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(John) Thomas Baines (1820–1875) by unknown photographer, 1860s The Royal Geographical Society, London

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Baines, (John) Thomas (1820–1875), artist and explorer, was born on 27 November 1820 at King's Lynn, Norfolk, the second son and one of three surviving children of Mary Ann Watson and John Thomas Baines, a master mariner. His father and maternal grandfather were amateur artists, his brother ...

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Ronald Bayne

revised by Elizabeth Baigent

Barker, Collet (1784–1831), army officer and explorer, was born near Paradise Gardens, Hackney, Middlesex, on 31 December 1784, the son of William Barker (c.1748–1832), skinner and mercer of Newbury, Berkshire, and Sarah Collet (1755–1808), elder daughter of Samuel Collet, of an established family of ...

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Bass, George (b. 1771, d. in or after 1803), explorer, was born in Aswarby, Lincolnshire, on 30 January 1771, the only child of George Bass (1739–1777), a tenant farmer, and his wife, Sarah, née Newman (1736–1828). Following his father's death George and his mother moved to ...

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Richard Garnett

revised by David Carment

Burke, Robert O'Hara (1820–1861), explorer in Australia, was born at St Clerans, co. Galway, Ireland, the second of three sons of James Hardiman Burke, army officer, and his wife, Anne, née O'Hara. The Burkes were protestant gentry and landowners. He was educated at ...

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Francis Cadell (1822–1879) by unknown photographer La Trobe Picture Collection, State Library of Victoria

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Cadell, Francis (1822–1879), riverine explorer and trader in Australia, was born on 9 February 1822 at Cockenzie, near Prestonpans, East Lothian, Scotland, the second son of Hew Francis Cadell, a mine owner and shipbuilder. After education in Edinburgh and at Cuxhaven in Germany...

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H. M. Chichester

revised by Elizabeth Baigent

Calvert, James Snowden (1825–1884), explorer in Australia, was born on 13 July 1825, at Otley, Yorkshire, the son of William Calvert, leather manufacturer, and his wife, Ann Coates. He was educated at Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, and London, where his family successively moved. Having friends in ...

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Carteret, Philip (1733–1796), explorer, was born on 22 January 1733 at Trinity Manor, Jersey, the younger son of Charles de Carteret, seigneur of Trinity, and his wife, Françoise Marie St Paul. He had also a sister. In 1747 he left Jersey to begin his naval career, serving first as an officer's servant and from 1751 following ...

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James Chalmers (1841–1901) by unknown photographer © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Chalmers, James (1841–1901), missionary and explorer, was born at Ardrishaig, Argyll, on 4 August 1841, the son of John Chalmers (1802–1869), a stonemason from Peterhead. His mother, Mary, née Glen (1808–1876), came from Luss on Loch Lomond. Brought up in Ardrishaig, Lochgilphead, and ...

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Cheesman, (Lucy) Evelyn (1881–1969), entomologist and explorer, was born on 8 October 1881 at Court Lodge, Westwell, near Ashford, Kent. She was the third of the five children of Robert Cheesman (d. 1915), a gentleman farmer, and his wife, Florence Maud, née...

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James Cook (1728–1779) by Nathaniel Dance, 1776 © National Maritime Museum, London, Greenwich Hospital Collection

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Andrew C. F. David

Cook, James (1728–1779), explorer, was born on 27 October 1728 in the village of Marton in Cleveland, North Riding of Yorkshire, the son of James Cook (1694–1779), a day labourer, and his wife, Grace Pace (1701/2–1765).

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Cunningham, Allan (1791–1839), botanist and explorer, was born on 13 July 1791, at Wimbledon, Surrey, first of two sons of Allan Cunningham (d. 1828), head gardener at Wimbledon House, and Sarah Juson, née Dicken, who died when he was a child. His younger brother was ...

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William Dampier (1651–1715) by Thomas Murray, c. 1697–8 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Dampier, William (1651–1715), buccaneer and explorer, was born in August and baptized on 5 September 1651 at East Coker, Somerset, the second of six children of tenant farmers George Dampier (1618?–1658) and his wife, Anne (d. 1665).

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Sir Francis Drake (1540–1596) by Jodocus Hondius? © Copyright The British Museum

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Drake, Sir Francis (1540–1596), pirate, sea captain, and explorer, was born about February or March 1540 in Crowndale, near Tavistock, Devon, the eldest of five known children of Edmund Drake (d. 1566) of Tavistock. Edmund's wife is unknown, though she may have been named ...

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Edward John Eyre (1815–1901) by Julia Margaret Cameron, 1867 © National Portrait Gallery, London