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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

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 ...

Article

Drake, Sir Francis (1540–1596), pirate, sea captain, and explorer, was born about February or March 1540 in Crowndale, near Tavistock, Devon, the eldest of five known children of Edmund Drake (d. 1566) of Tavistock. Edmund's wife is unknown, though she may have been named ...

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Sir Francis Drake (1540–1596) by Jodocus Hondius? © Copyright The British Museum

Article

Frobisher, Sir Martin (1535?–1594), privateer, explorer, and naval commander, was descended from John Frobisher (b. c.1260), a Scot settled in lands near Chirk in Denbighshire granted in recognition of his services to Edward I during the Welsh wars. In the mid-fourteenth century the family crossed the ...

Image

Sir Martin Frobisher (1535?–1594) by Cornelius Ketel, 1577 © Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

Article

Gosnold, Bartholomew (d. 1607), sea captain and explorer, was the elder son of a Suffolk gentleman, Anthony Gosnold of Grundisburgh, Clopton, and Burgh, and Dorothy Bacon, a kinswoman of the lord keeper, Sir Nicholas Bacon. Bartholomew is first recorded on 20 October 1572 when his great-grandfather ...

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Paterson, Daniel (1738–1825), compiler of road books and cartographer, was born on 11 or 17 December 1738, calculated from his age at death according to whether the reform of the calendar is taken into account. He was gazetted ensign in the 30th foot...

Article

R. N. Rudmose Brown

revised by Elizabeth Baigent

Young, Sir Allen William (1827–1915), merchant navy officer and polar explorer, was born at Twickenham on 12 December 1827, the son of Henry Young, of Riverdale, Twickenham. After being educated at home he joined the merchant service in 1842 and rose quickly. During the Crimean War he transferred from the ...

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Sir Allen William Young (1827–1915) by Stephen Pearce, 1876 © National Portrait Gallery, London