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Adair, John (1660–1718), geographer and cartographer, was born on 2 September 1660 in Leith, Scotland. Nothing is known of his parents or his early education. The first firm reference to Adair dates from May 1681, when he was granted a licence by the ...

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See Bartholomew family

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Charles Tilstone Beke (1800–1874) by Maull & Fox ? National Portrait Gallery, London

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Beke, Charles Tilstone (1800–1874), traveller and geographer, was born on 10 October 1800 at Stepney, London, the son of James Beke. The family had ancestral connections to Bekesbourne in Kent, where Beke lived in later life. He was educated at a private school in ...

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J. De Graaff-Hunter

revised by Yolande Hodson

Close, Sir Charles Frederick Arden- (1865–1952), surveyor and geographer, was born on 10 August 1865 at St Saviour's, Jersey, the eldest of the eleven children of Captain (later Major-General) Frederick Close (1830–1899) and his second wife, Lydia Ann Stevens. He was educated at a dame-school in ...

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Sir Charles Frederick Arden- Close (1865–1952) by Walter Stoneman, 1939 ? National Portrait Gallery, London

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J. A. Steers

revised by Elizabeth Baigent

Debenham, Frank (1883–1965), geographer and polar scientist, was born at Bowral, New South Wales, on 26 December 1883, the second son of the Revd John Willmott Debenham, vicar of Bowral and schoolmaster, and his wife, Edith Cleveland. He attended the school run by his father and, after his death in 1898, by his mother, and from there went to the ...

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Frank Debenham (1883–1965) by Herbert George Ponting, 1911 ? Popperfoto

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Earl, George Samuel Windsor (1813–1865), colonist and geographer, the son of a veteran sea captain and shipowner, Percy Earl (1771–1827), and his second wife, Elizabeth, née Sharp (1778/9–1874), was born at Hampstead, Middlesex, on 10 February 1813. His brief formal education was at the ...

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R. N. Rudmose Brown

revised by Robin A. Butlin

Freshfield, Douglas William (1845–1934), geographer and mountain explorer, was born at Hampstead, Middlesex, on 27 April 1845, the only son of Henry Ray Freshfield (1814–1895) [see under Freshfield family], solicitor to the Bank of England, and his wife, Jane Quentin, the daughter of ...

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Douglas William Freshfield (1845–1934) by unknown photographer [detail] The Royal Geographical Society, London

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Harley, (John) Brian (1932–1991), geographer and map historian, was born on 24 July 1932 in Ashley, Bristol, and spent some of his infant years in Oxford. On 15 March 1935 he was adopted by John Jack Harley (b. 1883), farmer, and his wife, ...

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Holdich, Sir Thomas Hungerford (1843–1929), surveyor and geographer, was born at the rectory, Dingley, Northamptonshire, on 13 February 1843, the eldest son of Thomas Peach Holdich, rector of that parish, and Susan, daughter of William Atherton Garrard of Carisbrooke, Isle of Wight, and ...

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(Alexander) Keith Johnston the elder (1804–1871) by Maull & Polyblank The Royal Geographical Society, London

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Johnston, (Alexander) Keith, the elder (1804–1871), geographer and cartographer, was the fourth son of Andrew Johnston and his wife, Isabel, daughter of Archibald Keith of Newbattle. He was born on 28 December 1804 at Kirkhill, Midlothian, and was educated at the High School...

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Moll, Herman (1654?–1732), geographer and cartographer, was born in the Hanseatic city-state of Bremen and went to London about 1675, possibly as a refugee from the turmoil of the Scanian Wars of 1674 to 1679. Nothing is known of his parents but his German origins seem certain. The antiquary ...

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Palliser, John (1817–1887), geographer and explorer, was born on 29 January 1817, the eldest of five sons born to Wray Palliser (d. 1862) of Comragh, co. Waterford, sometime lieutenant-colonel of the Waterford militia, and Anne, daughter of John Gledstanes of Annesfift, co. Tipperary...

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August Heinrich Petermann (1822–1878) by unknown photographer ? National Portrait Gallery, London

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Petermann, August Heinrich (1822–1878), geographer and cartographer, was born in April 1822 (probably on the 1st) in Bleicherode am Eichsfelde, Prussia, the second of six children born to Katherine Henrietta and August Rudolf Petermann. He attended elementary school in Bleicherode and, from 1836 to 1839, the ...

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Ravenhill, William Lionel Desmond (1919–1995), geographer and historian of cartography, was born on 30 December 1919 in Carmarthen, the son of George Ravenhill (c.1880–1967), a master plumber, and his wife, Elizabeth (1893–1993). He had a brother and a sister. Ravenhill won a scholarship to ...