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Burnes, Sir Alexander (1805–1841), political officer in India and explorer, fourth of the five sons of James Burnes (1780–1852), provost of Montrose, and his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Adam Glegg, chief magistrate of Montrose, was born on 16 May 1805 in Montrose. James Burnes (1801–1862)...

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Sir Richard Francis Burton (1821–1890) by Frederic Leighton, Baron Leighton, c. 1872–5 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Burton, Sir Richard Francis (1821–1890), explorer and author, was the son of Colonel Joseph Netterville Burton and Martha Beckwith, daughter and coheir of Richard Baker of Barham House, Hertfordshire. The eldest of three children, he was born on 19 March 1821 at Torquay...

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Cheesman, Robert Ernest (1878–1962), explorer and naturalist, was born at Westwell, Kent, on 18 October 1878, the eldest son and second of five children of Robert Cheesman, farmer, and his wife, Florence Maud Tassell. His younger sister, (Lucy) Evelyn Cheesman (1881–1969), became a well-known entomologist, traveller, writer, and broadcaster. ...

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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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Conder, Claude Reignier (1848–1910), army officer and explorer of Palestine, born at Cheltenham on 29 December 1848, was the son of Francis Roubiliac Conder (1815–1889), a civil engineer, and his wife, Anne Matilda Colt (1823–1890). Josiah Conder, his grandfather, married a granddaughter of the sculptor ...

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Drake, Charles Frederick Tyrwhitt (1846–1874), naturalist and explorer in the Middle East, the youngest child of Colonel William Montague Tyrwhitt Drake (1785–1848) and Emma Halsey (1806–1897), was born at Amersham, Buckinghamshire, on 2 January 1846. He had two sisters and two brothers, a third brother having died before his birth. He was educated at ...

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Vaughan Cornish

revised by Elizabeth Baigent

Floyer, Ernest Ayscoghe (1852–1903), explorer, born on 4 July 1852 at Marshchapel, Lincolnshire, was the eldest surviving son of Ayscoghe Floyer (1821/2—1872), vicar of Marshchapel, and his wife, Louisa Sara, née Shore [see below]. He was educated at Charterhouse from 1865 until 1869, and then served for seven years in the ...

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R. H. Vetch

revised by Elizabeth Baigent

Gill, William John (1843–1882), explorer and army officer, was born in Bangalore, India, on 10 September 1843, the eldest son of the three sons of Major Robert Gill (1805–1879) of the Madras native infantry, and his wife, Frances Flowerdew (Fanny) Rickerby (1817–1887). His father was commissioned by the ...

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H. M. Chichester

revised by Elizabeth Baigent

Lynch, Henry Blosse (1807–1873), explorer in Mesopotamia, born on 24 November 1807, was one of the eleven sons of Major Henry Blosse Lynch (1778–1823) of Partry House, Ballinrobe, co. Mayo, and Elizabeth (d. 1845), daughter of Robert Finnis of Hythe, Kent. Among his brothers were ...

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Lynch, Thomas Kerr (1818–1891), explorer in Mesopotamia, was the son of Major Henry Blosse Lynch (1778–1823) of Partry House, Ballinrobe, co. Mayo, and his wife, Elizabeth, née Finnis (d. 1845), of Hythe, Kent. He was the younger brother of Henry Blosse Lynch...

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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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Sadleir, George Forster (1789–1859), army officer and explorer in Arabia, was born on 19 January 1789 in Cork, the younger son of James Sadleir, a cotton manufacturer, and his wife, Joanna, daughter of George Forster of Cork. In April 1805 he was commissioned ensign in the ...

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Shakespear, William Henry Irvine (1878–1915), diplomat and explorer, was born at Multan, in what is now Pakistan, on 29 October 1878, the eldest son of William Henry Sullivan Shakespear, of the Indian forestry service, and his wife, Anne Caroline, née Davidson. A natural athlete throughout his school career, he was educated at ...

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Thomas, Bertram Sidney (1892–1950), explorer and Arabist, was born on 13 June 1892 at Avon Villa, Springfield Road, Pill, near Bristol, the son of William Henry Thomas, master mariner, and his wife, Eliza Ann, née Thomas. His education at the local village school was supplemented by private tuition; at the age of sixteen he was accepted for employment in the ...