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Bartram, John (1699–1777), botanist and explorer in America, was born on 23 May 1699 on a farm at Marple, Pennsylvania, near Darby, the elder of two sons of William Bartram (d. 1711), farmer, and his first wife, Elizabeth (d. 1701), daughter of ...

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Bidwill, John Carne (1815–1853), botanist and traveller, was born on 5 February 1815 at Exeter, the son of Joseph Green Bidwill and his wife, Charlotte, née Carne. At the age of seventeen he travelled to Canada, and then in 1838 to New South Wales...

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Cunningham, Allan (1791–1839), botanist and explorer, was born on 13 July 1791, at Wimbledon, Surrey, first of two sons of Allan Cunningham (d. 1828), head gardener at Wimbledon House, and Sarah Juson, née Dicken, who died when he was a child. His younger brother was ...

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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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Leichhardt, (Friedrich Wilhelm) Ludwig (1813–1848?), natural scientist and explorer in Australia, was born on 23 October 1813 at Trebatsch, near Beeskow, then in Saxony but after 1845 in the mark of Brandenburg, Prussia, the fourth son and sixth of the eight children of ...

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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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Robert Lyall (1789–1831) by Maxim Gauci ? National Portrait Gallery, London

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Lyall, Robert (1789–1831), botanist and traveller, was born in Abbey parish, Paisley, on 26 November 1789, the son of William and Janet (née Tassie or Tassin) Lyall. Probably educated at Paisley grammar school, he served an apprenticeship before matriculating in medicine at ...

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Mitchell, John (1711–1768), botanist and cartographer, was born in White Chapel parish, Lancaster county, Virginia, on 13 April 1711, the son of Robert Mitchell (1684–1748), tobacco farmer and shopkeeper, and Mary, née Chilton (d. c.1711), widow of John Sharpe. His mother died when he was an infant and he was brought up with numerous half-siblings after his father's remarriage. He was educated at ...

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Polunin, Oleg Vladimirovitch (1914–1985), botanist and traveller, was born on 28 November 1914 at Reading, the second of three sons (there was also a daughter) of Russian-born Vladimir Jacolievitch Polunin (1880–1957), a lecturer at the Slade School of Art, and his wife, Elizabeth Violet Hart (1880–1950)...

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G. S. Boulger

revised by Andrew Grout

Seemann, Berthold Carl (1825–1871), botanist and traveller, was born on 28 February 1825 at Hanover, the son of a clarinettist at the Court Theatre, and his wife, Caroline. From October 1835 until September 1838 he was educated at the Lyceum at Hanover, then under ...

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Berthold Carl Seemann (1825–1871) by Maull & Polyblank, 1855 ? National Portrait Gallery, London

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G. S. Boulger

revised by Ian Francis Locke

Spruce, Richard (1817–1893), botanist and traveller, was born on 10 September 1817 at Ganthorpe in Yorkshire, where his father was village schoolmaster. His mother was related to the painter William Etty (1787–1849). Spruce began his education at his father's school; little is known of his later studies. Between 1839 and 1844 he was a schoolmaster, teaching mathematics at ...

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Traill [née Strickland], Catharine Parr (1802–1899), author, botanist, and settler in Canada, the fifth of the eight surviving children of Thomas Strickland (1758–1818) and his wife, Elizabeth Homer (1772–1864), was born at Rotherhithe, London, on 9 January 1802. She was named after ...