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Buckland [née Morland], Mary (1797–1857), geological artist and curator, was born on 20 November 1797 in St Helen's parish, Abingdon, Berkshire, the eldest daughter of Benjamin Morland (1768–1833), solicitor (and a member of the West Ilsley brewing family), and his wife, Harriet Baster (1777–1799)...

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Clift, William (1775–1849), museum curator and scientific illustrator, was born at Burcombe, near Bodmin, Cornwall, on 14 February 1775, and was baptized (as William Cleft) in the Bodmin parish church on 12 April that year. He was the youngest of the seven children (...

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Ferryman, Robert (1752–1837), naturalist and museum keeper, was born at Barrow-on-Soar, Leicestershire, the son of John Ferryman (c.1720–1784), gentleman and probably farmer, and his wife, Elizabeth, née Beaumont (c.1727–1797), and was baptized there on 2 January 1753. Robert took an early interest in natural history and had started to collect animals by 1769. He was ordained deacon in ...

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Edward Whitaker Gray (1748–1806) by Sir Augustus Wall Callcott [detail] © Royal Society

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Gray, Edward Whitaker (1748–1806), physician and museum curator, was born on 21 March 1748, probably in London, the second son of Samuel Gray (bap. 1693?, d. 1766), seedsman, and his wife, Juliana, née Kelly (d. 1774). An older brother, Samuel Gray (1739–1771)...

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John Edward Gray (1800–1875) by Maull & Polyblank, 1855 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Gray, John Edward (1800–1875), zoologist and museum curator, was born at Walsall, Staffordshire, on 12 February 1800, the second son of Samuel Frederick Gray (1766–1828), naturalist and pharmacologist, and his wife, Elizabeth Forfeit (1777–1852), the daughter of a picture dealer in Covent Garden...

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Günther [Gunther], Albert Charles Lewis Gotthilf [formerly Albert Karl Ludwig Gotthilf] (1830–1914), ichthyologist and museum administrator, was born at Esslingen in the state of Württemberg, south Germany, on 3 October 1830, the elder son of Friedrich Gotthilf Günther (1800–1835), Stiftungs-kommissar of estates in ...

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Merrifield [née Watkins], Mary Philadelphia (1804–1889), writer on art and algologist, was born on 15 April 1804 in Brompton, London, the daughter of a conveyancing barrister, Sir Charles Watkins. In 1827 she married John Merrifield of Tavistock (1788/9–1877), who was called to the ...

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Walter Potter (1835–1918) by unknown photographer courtesy of the British Historical Taxidermy Society

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Potter, Walter (1835–1918), taxidermist, was born at Bramber, Sussex, on 2 July 1835 (and was baptized at Bramber on 13 September), the sixth son of James Potter (d. 1867), labourer, and his wife, Sarah (1802/3–1838). His mother died when he was young, and his father, by then employed as a publican, was remarried in 1840, to ...

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Robinson, John Ebdon [known as John Ebdon] (1923–2005), planetarium director and broadcaster, was born on 22 December 1923 at Durham House, 102 Crouch Hill, London, the son of William Ewart Robinson, export and import merchant, of 109 rue du Relais, Ixelles, Brussels...

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Sheppard, Thomas (1876–1945), museum director and writer on geology, was born on 2 October 1876 in South Ferriby, Lincolnshire, but spent his entire life in east Yorkshire. He was the eldest of a family of ten born to Harvey Sheppard (1848–1912) of Wiltshire...

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Taylor, Harold McCarter (1907–1995), physicist and architectural historian, was born on 13 May 1907 in Dunedin, New Zealand, the younger son of James Taylor (1873–1958), merchant, and his wife, Louisa Urquhart, née McCarter (1875–1932), daughter of George Alfred McCarter and his wife, Matilda Mary, ...

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Taylor, John Ellor (1837–1895), curator and popularizer of science, was born on 21 September 1837 at Levenshulme, near Manchester, the eldest son of William Taylor (d. 1864), a Lancashire cotton-factory foreman, and his wife, Maria Ellor (b. c.1806, d. after 1895)...

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Willis, Robert (1800–1875), engineer and architectural historian, was born on 27 February 1800 in London; his father, Robert Darling Willis (1760–1821), physician, was the fifth and youngest son of Francis Willis (1718–1807), physician—both father and son attended George III during the monarch's madness. ...

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George Wilson (1818–1859) by Thomas Rodger © National Portrait Gallery, London

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P. J. Hartog

revised by R. G. W. Anderson

Wilson, George (1818–1859), chemist and museum director, the son of Archibald Wilson (1784–1843), a wine merchant from Argyll, and his wife, Janet Aitken, was born at Edinburgh on 21 February 1818 with a twin brother, John, who died in 1836. His elder brother, ...