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Addy, Mark Anthony (1840–1890), boatman and life-saver, was born at 2 Stage Buildings, The Parsonage, Manchester, on 13 April 1840, the sixth of eight children of Mark Addy (1801–1865), a joiner who ran a successful boat building and hire business at Stage Buildings...

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Aldersey, Laurence (1546–1597/8), sea captain, was born at Aldersey Hall, Spurstow, Cheshire, the son of Thomas Aldersey (d. 1557), sheriff of Chester in 1539 and mayor in 1549, and his wife, Cecilia Garnet (fl. 1513–1594), also of Chester. As the sixth in a family of at least eight children, in the mid-1560s he looked to ...

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Angas, William Henry (1781–1832), mariner and missionary, was born in Newcastle upon Tyne on 6 October 1781, the son of Caleb Angas, a successful coach manufacturer, merchant, and shipowner. Angas was descended from a branch of the Scottish clan Angus, which had long since settled in ...

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Arnold, Mary Anne (b. 1825), sailor and cross-dresser, was born in Sheerness, Kent, and may have been the daughter of Lieutenant Arnold of the Royal Navy who served aboard the Ganges and Prince Regent men-of-war. According to a report in The Times following her detection in October 1839, an officer of the ...

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Avery, Henry [known as Captain John Avery] (bap. 1659, d. 1696?), pirate, the son of John and Anne Evarie, was baptized on 23 August 1659 at Newton Ferrers, near Plymouth. He joined the Royal Navy and was a midshipman in the Rupert...

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Baker, Robert (fl. c. 1563), mariner and poet, is known only through his one published writing. Possibly a relative of the Bakers of Sissinghurst who had connections with the London overseas trading community, Robert Baker composed a poem about two English voyages to ...

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Balleny, John (b. c. 1770, d. in or after 1842), merchant navy officer and Antarctic discoverer, was born c.1770 but nothing is known about his early life and education. He may have been a Londoner, brought up in the Newcastle coal trade. From 1798, when he was living in the parish of ...

Article

J. K. Laughton

revised by Peter Le Fevre

Barker, John (c. 1600–1653), naval officer and shipmaster, was possibly related to the John Barker of Ratcliffe, Middlesex, shipmaster and captain of the Golden Cock who in 1629, aged forty-five, appeared before the admiralty court in connection with illegally seizing, and selling, a ship belonging to the ...

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Barker, Matthew Henry [pseud. the Old Sailor] (1790–1846), sailor and writer, was born at Deptford, London, where his father had attained some distinction as a dissenting minister. At sixteen he joined an East Indiaman. Afterwards he served in the Royal Navy, where, as he was without influence, he never rose beyond the rank of master's mate on the gun-brig ...

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Barlow, Edward (1642–1706?), mariner, was born at Prestwich, Manchester, on 6 March 1642, one of the six children of George Barlow (c.1599–c.1686), husbandman, and his wife, Ann (d. 1692). Disliking his apprenticeship as a ‘whitester’ (that is, in the bleaching trade), he went to ...

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Barron, William (1835–1913), mariner and autobiographer, was born in Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, on 27 April 1835, the son of William Stephenson Barron (1797–1855), mariner. After three years at the Hull Trinity House Navigation School he was apprenticed on 27 March 1849, aboard the whaleship ...

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Barry, Lording (bap. 1580, d. 1629), playwright and pirate, was baptized on 17 April 1580 in St Laurence Pountney, St Laurence Pountney Lane, London, the fifth of eleven children of Nicholas Barry (d. 1607), citizen and fishmonger, and his second wife, Anne (...

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Barry, Lording (bap. 1580, d. 1629)

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Barton, Robert [called Hob a Barton] (d. 1540), sea captain and administrator, known to the English as the pirate Hob a Barton, was one of three sons of John Barton, sea captain in Leith, the port of Edinburgh. Some time prior to 1476 his father's ship and goods were captured by Portuguese ships. ...

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Best, Thomas (1570–1639), sea captain and master of Trinity House, was baptized on 8 June 1570 at Merstham, Surrey, the youngest son of Robert Best, an interpreter for the Muscovy Company, and Anne, formerly Bowman. Later, in 1623, Best told Sir William Conway...

Article

A. G. E. Jones

revised by Elizabeth Baigent

Biscoe, John (bap. 1794, d. 1843), merchant navy officer and explorer, was baptized in Enfield on 28 June 1794, the third son and youngest child of Thomas Biscoe of Waltham Abbey and his wife, Ann Tibbs. Nothing is known of his early years, but on leaving school he became a clerk. On 11 March 1812 he volunteered for the ...

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Blogg, Henry George (1876–1954), lifeboat coxswain, was born in Cromer on 6 February 1876, the son of Ellen Blogg. He was educated at the Goldsmiths' School, Cromer, where he proved quick at learning and revealed an unusually retentive memory. He took no part in games, failed to defend himself against bullying, and never learned to swim. When nearly twelve he began life as a longshore fisherman. In 1894 he joined the ...

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Henry George Blogg (1876–1954) by Thomas Cantrell Dugdale, 1942 © reserved; photograph courtesy of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution

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See Bond, Martin

Article

Robert C. Ritchie

Bonnet, Stede (d. 1718), pirate, may have been a soldier as he was given the title of major during his trial, where he was also treated as an educated gentleman by the officers of the court. The most that can at present be said about his family is that he is probably the ...