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Acworth, Sir Jacob (c. 1668–1749), shipbuilder, about whom details of parentage and early life are unknown, began his apprenticeship as a carpenter about 1682. He was probably a relative of William Acworth (1615–1672) who served as storekeeper of Woolwich Dockyard from 1637 until his death. ...

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Adams, Henry (1713–1805), shipbuilder, was born in Deptford, the son of Anthony Adams, a shipwright at the town's royal dockyard. In 1726 he began his apprenticeship to Benjamin Slade, the foreman of the yard. Adams moved to Hampshire in 1744 and was appointed naval overseer for the building of the ...

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Samuel Franklin Cody (1861–1913) by unknown photographer, 1912 [at the controls of his aeroplane Cathedral] Getty Images

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Cody [formerly Cowdery], Samuel Franklin (1861–1913), showman and aeronautical designer, was born on 6 March 1861 in Davenport, Iowa, USA, the fourth of five children of Samuel Franklin Cowdery (1833–1902), a former Union soldier and jobbing carpenter, and his wife, Phoebe Jane (1834–1900)...

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See Crichton, Sir Archibald William

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Critchley, Alfred Cecil (1890–1963), greyhound racing promoter and aviation administrator, was born at Stapleton ranch, near Calgary, Alberta, Canada, the first of the two sons of Oswald Assheton Critchley (d. 1935), ranch owner, and his first wife, Maria Cecil, née Newbolt (...

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James Burnley

revised by Julian Lock

Gale, George Burcher (1794–1850), balloonist, is believed to have been born at Fulham in May 1794. Originally an actor in small parts in London minor theatres, he became a great favourite of the theatre proprietor Andrew Ducrow. In 1831 he went to America...

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Glas, George (1725–1765), mariner, was born probably at Dundee, one of fifteen children of John Glas (1695–1773), founder of the Glasite or Sandemanian church, and his wife, Katharine Black (d. 1749). One account suggests that he was trained as a surgeon and in that capacity made several voyages to the ...

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Hawkins, William (b. c. 1560), sea captain and merchant, was the eldest of the three children of William Hawkins (c. 1519–1589), sea captain, merchant, and shipowner, and his first (unknown) wife, and nephew of Sir John Hawkins (1532–1595). He served in Sir Francis Drake's...

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Johnston, James Henry (1787–1851), naval officer and developer of steam navigation, entered the navy in 1803 on the Spartiate, under the successive captains George Murray, John Manley, and Sir Francis Laforey. In her he was present at Trafalgar, and in 1809 at the operations on the coast of ...

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Laird, Macgregor (1808–1861), shipbuilder and explorer, was born in Greenock, the younger son of William Laird, founder of the Birkenhead firm of shipbuilders, and Agnes Macgregor; he was the brother of John Laird. On leaving school in Edinburgh he was given a partnership in the business by his father....

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Long, Sidney Selden (1863–1940), army officer and transport entrepreneur, was born on 31 March 1863, the fifth son of James Long, commissary-general, and his wife, Anna, daughter of Andrew Kirkwood, of Clongoonah, Ireland. Educated privately, Long followed his father into a military career, eventually in what would now be termed logistics, entering via the ...

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John Loudon McAdam (1756–1836) by unknown artist, c. 1830 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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McAdam, John Loudon (1756–1836), builder and administrator of roads, was born in the west-coast town of Ayr, at 22 Sandgate, on 21 September 1756, the youngest child and second son of James McAdam of Waterhead (c.1718–1770), and his wife, Susannah Cochrane (...

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J. K. Laughton

revised by Philip MacDougall

Murray, Mungo (bap. 1705, d. 1770), writer on shipbuilding, was born in Fowlis Wester, near Crieff, Perth, where he was baptized on 18 March 1705, the son of James Murray. Little is known of his early years. On 3 August 1733, also at ...

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Perring, William George Arthur (1898–1951), aerodynamicist and government scientist, was born on 16 December 1898 in Gillingham, Kent, the eldest son of John Richard Brooking Perring, a shipwright, and his wife, Alice Johns, both formerly of Devon. In 1913 he commenced a seven-year apprenticeship at the ...

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William George Arthur Perring (1898–1951) by Bassano, 1946 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Perry, Percival Lee Dewhurst, Baron Perry (1878–1956), motor vehicle manufacturer, was born on 18 March 1878, at Bristol, the third son of Alfred Thomas Perry, clerk, and his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Revd Henry Wheeler. He won a scholarship to King Edward VI's Grammar School, Birmingham...

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Pett, Phineas (1570–1647), shipbuilder and naval administrator, was born at Deptford on 1 November 1570, the eldest son of Peter Pett (d. 1589), master shipwright, of Deptford and his second wife, Elizabeth Thornton (d. 1597). He attended school at Rochester and Greenwich...

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Phineas Pett (1570–1647) by unknown artist, c. 1612 © National Portrait Gallery, London