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Bollaert, William (1807–1876), traveller and author, was born in Lymington, Hampshire, on 21 October 1807, the eldest among at least eight children of Andrew Jacob Bollaert and his wife, Jane, née Collings, of Lymington, where three of their children were baptized. His father, a Dutch emigrant who had served with the ...

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George Henry Borrow (1803–1881) by Henry Wyndham Phillips, 1843 [replica] © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Borrow, George Henry (1803–1881), writer and traveller, was born on 5 July 1803 at East Dereham in Norfolk, the son of Captain Thomas Borrow (1758–1824), adjutant of the West Norfolk militia, and his wife, Ann (1772–1858), daughter of Samuel Parfrement, a farmer. His elder brother was ...

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John Westby-Gibson

revised by Felix Driver

Bowdich, Thomas Edward (1791?–1824), writer and traveller in Africa, was born in Bristol, probably on 20 June 1791, though birth dates of 1790, 1792, and 1793 have also been suggested. His father, Thomas Bowdich, was a hat manufacturer and merchant there, and his mother was one of the ...

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James Silk Buckingham (1786–1855) by Henry William Pickersgill, exh. RA 1825 [with his wife, Elizabeth Jennings] The Royal Geographical Society, London

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G. F. R. Barker

revised by Felix Driver

Buckingham, James Silk (1786–1855), author and traveller, was the youngest child of Christopher and Thomazine Buckingham, born at Flushing, near Falmouth, on 25 August 1786. He was drawn to a seafaring life from an early age, having only a limited education at various local schools. While on his third voyage, in 1797, he was taken prisoner by the French and was confined for several months at ...

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Fermor, Sir Patrick Michael [Paddy] Leigh (1915–2011), special operations officer and author, was born on 11 February 1915 at 20 Endsleigh Gardens, Bloomsbury, London, the younger child and only son of Sir Lewis Leigh Fermor (1880–1954), geologist, and his first wife, Muriel Aileen (otherwise Eileen or Æileen), ...

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Sir Patrick Michael Leigh Fermor (1915–2011) by Joan Leigh Fermor, 1946 © Patrick Fermor Archive, Trustees of the National Library of Scotland

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(Robert) Peter Fleming (1907–1971) by Howard Coster, 1935 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Fleming, (Robert) Peter (1907–1971), writer and traveller, was born on 31 May 1907 at 27 Green Street, Park Lane, London, the eldest of the four sons of Valentine Fleming (1882–1917), later Conservative member of parliament for South Oxfordshire, and his wife, Evelyn Beatrice Ste Croix (1885–1964)...

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Forbes, James (1749–1819), author and traveller, was born on 8 May 1749, the eldest of five children of Timothy Forbes, merchant, of Coleman Street in the City of London. After a three-year course in 'common figures and merchants' accounts', at Hadley, Middlesex...

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Stephen Graham (1884–1975) by Lafayette, 1926 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Graham, Stephen (1884–1975), travel writer and novelist, was born at 15 Crichton Place, Edinburgh, on 16 March 1884, the son of Peter Anderson Graham (known as P. Anderson Graham; 1853–1925), journalist and author, and his wife, Jane, née Macleod. His father served as editor of ...

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Laing, Samuel (1780–1868), author and traveller, son of Robert Laing (d. 1805), a merchant and provost of Kirkwall in 1788–92, of an old Orkney family and younger brother of Malcolm Laing, was born at Kirkwall, Orkney, on 4 October 1780. He was educated at ...

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Lindsay, Michael Francis Morris, second Baron Lindsay of Birker (1909–1994), writer on China, was born at 40 Mecklenburg Square, St Pancras, London, on 24 February 1909, the elder son and first of the three children of Alexander Dunlop Lindsay, first Baron Lindsay of Birker...

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Nugent, Thomas (c. 1700–1772), writer and traveller, was born in Ireland, and apparently graduated from Trinity College, Dublin, but spent most of his life in London. Comments in his works show him to have been a protestant, and an ardent supporter of the Hanoverian constitutional settlement. In 1765 he received from the ...

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Roberts, Morley Charles (1857–1942), writer and traveller, was born on 29 December 1857 at 5 Queen's Road, Paddington, London, the eldest son of William Henry Roberts (c.1831–1908), superintending inspector of income tax, and Catherine, née Pullen (b. 1830/31). After attending the ...

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George Sandys (1578–1644) by Cornelius Johnson, 1632 private collection; © reserved in the photograph

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Sandys, George (1578–1644), writer and traveller, was the ninth child and youngest son of Edwin Sandys (1519?–1588), archbishop of York, and his second wife, Cicely (1536–1611), daughter of Sir Thomas Wilford, and was born at the episcopal palace at Bishopthorpe on 2 March 1578. One of his godfathers was ...

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St John, James Augustus [formerly James John; pseuds. Greville Brooke, Horace Gwynne] (1795–1875), writer and traveller, was born James John, on 24 September 1795 in Laugharne, Carmarthenshire, the only son of Gelly John (1749–1802), shoemaker, and his wife, Rachel William (1763–1828)...