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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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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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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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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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Mountbatten, Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas, first Earl Mountbatten of Burma (1900–1979), naval officer and viceroy of India, was born at Frogmore House, Windsor, on 25 June 1900 as Prince Louis of Battenberg, the younger son and the youngest of the four children of ...

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Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten, first Earl Mountbatten of Burma (1900–1979) by Yousuf Karsh, 1943 © Karsh / Camera Press, London; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Phillip, Arthur (1738–1814), colonial governor and naval officer, was born in London on 11 October 1738, the second child of Jacob Phillip and his wife, Elizabeth, née Breach. Very little is known of his parents. His father was reportedly from Frankfurt, and a language teacher, a claim given some support by his son's becoming proficient in German, French, and Portuguese. His mother was the widow of ...

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Arthur Phillip (1738–1814) by Francis Wheatley, 1786 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Reynolds, John (bap. 1714, d. 1788), naval officer and colonial governor, the son of John Reynolds (1691–1724), latterly clerk of the cheque, Plymouth Dockyard, and his wife, Frances (b. c.1692, d. after 1738) was probably born at his parents' house in ...