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Ashley, Sir Anthony, baronet (1551/2–1628), politician and translator of The Mariners Mirrour, was the eldest son of Sir Anthony Ashley of Damerham in Hampshire, a cadet of the long-established Ashleys of Wimborne St Giles (Dorset), and Dorothy, daughter of John Lyte of Lytes Cary (Somerset)...

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Baillie, Marianne (1795?–1831), travel writer and versifier, whose maiden name appears to have been Wathen, married before 1817 Alexander Baillie, who printed privately at Kingsbury her first known work, Guy of Warwick, a Legende, and other Poems (1817). This collection of undistinguished verse reached a second edition probably through the indulgence of friends. A period of financial difficulty appears to have followed soon after: in 1818 the ...

Article

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 ...

Article

J. K. Laughton

revised by Peter Le Fevre

Barker, John (c. 1600–1653), naval officer and shipmaster, was possibly related to the John Barker of Ratcliffe, Middlesex, shipmaster and captain of the Golden Cock who in 1629, aged forty-five, appeared before the admiralty court in connection with illegally seizing, and selling, a ship belonging to the ...

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Basire, Isaac, de Preaumont (bap. 1608, d. 1676), Church of England clergyman and traveller, the son of Jean Basire, advocate and minor noble, and his wife, Judith le Macherier (d. 1626), was baptized at the Huguenot church in Rouen, France, in 1608. Little is known of his early years, but he was a student at the ...

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Blackstone, William (bap. 1596?, d. 1675), settler in America and horticulturist, was born to unknown parents. It has been asserted that he was baptized on 5 March 1595 at Whickham in co. Durham, the son of John Blackstone and his wife, Agnes (...

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Blood, Thomas (1617/18–1680), adventurer and spy, was born at Sarney, co. Meath. His early life is obscure, but it was later claimed that his father (who was possibly Neptune Blood) was a blacksmith and ironworker, 'serious, honest and of no inferior credit' (...

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Thomas Blood (1617/1818–1680) by unknown artist The Pepys Library, Magdalene College, Cambridge

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Bradford, William (1590–1657), a founder of Plymouth Colony, was born in Austerfield, Yorkshire, and baptized there on 19 March 1590, the third child and only son of William Bradford (c.1560–1591) and Alice Hanson (1562–1597), both from Austerfield yeoman families.

In early childhood he suffered the loss by death first of his father (July 1591), then of his paternal grandfather (1596), with whom he was living following his mother's remarriage, and finally his mother (1597). At the age of seven he was taken in by two uncles, ...

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Cabot, Sebastian (c. 1481/2–1557), explorer and cartographer, was the son of the explorer and navigator John Cabot (c. 1451–1498) and his wife, Mattea.

Neither the place nor the date of Cabot's birth is entirely certain. His father appears to have been of Genoese origin, but was a citizen of ...

Article

Chancellor, Richard (d. 1556), explorer, is of unknown origins; the scholar Clement Adams, who set down his Russian observations, claimed that he was brought up in the household of Sir Henry Sidney. In 1550 Chancellor sailed as an apprentice pilot under Roger Bodenham...

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Chardin, Sir John [Jean] (1643–1712), traveller and merchant, was born in Paris on 16 November 1643 and baptized on 24 November at the protestant temple at Charenton, near Paris, the eldest son of Daniel Chardin, a merchant-jeweller in the place Dauphiné in Paris...

Article

J. K. Laughton

revised by Andrew C. F. David

Clerke, Charles (1743–1779), naval officer and circumnavigator, was born in Weatherfield, Essex, the son of Joseph Clerke, a farmer. He had a brother, Sir John Clerke, and a sister who married Paul Henry Maty. He entered the navy in 1755 as captain's servant and midshipman in the ...

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Cooper, Thomas Thornville (1839–1878), traveller and promoter of trade, the eighth son of John Ibbetson Cooper, coal fitter and shipowner, and his wife, Elizabeth, née Douglas, was born on 13 September 1839, at Bishopwearmouth, co. Durham. He was educated at the Grange School, Bishopwearmouth...

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Davies, William (fl. 1598–1614), traveller, was born in Hereford, and states himself to have been a barber–surgeon, although no trace can be found of him in the register of admissions to the freedom of that company. He states that he was a gentleman by birth and had served in many naval and military operations. His family may have had Cornish connections since he sailed from there and his brother settled there. On 28 January 1598 he sailed in a trading ship (the ...

Article

W. W. Wroth

revised by Elizabeth Baigent

Davis, Nathan (1812–1882), traveller and excavator, was born in 1812. Nothing is known of his education, save that he is referred to as Dr Davis. He was an American who for many years lived in an old Moorish palace, 10 miles from Tunis...

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Drummond, Alexander (d. 1769), traveller, was the son of John Drummond (d. 1709) of Newton, merchant burgess of Edinburgh, and Mary Menzies. His elder brother was George Drummond. The George Drummond of Newton said in the Dictionary of National Biography to be his father was in fact a kinsman for whom his father worked. Little is known of ...

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See Dunthorne, John

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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, ...

Article

Fawkner, John Pascoe (1792–1869), pioneer in Australia, born on 20 October 1792 in London, probably near Cripplegate, was the son of John Fawkner (b. 1770), a metal refiner, and Hannah Pascoe (b. 1774), whose maiden name her son added to his own after her death in 1825. In 1801 his father was sentenced to transportation for receiving stolen goods worth ...