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Nicol, William (1770–1851), geologist and scientific lecturer, was born on 18 April 1770 at Humbie in Haddingtonshire, and baptized there on 22 April. His parents were Marion Fowler and Walter Nickol or Nicoll, who were married in Humbie in August 1768, and they had at least one other child, ...

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Richardson, George Fleming (1796–1848), geologist and itinerant lecturer, was born on 8 December 1796 in Lewes, Sussex, son of George Richardson (1763–1843), Brighton linen draper and lodging-house keeper and his wife, Martha, née Fleming. Probably educated at local schools, Richardson entered his father's businesses, but being an avid reader with a most retentive memory, he found time to master several European languages while so employed. His first publication was a volume of poems in 1825, the same year that he was involved in the founding of the ...