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Elliot, Hugh (1752–1830), diplomat and adventurer, was born on 6 April 1752, the second son of Sir Gilbert Elliot, third baronet (1722–1777), MP, and Agnes Dalrymple-Murray-Kynynmound (d. 1778). Born into a family of staunch but minor government supporters, he was one of a number of Scotsmen who carved out a career in second- and third-level posts in the British diplomatic service. On several occasions his bold personality and sharp tongue carried him further than discretion would have advised, though these episodes also provided the highlights of a career lacking in substantial achievements. Unusually tall and thin, ...

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H. M. Chichester

revised by Deborah Manley

Parsons, Abraham (d. 1785), traveller and commercial consul, was born probably in Bristol, the son of a merchant captain. In early life he visited many countries in command of merchant vessels, an occupation that suited a man 'naturally fond of novelty, and remarkably inquisitive' (...