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Albert George Brighton (1900–1988) by unknown photographer [centre, in fedora] © reserved; photograph courtesy of Nicola Hanscombe

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Brighton, Albert George [Peter] (1900–1988), palaeontologist and curator, was born on 29 December 1900 at 13 Conyers Road, Streatham, London, the son of George Freeston Brighton, gardener, and his wife, Susan Alice Jayne. He was educated at St Leonard's School, Streatham, and Westminster City School...

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Buckland [née Morland], Mary (1797–1857), geological artist and curator, was born on 20 November 1797 in St Helen's parish, Abingdon, Berkshire, the eldest daughter of Benjamin Morland (1768–1833), solicitor (and a member of the West Ilsley brewing family), and his wife, Harriet Baster (1777–1799)...

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Clift, William (1775–1849), museum curator and scientific illustrator, was born at Burcombe, near Bodmin, Cornwall, on 14 February 1775, and was baptized (as William Cleft) in the Bodmin parish church on 12 April that year. He was the youngest of the seven children (...

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Epstein, (Ezekiel) Isidore (1893–1962), rabbi and rabbinical scholar, was born in Kovno, Lithuania, then part of Russia, on 7 May 1893, the son of David Epstein, bootmaker, and his wife Malka (Millie), both Orthodox Jews. He was taken to Paris aged about six months, and in ...

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Etheridge, Robert (1819–1903), palaeontologist and museum curator, was born at Ross, Herefordshire, on 3 December 1819, the elder of the two sons of Thomas Etheridge, a Gloucester shipper, and his wife, Hannah Pardoe. Details of his education are uncertain; Etheridge is said to have attended a private school in ...

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Ferryman, Robert (1752–1837), naturalist and museum keeper, was born at Barrow-on-Soar, Leicestershire, the son of John Ferryman (c.1720–1784), gentleman and probably farmer, and his wife, Elizabeth, née Beaumont (c.1727–1797), and was baptized there on 2 January 1753. Robert took an early interest in natural history and had started to collect animals by 1769. He was ordained deacon in ...

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Fletcher, Sir Lazarus (1854–1921), museum director and mineralogist, was born at 11 Williamson Street, Salford, on 3 March 1854, the eldest child of six sons and two daughters of Stewart Fletcher of Salford and his wife, Betty, née Gregory. He was educated at ...

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Sir William Henry Flower (1831–1899) by C. Schmid, 1868 reproduced by kind permission of the President and Council of the Royal College of Surgeons of London

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Flower, Sir William Henry (1831–1899), zoologist and museum curator, was born on 30 November 1831 in Stratford upon Avon, the second son of Edward Fordham Flower (1805–1883) and his wife, Selina Greaves (d. 1884). His father, a businessman, established Flowers brewery. His elder brother, ...

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Francis Charles Fraser (1903–1978) by Godfrey Argent Godfrey Argent Studios / Royal Society

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Fraser, Francis Charles (1903–1978), zoologist and museum administrator, was born on 16 June 1903 at Glenturret, Station Road, Dingwall, Ross-shire, Scotland. He was the youngest of the six sons (there were also four daughters) of James Fraser (d. 1910/11), master saddler and blacksmith, and his wife, ...

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Fraser, Louis (b. 1819/20–d. in or after 1883), naturalist and museum curator, was the son of Hugh Fraser, mariner (d. in or before 1844); details of his mother are unknown. The form of his education is likewise obscure, but from his writings he appears to have been a careful naturalist with limited scope and ambitions. In 1832 he began work as an assistant at the ...

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Edward Whitaker Gray (1748–1806) by Sir Augustus Wall Callcott [detail] © Royal Society

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Gray, Edward Whitaker (1748–1806), physician and museum curator, was born on 21 March 1748, probably in London, the second son of Samuel Gray (bap. 1693?, d. 1766), seedsman, and his wife, Juliana, née Kelly (d. 1774). An older brother, Samuel Gray (1739–1771)...

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John Edward Gray (1800–1875) by Maull & Polyblank, 1855 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Gray, John Edward (1800–1875), zoologist and museum curator, was born at Walsall, Staffordshire, on 12 February 1800, the second son of Samuel Frederick Gray (1766–1828), naturalist and pharmacologist, and his wife, Elizabeth Forfeit (1777–1852), the daughter of a picture dealer in Covent Garden...

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Günther [Gunther], Albert Charles Lewis Gotthilf [formerly Albert Karl Ludwig Gotthilf] (1830–1914), ichthyologist and museum administrator, was born at Esslingen in the state of Württemberg, south Germany, on 3 October 1830, the elder son of Friedrich Gotthilf Günther (1800–1835), Stiftungs-kommissar of estates in ...

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Harris, Sir Henry (1925–2014), cell biologist, was born in Potchep, Russia, on 28 January 1925, the son of Sam and Ann Khoros, Russian Jewish immigrants. He never spoke of his origins and his autobiography started at the age of four with ‘my earliest memories’ in ...

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Harrisson, Tom Harnett (1911–1976), ornithologist, museum curator, and co-founder of the Mass-Observation social survey project, was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 26 September 1911, the elder of the two children of Brigadier-General Geoffry Harnett Harrisson (1881–1939) and his wife, Marie Ellen (Doll; 1886–1961)...