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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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Addy, Mark Anthony (1840–1890), boatman and life-saver, was born at 2 Stage Buildings, The Parsonage, Manchester, on 13 April 1840, the sixth of eight children of Mark Addy (1801–1865), a joiner who ran a successful boat building and hire business at Stage Buildings...

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Aickman, Robert Fordyce (1914–1981), writer and campaigner for inland waterways, was born on 27 June 1914 at 77 Fellows Road, Hampstead, London, the only child of William Arthur Aickman (1858-1941), an architect, and his wife, Mabel Violet (1890–1943), daughter of ...

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Robert Fordyce Aickman (1914–1981) by Ida Kar, late 1950s © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Aldersey, Laurence (1546–1597/8), sea captain, was born at Aldersey Hall, Spurstow, Cheshire, the son of Thomas Aldersey (d. 1557), sheriff of Chester in 1539 and mayor in 1549, and his wife, Cecilia Garnet (fl. 1513–1594), also of Chester. As the sixth in a family of at least eight children, in the mid-1560s he looked to ...

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Alward, George Lowe (1842–1933), trawler owner, was born in Ramsgate, Kent, on 26 August 1842, the fourth son of the seven children of Robert Lowe Alward (1802–1871), fisherman and his wife, Mary Anne Wootton, née Hillman (1803–1874). His parents were natives of Brixham...

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Anderson, Sir Alan Garrett (1877–1952), public servant and shipowner, was born in London on 9 March 1877, the only son of James George Skelton Anderson and his wife, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (1836–1917), the first woman to qualify as a doctor in Great Britain...

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Arthur Anderson (1792–1868) by Thomas Francis Dicksee, 1850 reproduced by kind permission of The P&O Art Collection

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Anderson, Arthur (1792–1868), shipowner, was born at Grimista, near Lerwick, Shetland Islands, on 19 February 1792, the eldest son of Robert Anderson. After a brief education from a local minister, his earliest employment was as a ‘beach boy’, preparing dried fish. In 1808 he joined the ...

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Anderson, Sir Donald Forsyth (1906–1973), shipowner, was born in London on 3 September 1906, the younger son and second of the four children of Sir Alan Garrett Anderson (1877–1952), a partner in the family shipping firm of Anderson, Green & Co., managers of the ...

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Angas, William Henry (1781–1832), mariner and missionary, was born in Newcastle upon Tyne on 6 October 1781, the son of Caleb Angas, a successful coach manufacturer, merchant, and shipowner. Angas was descended from a branch of the Scottish clan Angus, which had long since settled in ...

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Arnold, Mary Anne (b. 1825), sailor and cross-dresser, was born in Sheerness, Kent, and may have been the daughter of Lieutenant Arnold of the Royal Navy who served aboard the Ganges and Prince Regent men-of-war. According to a report in The Times following her detection in October 1839, an officer of the ...

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Avery, Henry [known as Captain John Avery] (bap. 1659, d. 1696?), pirate, the son of John and Anne Evarie, was baptized on 23 August 1659 at Newton Ferrers, near Plymouth. He joined the Royal Navy and was a midshipman in the Rupert...

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Baillie, Charles William (1844–1899), inventor of the Baillie sounder and marine meteorologist, was born in Greenwich, Kent, the eldest son of Henry Robert Baillie (1808/9–1882), a master of the nautical school in Greenwich, and his wife, Isabella, née Haselar. He entered the Royal Navy...

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See Baker, Matthew

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Baker, Matthew (1529/30–1613), shipwright, was the son of James Baker [see below], shipwright to Henry VIII. In 1550 Baker sailed to the Levant in the bark Aucher commanded by Roger Bodenham. Though only a young man, his was an inquisitive role during the voyage, and he acquired valuable knowledge of Venetian boat-building techniques. Following his return to ...

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Baker, Robert (fl. c. 1563), mariner and poet, is known only through his one published writing. Possibly a relative of the Bakers of Sissinghurst who had connections with the London overseas trading community, Robert Baker composed a poem about two English voyages 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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J. K. Laughton

Reviser 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 ...