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Abel, Sir Frederick Augustus, first baronet (1827–1902), chemist and explosives expert, was born on 17 July 1827 at Woolwich, the eldest son of Johann Leopold Abel (1795–1871), a music master in Kennington, and his wife, Louisa (d. 1864), daughter of Martin Hopkins...

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Sir Frederick Augustus Abel, first baronet (1827–1902) by Frank Bramley, 1900 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Allhusen, Christian Augustus Henry (1806–1890), chemical manufacturer, was born on 2 December 1806 in Kiel, Germany, the fourth son in the family of five sons and two daughters of Carl Christian Allhusen, merchant of Kiel, and his wife, Anna Margaretha Schroder. The French occupation of ...

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Anthony, Francis (1550–1623), alchemist and physician, was born on 16 April 1550, probably in London, the eldest son of Derrick Anthony (c.1522–1599), goldsmith, and his first wife, Elizabeth Erley (d. c.1558), daughter of Richard Erley or Ellerick of Lincolnshire...

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Armstrong, Henry Edward (1848–1937), chemist and educational reformer, was born on 6 May 1848 at Caroline Place, Avenue Road, Lewisham, Kent, the eldest son of Richard Armstrong (1827–1884), a commission agent and importer, and his wife, Mary Ann Biddle. He was educated at ...

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Henry Edward Armstrong (1848–1937) by Thomas Cantrell Dugdale, 1927 © reserved; photograph Royal Institution, London / Bridgeman Art Library

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Atwood [née South], Mary Anne (1817–1910), interpreter of alchemy, was born at Dieppe in 1817, the daughter of Thomas South (c.1785–1855), gentleman, of Bury House, Gosport, Hampshire, and his wife, Elise, née Maurice. She received no formal education but became proficient in Latin and Greek and developed a 'rare and extraordinary knowledge of the classics' (...

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Mary Anne Atwood (1817–1910) by unknown photographer, c. 1890 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Austen, Sir William Chandler Roberts- (1843–1902), metallurgist, was born at Kennington, Surrey, on 3 March 1843, the eldest son of George Roberts, of Welsh descent, who worked for the Hudson's Bay Company, and his wife, Maria Louisa, daughter of William Chandler MD of ...

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Ayton, William Alexander (1816–1909), Church of England clergyman and alchemist, was born on 28 April 1816 in the Bloomsbury district of London, the son of William Capon Ayton (1786-1843), solicitor, and his wife Mary Anne née Nicolson (1791-1921). He was educated at the ...

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Backhouse, William (1593–1662), alchemist and antiquary, was born on 17 January 1593, probably at Swallowfield, Berkshire, the youngest of the four sons of Samuel Backhouse (d. 1626), landowner, and his wife, Elisabeth (d. 1630), daughter of John Borlase of Little Marlow...

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Baker, Herbert Brereton (1862–1935), chemist, was born at Livesey, near Blackburn, on 25 June 1862, the second son of John Baker, curate in charge of Livesey, afterwards vicar of St John's Church, Blackburn, and his wife, Caroline Slater. Ill health kept him indoors; he could read before he was four years old and at ten he had read most of his father's library. He was educated first at ...

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[Anon.]

revised by Claire E. J. Herrick

Batt, William (1744–1812), physician and chemist, was born at Collingbourne, Wiltshire, on 18 June 1744, and is said to have been a student at Oxford University. He then studied medicine in London, after which he went to Montpellier, where he took his MD in 1770. In 1771 he continued his studies at ...

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Battley, Richard (bap. 1772, d. 1856), apothecary and manufacturing chemist, was baptized on 26 September 1772 at Wakefield, Yorkshire, the second son of John Battley, an architect of local repute, and his wife, Ruth Gledhill. After attending Wakefield grammar school, he was privately trained for medicine by a doctor in the town. He then moved to ...

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Thomas Beddoes (1760–1808) by Charles Turner Warren, pubd 1810 (after Edward Bird) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Beddoes, Thomas (1760–1808), chemist and physician, was born at Shifnal in Shropshire on 13 April 1760, the son of Ann Beddoes (née Whitehall), and her husband, Richard Beddoes (d. 1803), a tanner who was part of a prosperous and politically liberal commercial circle. ...

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Alfred Bird (bap. 1811, d. 1878) by Henry John Whitlock Bird family archives

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Bird, Alfred (bap. 1811, d. 1878), chemist and food manufacturer, the fourth son of John Bird (1780–1846), astronomer and lecturer, and his wife, Mary, née Bland, was baptized at Nympsfield, Gloucestershire, on 25 August 1811. According to family tradition, he was the great-grandson of ...

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Blomefylde [Blomefield], Myles (1525–1603), medical practitioner and alchemist, was born on 5 April 1525 in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, the son of John Blomefilde and his wife, Anne. He is said to have been a scholar at St John's College, Cambridge, but records show only that in 1552 the university awarded him a licence to practise medicine. His father died in 1549, leaving him and his mother as executors of a small estate. By 1559 he must have married and been resident in ...

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Blomfild [Blomefield], William (fl. 1529–1574), alchemist and priest, was born in Bury St Edmunds. He was a Benedictine monk and priest at Bury in his youth. In 1529 he was questioned at London regarding certain protestant tenets (which he abjured) although he seems later in life to have gravitated towards Calvinism. In 1543, at which time he was living in ...