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Adams, William Grylls (1836–1915), scientist and university teacher, was born on 10 February 1836 at Lidcot, Laneast, Cornwall, the youngest son of the four sons and three daughters of Thomas Adams (1788–1859), small estate owner and farmer, and his wife, Tabitha Knill Grylls (1796–1866)...

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Adrain, Robert (1775–1843), mathematician and university teacher, was born on 30 September 1775 in Carrickfergus, Ireland, the eldest of five children. His father, a teacher and maker of mathematical instruments, had emigrated from France, and his mother was of Scottish descent. Both of ...

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Ainsworth, William Francis (1807–1896), geographer and geologist, was born on 9 November 1807, in Exeter, the third son of John Ainsworth of Rostherne, Cheshire, army officer. At the suggestion of his cousin, the novelist William Harrison Ainsworth, he adopted the additional forename Francis...

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Alfonsi, Petrus (fl. 1106–1126), scholar and translator of scientific works, was born in northern Spain, to Jewish parents. He was baptized a Christian on 29 June 1106 in Huesca, Aragon, with the names of the apostle on whose feast day the baptism took place and of his godfather, ...

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Allen, Thomas (1540?–1632), mathematician and antiquary, was probably born on 21 December 1540 (though some sources suggest 1542) at Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, the son of William Allen. His family were local gentry who are known to have had Roman Catholic connections. Two of his four uncles also lived at ...

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Anderson, John (1833–1900), zoologist and ethnologist, was born on 4 October 1833 in Edinburgh, the second son of Thomas Anderson, secretary of the National Bank of Scotland, and his wife, Jane Cleghorn. His elder brother Thomas Anderson (1832–1870) was superintendent of the Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta...

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Anning, Mary (1799–1847), fossil collector and dealer, was born on 21 May 1799 in a seaside house in Lyme Regis, Dorset. She and her brother Joseph (1796–1849) were the only surviving children of Richard Anning (c.1766–1810), cabinet-maker and carpenter, and his wife, ...

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Mary Anning (1799–1847) by unknown artist, before 1842 ? The Natural History Museum, London

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C. L. Falkiner

revised by P. E. Kell

Archer, William (1830–1897), naturalist and librarian, was born on 6 May 1830 at Maghera, co. Down, the eldest son of the Revd Richard Archer, perpetual curate at Maghera and a member of a family long settled in co. Wexford, and Jane Matilda, daughter of ...

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Argyle, Jesse William (1859–1924), social investigator and statistician, was born at 7 Argyle Road, Mile End, London, on 4 September 1859, the elder of two sons of Jesse Smith Argyle (1834/5–1866), a grocer's travelling salesman, and his wife, Martha Annie, née Mattocks. After their father's death ...

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Armstrong, Henry Edward (1848–1937), chemist and educational reformer, was born on 6 May 1848 at Caroline Place, Avenue Road, Lewisham, Kent, the eldest son of Richard Armstrong (1827–1884), a commission agent and importer, and his wife, Mary Ann Biddle. He was educated at ...

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Henry Edward Armstrong (1848–1937) by Thomas Cantrell Dugdale, 1927 ? reserved; photograph Royal Institution, London / Bridgeman Art Library

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Arnott, Struther (1934–2013), molecular biologist and university principal, was born at 39 Burnhead Road, Larkhall, Lanarkshire, on 25 September 1934, the son of Charles McCann, a farmer, and Christina Struthers Arnott (1900–1965), an honours graduate in chemistry and mathematics who later became a schoolteacher. He was educated at ...

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Artis, Edmund Tyrell (bap. 1789, d. 1847), geologist and archaeologist, was baptized on 11 September 1789 in Saxmundham, Suffolk, the eldest in the family of three sons and three daughters of James Artis, carpenter, and his wife, Mary Tyrell Watling. Little is known of his childhood, though it is said he developed a talent for drawing at an early age. At sixteen he went to work for his uncle, a ...

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Eric Ashby, Baron Ashby (1904–1992) by Ruskin Spear, 1960 in the collection of Queen's University Belfast

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Ashby, Eric, Baron Ashby (1904–1992), botanist and university administrator, was born on 24 August 1904 at 12 Fairlop Road, north Leyton, London, the eldest of three sons of Herbert Charles Ashby, commercial clerk (and later accountant), and his wife, Hel?na Maria, née Chater...

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Austin, John (b. 1752, d. before 1838), music stenographer and inventor of a power-loom, was born at Craigton, near Glasgow, on 17 April 1752, the son of the gardener to John Baird, esquire. Nothing is known of Austin's early life or education. On 30 May 1777 he married ...

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Aylesbury, Sir Thomas, baronet (1579/80–1658), patron of mathematics, was born probably in early 1580, possibly in London, where some of his siblings were later baptized at St Andrew's, Holborn. He was the second son among at least eight children of William Aylesbury (...

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Babington, (Charles) Cardale (1808–1895), botanist and archaeologist, was born on 23 November 1808, at Ludlow, Shropshire, the son of Joseph Babington (1768–1826), at that time a physician, and Catherine, daughter of John Whitter of Bradninch, Devon. The historian Lord Macaulay was his first cousin. His father having taken holy orders, ...

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H. T. Wood

revised by M. C. Curthoys

Bachhoffner, George Henry (1810–1879), scientific lecturer, was born in London on 13 April 1810, the son of Andrew John Bachhoffner and his wife, Shepherdess Jane. He studied at the University of Giessen where he graduated MA and PhD. On 22 July 1834, in ...