourth son of Nicholas Allan of Staindrop, had trained as an attorney, and in 1738 was appointed bailiff of ...

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Armstrong, Terence Edward (1920–1996), polar scholar, was born on 7 April 1920 at Oxted, Surrey, the youngest of three sons in the family of six children of Thomas Mandeville Emerson Armstrong (1869–1922), director of the Commercial Union Insurance Company, and his wife, Jane Crawford Young (1881–1945)...

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Terence Edward Armstrong (1920–1996) by unknown photographer © reserved; News International Syndication; photograph National Portrait Gallery, London

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Atkyns, Sir Robert (bap. 1647, d. 1711), topographer and antiquary, was baptized at Monken Hadley, Middlesex, on 26 August 1647, the eldest son of Sir Robert Atkyns (bap. 1621, d. 1710), lawyer, and his first wife, Mary (d. 1681), daughter of Sir George Clerk...

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Baker, John Norman Leonard (1893–1971), geographer, was born on 12 December 1893 at 33 Beaumont Street, St Clements, Liverpool, the first son of the Revd John William Baker, Church of England clergyman, and his wife, Louisa (1858–1945). From Liverpool College (1911–13) he went up to ...

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R. E. Graves

revised by Anne Pimlott Baker

Bartlett, William Henry (1809–1854), topographical artist, was born on 26 March 1809 at 5 Bartholomew Place, Kentish Town, London, the second child and elder son in the family of three children of William Bartlett and his wife, Ann. At the age of seven he was sent to a local boarding-school, where he was very miserable. He left school in 1821, and in 1822 was apprenticed to the antiquary ...

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Barton, Richard (1706–1759), topographer and religious writer, was born in Painstown, co. Meath, Ireland, the third son of the Revd John Barton (fl. 1675–1735), dean of Ardagh, and Elinor Jenney, daughter of the Revd Henry Jenney, archdeacon of Dromore diocese, and granddaughter of ...

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Charles Tilstone Beke (1800–1874) by Maull & Fox © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Beke, Charles Tilstone (1800–1874), traveller and geographer, was born on 10 October 1800 at Stepney, London, the son of James Beke. The family had ancestral connections to Bekesbourne in Kent, where Beke lived in later life. He was educated at a private school in ...

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Blomefield, Francis (1705–1752), topographical historian and Church of England clergyman, was born on 23 July 1705 at Fersfield, Norfolk, the eldest son of Henry Blomefield (1680–1732) and his wife, Alice Batch (d. 1730), daughter of Henry Batch of Lynn. He came from a family of yeomen farmers and was the first member to receive a university education. He began attending classes run by the rector of ...

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Jennett Humphreys

revised by John Whyman

Boys, William (1735–1803), surgeon and topographer, was born in Deal, Kent, on 7 September 1735, the eldest son of Commodore William Boys (1700–1774), afterwards lieutenant-governor of Greenwich Hospital, and Elizabeth Pearson of Deal. He practised as a surgeon in Sandwich and devoted much of his spare time to literature and scientific research. Descended from an ancient ...

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John Brand (1744–1806) by unknown artist Tyne and Wear Museums

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Brand, John (1744–1806), antiquary and topographer, was born on 19 August 1744 at Washington in co. Durham, where his father, Alexander Brand, was the parish clerk. Little is known of his mother, Elizabeth Wheatley, who died shortly after he was born. When his father remarried ...

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Britton, John (1771–1857), antiquary and topographer, was born on 7 July 1771 at Kington St Michael, near Chippenham, Wiltshire, the son of Henry Britton, a small farmer, maltster, baker, and village shopkeeper, and his wife, Anne Hillier. His mother died young, having reared ten children, of whom ...

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John Britton (1771–1857) by John Wood, 1845 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Broke [Brooke], Sir Arthur de Capell [formerly Arthur Supple], second baronet (1791–1858), geographer, was born in Bolton Street, Mayfair, Westminster, on 22 October 1791. His family was originally from Cheshire. He was the elder son of Sir Richard de Capell Brooke (1758–1829)...

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Samuel Buck (1696–1779) by Richard Houston, pubd 1774 (after Joseph Highmore) [Buck brothers [left to right]: and Nathaniel Buck (1724-1759)] © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Buck, Samuel (1696–1779), topographical draughtsman, engraver, and print publisher, is usually said to have been born in Richmond, Yorkshire, though firm evidence of his birth place is lacking. Hauxwell, 4½ miles south of Richmond, has also been suggested. His father was living near ...

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Butterworth, Edwin (1812–1848), topographer and journalist, was the tenth child of James Butterworth (1771–1837) and his wife, Hannah Boyton (or Royton; 1774–1836). He was born at Pitses, near Oldham, on 1 October 1812. From childhood Edwin assisted his father, a well-known local historian and publisher, in the preparation of his works, but from the age of sixteen he was writing and publishing on his own account. He produced town histories, cartographical surveys, reports of charities and local societies, and a miscellany of topographical and historical material. By the late 1830s he was becoming particularly interested in the collection and presentation of statistical information on the economic and social trends of ...

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C. W. Sutton

revised by Joanne Potier

Calvert, Michael (bap. 1770, d. 1862), topographer, son of Richard and Barbara Calvert, was born in Knaresborough, Yorkshire, and baptized at the parish church on 2 February 1770. By profession a chemist, he filled the office of churchwarden in 1808 and 1809 and in the latter year repaired the chancel of the church. Among other local concerns in which ...