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Sir Samuel White Baker (1821–1893) by Maull & Co., 1860s © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Baker, Sir Samuel White (1821–1893), traveller and explorer in Africa, was born on 8 June 1821 in London, the second of the eight children of Samuel Baker (d. 1862) of Lypiatt Park, Gloucestershire, and his first wife, Mary, daughter of Thomas Dobson...

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Browne, Maurice (1555/6–1583), adventurer and courtier, was the fourth son of John Browne, merchant, of London, and his third wife, Christian, daughter of William Carkett of London. He was thirteen at the time of the visitation of London in 1568. John Browne died in September 1570, leaving ...

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Childs, William John (c. 1869–1933), author and government official, was the son of William John Childs. The formative period of his life, most of which remains unclear, occurred from 1909 to 1913, when he lived and travelled widely in Anatolia and Thrace. Glimpses of his earlier life, and of travel in various parts of the world, the Ottoman empire especially, are provided by his later publications, as well as by official and private archival material. Nevertheless ...

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Dillon, Peter (1788–1847), adventurer in the south seas, was born on 15 June 1788 on Martinique, the son of an Irishman, Peter Dillon, probably a soldier stationed on the island. About 1806 Dillon appears to have sailed for Calcutta and he later traded sandalwood between the ...

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Charles Montagu Doughty (1843–1926) by Eric Kennington, 1921 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Doughty, Charles Montagu (1843–1926), explorer, travel writer, and poet, was born on 19 August 1843 at Theberton Hall, Leiston, Suffolk, the younger of two sons of the Revd Charles Montagu Doughty (1798–1850), landowner, and his wife, Frederica (d. 1843), daughter of the ...

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E. I. Carlyle

revised by S. Searight

Elton, John (d. 1751), merchant and adventurer, is of unknown origins. He arrived in Russia in 1732 to present to the Russian government a memorandum for finding a northern sea passage to Japan. In 1735 the Russian government sent him with an official expedition, with ...

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Grubb, Wilfrid Barbrooke (1865–1930), missionary and explorer in Paraguay, was born at Ferryhill, Liberton, Edinburgh, on 11 August 1865, the third of five children of John Barbrooke Grubb (1823–1893), chemist, and his wife, Ann Mary Lang (1825–1916). He was of Scottish descent, though both parents were by birth English and by denomination Anglican. He was educated at ...

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Hedges, Frederick Albert Mitchell- (1882–1959), adventurer and travel writer, was born in Barnsbury, Islington, London, on 22 October 1882, the eldest of four children of John Hedges (1847–1934), a dealer in precious metals and jewellery from Aston Abbotts, Buckinghamshire, and his wife, Julia Alice (...

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Herbert [Harbert], William (1583?–1628), poet and adventurer, was born in Glamorgan, the son of Nicholas Herbert (1543–1601), writer, pirate, merchant, and public official, and either his first wife, Mary Morgan, or his second wife, Catherine or Jennett Herbert (née Edward). He attended ...

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Koebel, William Henry (1872–1923), businessman and author, was born at 4 The Drive, Honor Oak Park, Forest Hill, Kent, on 11 January 1872, the eldest son in the family of five sons and two daughters of Oscar Koebel (1835/6–1921) and his wife, Emma Elizabeth (...

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Ludlow, Frank (1885–1972), traveller, was born at 24 Queens Road, Chelsea, London, on 10 August 1885, the son of Walter Ludlow, grocer, and his wife, Ellen Elizabeth, née Crouch. About 1890 the family moved to Dunster, Somerset, where his father was a freemason and churchwarden. ...

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Gregor MacGregor (1786–1845) by Samuel William Reynolds senior (after Simon Jacques Rochard) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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MacGregor, Gregor (1786–1845), soldier and adventurer, was the grandson of Gregor MacGregor Drummond who had enlisted in the forerunner of the Black Watch (then Sempill's Highlanders), served abroad with distinction, and been instrumental in obtaining the repeal of legislation which had outlawed the clan ...

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Machim [Robert Machin] (supp. fl. 14th cent.), supposed adventurer, is said to have lived in the fourteenth century, and is claimed, in sixteenth-century writings and works derived from them, as the discoverer of the island of Madeira.

Three traditions refer to him or to a similar character of similar name. What may be the earliest is represented by part of a work headed ...

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Michelborne, Sir Edward (c. 1562–1609), soldier and adventurer, was the eldest son of Edward Michelborne (d. 1587), landowner, of Clayton, Sussex, and his first wife, Jane, daughter of Thomas Farnfold (or Parsons) of Steyning, Sussex. He is not to be confused with his kinsman, the Latin poet ...

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(George) Eric Newby (1919–2006) by Fergus Greer, 2003 © Fergus Greer; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Osman, Efendi [formerly William Thomson] (b. before 1800, d. 1835), guide to travellers in Egypt, was originally William Thomson, a native of Scotland. Details of his life, gleaned from passing remarks by the many travellers who knew him in Cairo, are scant and occasionally contradictory. This sometimes leads to confusion, as with ...

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Charlotte Fell-Smith

revised by Peter C. Mancall

Rich, Richard (fl. 1610), adventurer and author, has been linked to various members of the illustrious Rich family. He was possibly a younger son of Edward Rich of Horndon, or a brother of Robert Rich (d. c.1646), master in chancery, or the third son of ...