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Sir Frederick Augustus Abel, first baronet (1827–1902) by Frank Bramley, 1900 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Abel, Sir Frederick Augustus, first baronet (1827–1902), chemist and explosives expert, was born on 17 July 1827 at Woolwich, the eldest son of Johann Leopold Abel (1795–1871), a music master in Kennington, and his wife, Louisa (d. 1864), daughter of Martin Hopkins...

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Edward Bancroft (1744–1821) by Nathan Branwhite, pubd 1801 (after Samuel Medley, 1800) [Institutors of the Medical Society of London; standing, far left] © Copyright The British Museum

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Bancroft, Edward (1744–1821), chemist and spy, was born at Westfield, Massachusetts, on 9 January 1744. His tutor was Silas Deane, later a member of the American congress. After a brief apprenticeship to a physician in Connecticut, Bancroft went to sea at the age of eighteen. In 1763 he was in ...

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Cruickshank, William (d. 1810/11), military surgeon and chemist, was possibly born in north-east Scotland in the 1740s or 1750s. There is no record of his family, education, or early life, but he may be the William Cruickshank who graduated MA from King's College, Aberdeen...

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Harrison, Edward Frank (1869–1918), analytical chemist and army officer, was born at 264 Albany Road, Camberwell, London, on 18 July 1869, the third child of William Harrison (1822/3–1878), a Home Office clerk, and his wife, Susannah, née Lawson. His father died when he was nine and his mother opened a small school, which enabled her sons to be educated at the ...

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Robertson, Sir Robert (1869–1949), chemist and explosives expert, was born on 17 April 1869 at Cupar, Fife, the eldest of four children, and the only son, of John Alexander Robertson, dentist, and his wife, Euphemia, daughter of Andrew Russell, a farmer of Balmerino, Fife...

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Shaw, Brian Duncan (1898–1999), chemist and army officer, was born on 10 February 1898 at Fern's Hollow, Station Road, in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, the youngest child of Samuel Shaw (1862–1941), a brick manufacturer, and his wife, Lydia Emma née Evans (1864–1931), who had been a teacher. ...

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Silberrad, Oswald John (1878–1960), chemist and explosives expert, was born at Buckhurst Hill, Essex, on 2 April 1878, the third son of Arthur Pouchin du Toict Silberrad, thirty-eighth baron (Franconian creation, 1002) of the house of Willigis (von der Silber-Rad), prince of the Holy Roman empire...