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Adams family (per. 1734–1817), makers of scientific instruments and globes, came to prominence through George Adams senior (bap. 1709, d. 1772), who was baptized on 17 April 1709 in the parish of St Bride's, Fleet Street, London, the eldest surviving son of ...

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Adams, Clement (c. 1519–1587), schoolmaster and map engraver, was born at Buckington, Warwickshire. He was educated at Eton between 1530 and 1536, and subsequently at the King's Hall, Cambridge. From 17 August 1536 he was tutored in classics, mathematics, and geometry at Cambridge...

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John R. Millburn

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Aaron Arrowsmith the elder (1750–1823) by T. A. Dean, pubd 1825 (after Henry William Pickersgill) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Arrowsmith, Aaron, the elder (1750–1823), cartographer and map publisher, was born on 14 July 1750 at Winston, co. Durham, the son of John and Mary Arrowsmith. His father died when Aaron was young and his mother then married a wastrel who reduced the family fortune. ...

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Arrowsmith, John (1790–1873), cartographer and map publisher, was born on 23 April 1790 on a farm in Winston, co. Durham, the son of Thomas Arrowsmith of an old-established family. With limited education, he arrived in London on 14 February 1810 where he learnt map making, engraving, and printing under his uncle ...

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See Arrowsmith, Aaron, the elder

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(John) Thomas Baines (1820–1875) by unknown photographer, 1860s The Royal Geographical Society, London

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Baines, (John) Thomas (1820–1875), artist and explorer, was born on 27 November 1820 at King's Lynn, Norfolk, the second son and one of three surviving children of Mary Ann Watson and John Thomas Baines, a master mariner. His father and maternal grandfather were amateur artists, his brother ...

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Baird, Andrew Wilson (1842–1908), tidal surveyor, was the eldest son in a family of five sons and four daughters born to Thomas Baird, of Woodlands, Cults, Aberdeen, and his wife, Catherine Imray. He was born in Aberdeen on 26 April 1842 and was educated in the town first at the grammar school and then at ...

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Sir Samuel White Baker (1821–1893) by Maull & Co., 1860s © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Baker, Sir Samuel White (1821–1893), traveller and explorer in Africa, was born on 8 June 1821 in London, the second of the eight children of Samuel Baker (d. 1862) of Lypiatt Park, Gloucestershire, and his first wife, Mary, daughter of Thomas Dobson...

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Herbert Ernest Balch (1869–1958) by Harry Savory, 1912 Wells and Mendip Museum

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Balch, Herbert Ernest (1869–1958), cave explorer and museum curator, was born in St Thomas Street, Wells, Somerset, on 4 November 1869, the second of six children of William Balch, brushmaker, and his wife, Sarah Ellen, née Smith. Aged seven, he won a scholarship to ...

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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 ...

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Ronald Bayne

revised by Elizabeth Baigent

Barker, Collet (1784–1831), army officer and explorer, was born near Paradise Gardens, Hackney, Middlesex, on 31 December 1784, the son of William Barker (c.1748–1832), skinner and mercer of Newbury, Berkshire, and Sarah Collet (1755–1808), elder daughter of Samuel Collet, of an established family of ...

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Barnes, Isaac Edmestone (1857–1930), land surveyor and businessman, was born on 2 June 1857 in Highholborn Street, Kingston, Jamaica, the eldest legitimate son of William Barnes (1832–1891) and his wife, Amelia, née Johnson (c.1834–1893), coffee planters of Kraal district in the mountains of ...

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Sir John Barrow, first baronet (1764–1848) attrib. John Jackson, c. 1810 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Barrow, Sir John, first baronet (1764–1848), promoter of exploration and author, was born on 19 June 1764 at Dragley Beck, Ulverston, Lancashire, the only child of Roger Barrow, journeyman tanner, and his wife, Mary. Educated at the local Town Bank grammar school, which he left at the age of thirteen, ...