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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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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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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