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Barton, Richard (1706–1759), topographer and religious writer, was born in Painstown, co. Meath, Ireland, the third son of the Revd John Barton (fl. 1675–1735), dean of Ardagh, and Elinor Jenney, daughter of the Revd Henry Jenney, archdeacon of Dromore diocese, and granddaughter of ...

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Blomefield, Francis (1705–1752), topographical historian and Church of England clergyman, was born on 23 July 1705 at Fersfield, Norfolk, the eldest son of Henry Blomefield (1680–1732) and his wife, Alice Batch (d. 1730), daughter of Henry Batch of Lynn. He came from a family of yeomen farmers and was the first member to receive a university education. He began attending classes run by the rector of ...

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Candler [Gillet], Matthias (1605–1663), topographer and Church of England clergyman, son of William Gillet or Candler (c.1580–1612), schoolmaster, of Yoxford, Suffolk, and his wife, Hannah (c.1585–1649), daughter of William Fiske and Anna Anstye of South Elmham St James, was born on 24 February 1605 at ...

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Canning, Richard (1708–1775), religious controversialist and topographer, was born in Plymouth on 30 September 1708, the son of Richard Canning (d. 1726) and his wife, Margaret (d. 1734). His father retired from the navy after twenty years' service as a courageous naval commander and in 1712 took the family to ...

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Canterbury, Gervase of (b. c. 1145, d. in or after 1210), Benedictine monk, chronicler, and topographer, was a member of the cathedral priory of Christ Church, Canterbury, where he was professed by Archbishop Thomas Becket early in 1163. Becket also ordained him, but not necessarily on the same occasion, and on balance it is likely that ...

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Gordon Goodwin

revised by Elizabeth Baigent

Hall, Peter (1803–1849), Church of England clergyman and topographer, was born on 31 December 1803, the third son of James Hall of St George's, Bloomsbury, London. At the age of thirteen he was sent to Winchester College, where he was educated on the foundation, and thence proceeded to ...

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Hill, John Harwood (1809–1886), Church of England clergyman and topographer, son of Robert Hill of Lincoln and Leamington, and his wife, Mary, was born at Louth, Lincolnshire, and baptized there on 3 October 1809. Robert Gardiner Hill (1811–1878) was a younger brother. On 30 June 1830 he was admitted a pensioner of ...

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Lily, George (d. 1559), Roman Catholic ecclesiastic and cosmographer, was born in London, the eldest son of William Lily (1468?–1522/3) and his wife, Agnes. Probably privately educated by his father, a scholar and teacher, Lily may have become a commoner of Magdalen College, Oxford...

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Mackay, Alexander (1815–1895), geographical writer and Free Church of Scotland minister, born in Thurso on 15 November 1815, was the youngest of the eight children of Murdoch Mackay, farmer, of Latheron, Caithness. On his father's second marriage young Mackay went to Aberdeen, where he studied at ...

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Playfair, James (1738–1819), Church of Scotland minister and writer on geography, was born on 19 December 1738, the second son of George Playfair, a farmer of West Bendochy, Perthshire, and his wife, Jean Roger, both of whom were Scottish. After studying theology at the ...

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Purchas, Samuel (bap. 1577, d. 1626), geographical editor and compiler and Church of England clergyman, was baptized on 20 November 1577 at Thaxted, Essex, the sixth of the ten children of George Purcas (c.1549–1625), who was in the cloth trade, and his wife, ...

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Samuel Purchas (bap. 1577, d. 1626) by unknown engraver, pubd 1624 ? Copyright The British Museum

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Rawlinson, Richard (1690–1755), topographer and bishop of the nonjuring Church of England, was born on 3 January 1690 at his father's house in the Old Bailey, St Sepulchre's, London, eighth of the fifteen children of Sir Thomas Rawlinson (bap. 1647, d. 1708), vintner and lord mayor of ...

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Richard Rawlinson (1690–1755) by William Smith (after George Vertue) ? National Portrait Gallery, London

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Smith, Sir George Adam (1856–1942), Old Testament scholar and geographer, was born on 19 October 1856, the eldest son of Dr George Smith and Janet Colquhoun, daughter of Robert Adam of Sweethillocks, Moray, and great-niece of Alexander Adam. Smith was born in Calcutta...

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Sir George Adam Smith (1856–1942) by unknown photographer, 1925 photograph reproduced by courtesy of The British Academy

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Williams, George (1814–1878), Church of England clergyman and topographer, born at Eton on 4 April 1814, was the son of Edward Williams, a bookseller and publisher in Eton, and his wife, Sarah Turner. He was educated on the foundation at Eton College, being in the first form of the lower school in the election for 1820, and was admitted scholar on 15 September 1829. In 1832 he received the money collected at the traditional ...

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Younghusband, Sir Francis Edward (1863–1942), explorer, geographer, and mystic, was born on 31 May 1863 at Murree, India, the fourth of the five children of Major (later Major-General) John William Younghusband and his wife, Clara Jane, daughter of Robert Grant Shaw; he had two brothers and two sisters. He was educated at ...

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Sir Francis Edward Younghusband (1863–1942) by Sir William Quiller Orchardson, 1906 ? National Portrait Gallery, London