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Sir (Harold) Idris Bell (1879–1967) by Walter Stoneman, 1955 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bell, Sir (Harold) Idris (1879–1967), papyrologist and scholar of Welsh literature, was born on 2 October 1879 at Epworth, Lincolnshire, the son of Charles Christopher Bell (b. 1845), chemist, and his wife, Rachel Hughes (d. 1880). His father's family had been yeoman farmers in the north midlands and had marked literary leanings, his father not least; but the Welsh inheritance from his mother meant more to ...

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Giovanni Battista Belzoni (1778–1823) by Maxim Gauci, pubd 1821 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Belzoni, Giovanni Battista (1778–1823), performing artist and Egyptologist, was born on 5 November 1778 in Padua, the son of a barber, Giacomo Belzoni, and his wife, Teresa. He went to Rome aged sixteen to prepare himself for monastic orders; he claimed also to have studied hydraulics. The French invasion of ...

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Birch, Samuel (1813–1885), Egyptologist, was born on 2 or 3 November 1813 in London, eldest son of the Revd Samuel Birch (1780?–1848), rector of St Mary Woolnoth, later a prebendary of St Paul's Cathedral and vicar of Little Marlow, Buckinghamshire, and his wife, ...

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Bonomi, Joseph (1796–1878), sculptor and Egyptologist, and his twin sister, Mary Anne Bonomi (1796–1872), were born at 76 Great Titchfield Street, London, on 9 October 1796, the eighth and ninth but fourth and fifth surviving children of Joseph (Giuseppe) Bonomi (1739–1808), architect, and ...

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Edwards, (Iorwerth) Eiddon Stephen (1909–1996), Egyptologist, was born on 21 July 1909 at 57 Lightfoot Road, Hornsey, London, the second of the two children of Edward Edwards (1870–1944), Persian scholar on the staff of the department of oriental manuscripts at the British Museum...

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Emery, (Walter) Bryan (1903–1971), Egyptologist, was born on 2 July 1903 at Liverpool, the second son of Walter Thomas Emery, principal of the technical college at Liverpool, and his wife, Beatrice Mary Benbow, also of Liverpool. He was educated at St Francis Xavier's College, Liverpool...

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Francis Espinasse

revised by Josef L. Altholz

Goodwin, Charles Wycliffe (1817–1878), Egyptologist, was born on 2 April 1817 at 2 Bridge Street, King's Lynn, Norfolk. He was the eldest of four sons of a solicitor, Charles Goodwin (d. 1859), and his wife, Frances Catherine, née Sawyer (d. 1825)...

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George Edward Stanhope Molyneux Herbert, fifth earl of Carnarvon (1866–1923) by unknown photographer Griffith Institute, Oxford

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Herbert, George Edward Stanhope Molyneux, fifth earl of Carnarvon (1866–1923), sportsman and Egyptologist, was born at Highclere Castle, near Newbury, Berkshire, on 26 June 1866, the only son of Henry Howard Molyneux Herbert, fourth earl of Carnarvon (1831–1890), Conservative politician, and his first wife, ...

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H. I. Bell

revised by R. S. Simpson

Hunt, Arthur Surridge (1871–1934), papyrologist, was born at Romford, Essex, on 1 March 1871, the eldest son and third of eight children of Alfred Henry Hunt, solicitor, later of Romford Hall, and his wife, Emily Pertwee. His father belonged to an old Essex...

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(Reginald) Stuart Poole (1832–1895) by unknown engraver, pubd 1895 (after Elliott & Fry) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Poole, (Reginald) Stuart (1832–1895), numismatist and Egyptologist, born in London on 27 February 1832, was the younger son of Edward Richard Poole (c.1805–1884), bibliophile and vicar of Alvaston, Derbyshire (1846–84), and Sophia Lane Poole (1804–1891), sister of Edward William Lane. From July 1842 to October 1849 he lived with his mother and her brother in ...

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Renouf, Sir Peter Le Page (1822–1897), Egyptologist and religious writer, was born on 23 August 1822 at St Peter Port, Guernsey, the son of Joseph Renouf, schoolmaster, and his wife, Mary, daughter of John Le Page. He was educated from 1831 at Elizabeth College, Guernsey...

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Alexander Gordon

revised by M. L. Bierbrier

Sharpe, Samuel (1799–1881), Egyptologist and biblical scholar, second of the six children of Sutton Sharpe (1756–1806), brewer of King Street and of 10 Nottingham Place, Marylebone, Middlesex, and his second wife, Maria (d. 1806), third daughter of Thomas Rogers, banker, was born in ...

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Tattam, Henry (1788–1868), Church of England clergyman and Coptic scholar, was born on 28 December 1788 at Church Farm, North Marston, Buckinghamshire, the youngest child of John Tattam (b. 1740?), a yeoman farmer, and his wife, Jane, née Gurney (b. 1743?)...

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Vyse, Richard William Howard (1784–1853), army officer and Egyptologist, born on 25 July 1784, was the only son of General Richard Vyse and his second wife, Anne (only surviving daughter and heir of Field Marshal Sir George Howard), whom he married on 20 May 1780....

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Wilkins, David (1685–1745), Coptic scholar, was born of Prussian parentage in Memel, Lithuania, on 11 June 1685. His original name was Wilke, which he Latinized as Wilkius and Anglicized into Wilkins. Little is known about his education in Germany (probably in Berlin) or how he acquired his knowledge of ancient and Semitic languages, which was extensive rather than profound. He referred to the antiquarian ...

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Sir John Gardner Wilkinson (1797–1875) by Henry Wyndham Phillips, 1840–44 National Trust Photographic Library