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Arbuthnot, Marriot (1711–1794), naval officer and colonial governor, was born in Weymouth, the son of John Arbuthnott. He entered the navy about 1727, and passed his lieutenant's examination in August 1739 when he was described as upwards of twenty-seven (TNA: PRO, ADM 107/3, p. 334...

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Bligh, William (1754–1817), naval officer and colonial governor, was born in Plymouth on 9 September 1754, the only son of Francis Bligh (1721–1780) and his wife, Jane Pearse, née Balsam (d. c.1770). The Bligh family had long resided at Tinten in ...

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William Bligh (1754–1817) by John Russell, 1791 Collection Captain Cook Memorial Museum, Whitby; © reserved in the photograph

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Clinton, George (1686–1761), naval officer and colonial governor, was born in Stourton Parva, Lincolnshire, to Francis Clinton, sixth earl of Lincoln (c.1635–1693), and his second wife, Susanna (d. 1720), daughter of Anthony Penyston or Penniston. As second son of a nobleman ...

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Elliot, Sir Charles (1801–1875), naval officer and colonial official, son of Hugh Elliot (1752–1830) and his second wife, Margaret Jones (1770–1819), and nephew of Gilbert Elliot, first earl of Minto, was born in 1801 at Dresden, where his father was British minister. Sir Thomas Frederick Elliot...

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FitzGerald, Charles (1791–1887), naval officer and colonial governor, was the son of Robert FitzGerald of Kilkee, co. Clare, a landowner and junior member of the ancient Norman-Irish FitzGerald family, earls of Kildare and dukes of Leinster. He was probably born in Kilkee. Nothing is known of his youth or education, and though he officially joined the navy in 1809 he was not commissioned until 1826, when he served as a coast-guard lieutenant. From 1833 to 1836 he commanded HMS ...

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Glover, Sir John Hawley (1829–1885), naval officer and colonial administrator, was born at Yately, near Farnborough, Hampshire, on 24 February 1829, the son of the Revd Frederick Robert Augustus Glover (d. 1881) and his first wife, Mary Broughton (d. 1841), second daughter of ...

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Sir John Hawley Glover (1829–1885) by Maull & Co. © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Gower, Sir Erasmus (1742–1814), naval officer and colonial governor, was born on 3 December 1742, eldest of the nineteen children of Abel Gower of Glandovan, Pembrokeshire, and his wife, Laetitia Lewes, only daughter of the Revd Erasmus Gower. 'Destined for the sea', he sailed in 1755 as captain's servant with his uncle ...

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Hindmarsh, Sir John (bap. 1785, d. 1860), naval officer and colonial governor, was baptized on 22 May 1785, the son of John Hindmarsh, gunner on the Bellerophon, and his wife, Mary, née Roxburgh. He entered the navy in March 1793 as a volunteer on the ...

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Hobson, William (1792–1842), naval officer and colonial governor, was born in Waterford, Ireland, on 25 September 1792, the third of the five sons of Samuel Hobson, a barrister, and his wife, Martha Jones. In 1803 he entered the Royal Navy as a gentleman volunteer. He was first involved in ...

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Hotham, Sir Charles (1806–1855), naval officer and colonial governor, was born at Thornham, Norfolk, on 14 January 1806. He was the eldest son of the Revd Frederick Hotham (1774–1854) and his wife, Anne Elizabeth, the eldest daughter of Thomas Hallett Hodges of Hemsted Place, Kent...

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Hunter, John (1737–1821), naval officer and colonial governor, was born on 29 August 1737 in Leith, Scotland, the son of William Hunter, ship's master, and Helen Drummond, the daughter of a prominent Edinburgh family. As a child Hunter accompanied his father on a voyage which ended in shipwreck on the coast of ...

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Huntley, Sir Henry Vere (1795–1864), naval officer and colonial governor, was the third son of Richard Huntley (1776–1831) of Boxwell Court, Boxwall, near Wotton under Edge, Gloucestershire, and his wife, Anne, daughter of the Ven. James Webster, archdeacon of Gloucester. He entered the ...

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James, Sir William, first baronet (1722–1783), naval officer and director of the East India Company, was born on 5 September 1722 near Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire. Sir Nathaniel Wraxall, who knew him well, wrote that 'His origin was so obscure as almost to baffle inquiry' (...

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Johnstone, George (1730–1787), naval officer, colonial governor, and politician, was born in Dumfriesshire, the fourth of the seven sons of Sir James Johnstone of Westerhall, third baronet (1697–1772), and his wife, Barbara Murray (d. 1773), daughter of the fourth Lord Elibank. Choosing a career in the ...

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King, Philip Gidley (1758–1808), naval officer and colonial governor, was born at Launceston, Cornwall, on 23 April 1758, the only son of Philip King, a local draper, and his wife, daughter of John Gidley, an Exeter attorney. Educated at Mr Bailey's school, Yarmouth...

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Sir Henry Morgan (c. 1635–1688) by unknown engraver, pubd 1684 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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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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Morland, Sir Henry (1837–1891), naval officer and official in the Indian service, born on 9 April 1837, was the third son of John Morland, barrister, descendant of the Morlands of Capplethwaite and Killington Halls, Westmorland, and his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of James Thompson...