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Etheldred Benett (1775–1845) by unknown artist, 1837 Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery

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Benett, Etheldred (1775–1845), fossil collector and geologist, was born on 22 July 1775 at Pyt House, Tisbury, Wiltshire, the eldest daughter of Thomas Benett (c.1729–1797) and Catherine Darell (d. 1780). Her eldest surviving brother, John (1773–1852), was a deputy lieutenant and magistrate for ...

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Carrington, Samuel (bap. 1798, d. 1870), geologist and archaeologist, was born at Wetton, Staffordshire, where he was baptized on 25 November 1798, the son of Samuel Carrington (1772/3–1840), leader of a team of miners (‘copers’) in the duke of Devonshire's copper mines at ...

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Conybeare, John Josias (1779–1824), geologist, antiquary, and Church of England clergyman, was born on 10 June 1779 at St Botolph's rectory, Bishopsgate, London, elder son of the then rector, William Conybeare (1739–1815), and his wife, Margaret Hester Olivier (1764–1806). William Daniel Conybeare (1787–1857)...

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Frank Debenham (1883–1965) by Herbert George Ponting, 1911 © Popperfoto

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J. A. Steers

revised by Elizabeth Baigent

Debenham, Frank (1883–1965), geographer and polar scientist, was born at Bowral, New South Wales, on 26 December 1883, the second son of the Revd John Willmott Debenham, vicar of Bowral and schoolmaster, and his wife, Edith Cleveland. He attended the school run by his father and, after his death in 1898, by his mother, and from there went to the ...

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Douglas, James (1753–1819), antiquary and geologist, third and youngest son of John Douglas (d. 1762), innkeeper of the Hercules Pillars in Hyde Park Road, and Mary Gardiner (d. 1766), was born in London on 7 January 1753. Of nine siblings only the three boys survived. After the deaths of his parents he was brought up by his elder brother ...

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Robert Hunt

revised by Denise Crook

Edmonds, Richard (1801–1886), antiquary and geologist, was born on 18 September 1801 in Penzance, Cornwall, the eldest son of Richard Edmonds (1774–1860), attorney, of Penzance, and his wife, Elizabeth Rowe (1770–1840). His elder brother was the political economist Thomas Rowe Edmonds. He was educated at ...

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Findlay, Alexander George, the younger (1812–1875), geographer and hydrographer, was born in London on 6 January 1812.

His father, Alexander Findlay the elder (1790–1870), engraver and cartographic and hydrographic publisher, was born on 7 December 1788 in Bermondsey, Surrey (where he was baptized at ...

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Hughes, Thomas McKenny (1832–1917), geologist, speleologist, and archaeologist, was born in December 1832, in Aberystwyth, one of the family of three sons and five daughters of the Revd Joshua Hughes (1807–1889), afterwards bishop of St Asaph, and his wife, Margaret (d. 1899)...

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Sir Roderick Impey Murchison, baronet (1792–1871) by Camille Silvy, 1860 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Murchison, Sir Roderick Impey, baronet (1792–1871), geologist and geographer, born on 19 February 1792 at Tarradale in Easter Ross, was the elder son of Kenneth Murchison and his wife, Barbara, the daughter of Roderick Mackenzie of Fairburn. The Murchisons were a highland clan who lost their ancestral lands for participating in the rebellions of 1715 and 1745. ...

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Pengelly, William (1812–1894), geologist and archaeologist, was born on 12 January 1812 at East Looe, Cornwall, the first of ten children of Richard Pengelly (1787–1861), mariner, and his wife, Sarah (1787–1881), daughter of Abraham and Mary Prout of Millbrook, Cornwall. Pengelly attended two schools in ...

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Pryce, William (bap. 1735, d. 1790), surgeon, mineralogist, and antiquary, was born at Redruth, Cornwall, and baptized there on 14 June 1735. He was the only son (there was also a daughter, who died in infancy) of surgeon Samuel Pryce (d. 1741)...

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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 ...

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Daniel Sharpe (1806–1856) by Maull & Polyblank, 1855 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Sharpe, Daniel (1806–1856), geologist and philologist, was born on 6 April 1806 at Nottingham Place, Marylebone, Middlesex, the youngest son of Sutton Sharpe (1756–1806), brewer, and his second wife, Maria (d. 1806), sister of the poet Samuel Rogers (1783–1855). Orphaned before his first birthday (his mother died on 22 April 1806, his father on 26 September), he was looked after in ...

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Shore, Thomas William (1840–1905), geologist and antiquary, was born on 5 April 1840 at Wantage, Berkshire, the third of the five children of William Shore (1803?–1845), builder, and his wife, Susannah, née Carter (1807–1858). Nothing is known of his early life or education; after obtaining a ...

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Sir (Thomas) Franklin Sibly (1883–1948) by William Dring, 1947 by permission of the University of Reading

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Sibly, Sir (Thomas) Franklin (1883–1948), geologist and university administrator, was born in Bristol on 25 October 1883, the only son (there was also a daughter) of Thomas Dix Sibly, a solicitor, and his wife, Virginia, daughter of the Revd Franklin Tonkin, vicar of ...