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Cavendish, Henry (1550–1616), soldier and traveller, was the eldest son of Sir William Cavendish (1508–1557) of Chatsworth, Derbyshire, administrator, and his third wife, Elizabeth [see Talbot, Elizabeth, countess of Shrewsbury (1527–1608)], noblewoman, known as Bess of Hardwick, daughter of John Hardwick...

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Champion de Crespigny, Sir Claude, fourth baronet (1847–1935), military adventurer and sportsman, was born in Chelsea on 20 April 1847, the eldest son of Sir Claude Champion de Crespigny, third baronet (1818–1868), of Wivenhoe Hall, Essex, and his wife, Mary, second daughter of ...

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Walter Devereux, first earl of Essex (1539–1576) by unknown artist, 1575? [after original, 1572] © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Devereux, Walter, first earl of Essex (1539–1576), nobleman and adventurer, was born on 16 September 1539 at Chartley, Staffordshire, the eldest son of Sir Richard Devereux and his wife, Dorothy, daughter of George Hastings, first earl of Huntingdon. Sir Richard, who was created a knight of the Order of the Garter on 20 February 1548, died the same year, in the lifetime of his father, ...

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Fenton, Edward (d. 1603), soldier and sea captain, was the son of Henry Fenton of Stretton-le-Steeple, Nottinghamshire, and Cicely Beaumont of Coleorton, Leicestershire; the poet Sir Geoffrey Fenton was his brother. At an unknown date between 1578 and 1582 he married Thomasina, daughter of ...

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Gilbert, Sir Humphrey (1537–1583), explorer and soldier, was born in Greenway, near Dartmouth, Devon between January and May 1537, the second son of Otho Gilbert of Compton, Devon (d. 1547), landowner, and Katherine, daughter of Sir Philip Champernoun of Modbury, Devon. Following ...

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Lane, Sir Ralph (d. 1603), soldier and colonist, was of unknown parentage and education. He ranked in that restless corps of Tudor wanderers who schemed the advance of English interests in Ireland and America even as they chased fortunes for themselves. Nineteenth-century scholars presumed that he came from ...

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Morgan [Morgan Wolff], Walter (b. c. 1550, d. in or after 1604), soldier and map maker, probably originated from Monmouthshire, where a Morgan Wollph is recorded as the earl of Pembroke's tenant in 1583. His parentage and education are unknown. He supplied some autobiographical details in a letter to ...

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Piers, William (d. 1603), soldier and founder of the town of Carrickfergus, was the son of Richard or Henry Piers of Piers-Hall, near Ingleton, Yorkshire. Nothing is known about his education. He may have been a younger son, which would explain his early career as a soldier....

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Pike [Peeke], Richard (fl. 1620–1658), soldier and adventurer, was probably the son of Richard Pike, an attorney practising in Tavistock, Devon, in 1597; unfortunately the Tavistock parish registers do not begin until 1620. In that year Pike served as a common soldier in the attack on the ...

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Pocock, (Henry) Roger Ashwell (1865–1941), adventurer and writer, was born on 9 November 1865 at 4 Belle Vue, Tenby, Pembrokeshire, the son of Captain Charles Ashwell Botelar Pocock (1829–1899), naval officer and later Anglican deacon, and his wife, Sarah Margaret (d. c...

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Anthony Sherley, Count Sherley in the nobility of the Holy Roman empire (1565–?1636) by Aegidius Sadeler, pubd 1612 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Sherley [Shirley], Anthony [known as Sir Anthony Sherley], Count Sherley in the nobility of the Holy Roman empire (1565–1636?), adventurer and diplomat in the Persian service, was born at the family estate of Wiston in Sussex, one of nine children of Sir Thomas Sherley (c. 1542–1612)...

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Charles Sturt (1795–1869) by John Michael Crossland, c. 1853 [replica] © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Sturt, Charles (1795–1869), soldier and explorer in Australia, was born on 28 April 1795 at Chunar-Ghur, Bengal, India, the eldest of the eight surviving sons and third of the thirteen children of Thomas Lenox Napier Sturt (1767–1837), an East India Company judge from a genteel but not well-to-do ...

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Webbe, Edward (b. 1553/4), soldier and adventurer, son of Richard Webbe, 'master gunner of England' (Webbe, Travailes, 17), was born at St Katharine by the Tower, London. Nothing is known of his mother. 'A simple man voide of learning...

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Wingfield, Edward Maria (b. 1550, d. in or after 1619), soldier and colonist in America, was born in Stoneley, Huntingdonshire, the son of Thomas Maria Wingfield (d. 1557) and of Margaret Kay from Yorkshire, and the grandson of Sir Richard Wingfield (b. in or before 1469, d. 1525)...