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Basire, Isaac, de Preaumont (bap. 1608, d. 1676), Church of England clergyman and traveller, the son of Jean Basire, advocate and minor noble, and his wife, Judith le Macherier (d. 1626), was baptized at the Huguenot church in Rouen, France, in 1608. Little is known of his early years, but he was a student at the ...

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Thomas Blood (1617/1818–1680) by unknown artist The Pepys Library, Magdalene College, Cambridge

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Blood, Thomas (1617/18–1680), adventurer and spy, was born at Sarney, co. Meath. His early life is obscure, but it was later claimed that his father (who was possibly Neptune Blood) was a blacksmith and ironworker, 'serious, honest and of no inferior credit...

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Chardin, Sir John [Jean] (1643–1712), traveller and merchant, was born in Paris on 16 November 1643 and baptized on 24 November at the protestant temple at Charenton, near Paris, the eldest son of Daniel Chardin, a merchant-jeweller in the place Dauphiné in Paris...

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Cooper, Thomas Thornville (1839–1878), traveller and promoter of trade, the eighth son of John Ibbetson Cooper, coal fitter and shipowner, and his wife, Elizabeth, née Douglas, was born on 13 September 1839, at Bishopwearmouth, co. Durham. He was educated at the Grange School, Bishopwearmouth...

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Davies, William (fl. 1598–1614), traveller, was born in Hereford, and states himself to have been a barber–surgeon, although no trace can be found of him in the register of admissions to the freedom of that company. He states that he was a gentleman by birth and had served in many naval and military operations. His family may have had Cornish connections since he sailed from there and his brother settled there. On 28 January 1598 he sailed in a trading ship (the ...

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Drummond, Alexander (d. 1769), traveller, was the son of John Drummond (d. 1709) of Newton, merchant burgess of Edinburgh, and Mary Menzies. His elder brother was George Drummond. The George Drummond of Newton said in the Dictionary of National Biography to be his father was in fact a kinsman for whom his father worked. Little is known of ...

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Elliot, Hugh (1752–1830), diplomat and adventurer, was born on 6 April 1752, the second son of Sir Gilbert Elliot, third baronet (1722–1777), MP, and Agnes Dalrymple-Murray-Kynynmound (d. 1778). Born into a family of staunch but minor government supporters, he was one of a number of Scotsmen who carved out a career in second- and third-level posts in the British diplomatic service. On several occasions his bold personality and sharp tongue carried him further than discretion would have advised, though these episodes also provided the highlights of a career lacking in substantial achievements. Unusually tall and thin, ...

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James Cooper

revised by Elizabeth Baigent

Forsyth, Joseph (1763–1815), writer on Italy, born at Elgin, Scotland, on 18 February 1763, was the son of Alexander Forsyth, merchant in Elgin and a friend of Isaac Watts, and his second wife, Ann Harrold, daughter of a farmer who fought for Prince Charles...

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G. S. Boulger

revised by Elizabeth Baigent

Fortune, Robert (1812–1880), traveller and botanist, was born at Kelloe in the parish of Edrom, Berwickshire, on 16 September 1812, the son of Thomas Fortune, hedger, and his wife, Agnes, née Ridpath. After education in the parish school and apprenticeship in local gardens, he entered the ...

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Hamond, Walter (d. 1648), surgeon and writer on Madagascar, whose origins are unknown, was apprenticed to Arthur Doughton in the Barber–Surgeons' Company of London, and made free in 1616. His translation of Ambroise Paré's treatise of 1551 as Method of Treating Wounds Made by Arquebuses and other Firearms...

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Hentzner, Paul (1558–1623), writer and traveller, was born on 29 January 1558 in Krossen, Silesia, now part of southern Poland. His personal life is obscure, but he is said to have trained as a lawyer, and this is in keeping with the title page of his ...

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J. K. Laughton

revised by Elizabeth Baigent

Ives, Edward (1719–1786), naval surgeon and traveller, was born in Lymington, Hampshire, on 9 February 1719; of his early life little is known save that he had at least one sister, Gatty. He served in the navy as surgeon of the Dragon initially in the ...

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J. K. Laughton

revised by Andrew Lambert

Jones, George Matthew (c. 1785–1831), naval officer and traveller, was the son of John Jones, general superintendent of Landguard Fort, Felixstowe, and his wife, Mary, née Roberts; General Sir John Thomas Jones, first baronet, and Lieutenant-General Sir Harry David Jones were his brothers. On 28 April 1802 he was promoted lieutenant in the ...

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Lambert, John (b. c. 1775, d. in or after 1811), traveller and painter in Canada, was born in England. In 1806 he went to Lower Canada with his uncle James Campbell, who had been sent by the privy council committee for trade to promote the cultivation of hemp in the colony after established supplies from ...

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Lithgow, William (b. 1582, d. in or after 1645), traveller, was born at Lanark, the eldest of three known children of James Lithgow (d. 1623), a wealthy burgess, and Alison Graham (d. 1603), possibly a relation of the earls of Montrose...

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John MacGregor [Rob Roy] (1825–1892) by Elliott & Fry © National Portrait Gallery, London

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MacGregor, John [called Rob Roy] (1825–1892), philanthropist and traveller, born on 24 January 1825 at Gravesend, Kent, was the eldest son of General Sir Duncan MacGregor KCB (1787–1881), inspector-general of police in Ireland. His mother was Elizabeth (d. 9 March 1858)...

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J. K. Laughton

revised by Andrew Lambert

Mangles, James (1786–1867), naval officer and traveller, was born in Wapping, Middlesex, the son of John Mangles (1759–1837), a ship chandler who invested in the West India Dock Company, and his wife, Harriet Camden. His uncle, James Mangles (1762–1838), was MP for ...

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Norden, Frederik Ludvig (1708–1742), traveller and artist, was born on 22 October 1708 at Glückstadt, Holstein, the fourth of five sons of Jørgen Norden, a Danish lieutenant-colonel of infantry (d. 1728) and his wife, Cathrine Henrichsen (d. in or after 1728)...