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History
People in History
1700s

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People in History: 1700s

British naturalist: sailed with Captain Cook on his first voyage, advised George III in the development of Kew Gardens; had a genus of flowering plants named after him Click to show or hide the answer
Published four volumes of commentaries, 1765–9, a comprehensive description of the doctrines and principles of English law Click to show or hide the answer
First rose to prominence as Sailing Master on Captain Cook's third and last voyage (1776–80) Click to show or hide the answer
American frontiersman, 1734–1820: in 1775 he blazed a trail through the Cumberland Gap in the Appalachian Mountains, from North Carolina and Tennessee into Kentucky, which paved the way for the first westward migration of settlers and would become known as the Wilderness Road; fought as a militia officer in the War of Independence Click to show or hide the answer
Landscape designer, greatly influential in the UK in the 18th Century Click to show or hide the answer
British admiral, executed 1757 for neglect of duty (prompting Voltaire's satirical remark about the English shooting an admiral every now and then "to encourage the others") Click to show or hide the answer
Italian adventurer, spy, violinist, librarian: a spy in the Venetian police service (1774–82); librarian to Count Waldstein at his castle of Duchov (Dux), Bohemia (from 1785), where he died in 1798; his memoirs were published 1826–38 Click to show or hide the answer
Founder of British India (mid–18th century) Click to show or hide the answer
Succeeded Warren Hastings as Governor–General of India (1786) Click to show or hide the answer
Developed the process of smelting iron with coke, rather than charcoal, at Coalbrookdale (he didn't set up the works, but he worked there as ironmaster) Click to show or hide the answer
Built the world's first iron bridge, 1791 Click to show or hide the answer
English physician and philosopher, 1732–1802: outlined an evolutionist theory that anticipated both Jean–Baptiste Lamarck and his grandson Charles (but tended to Lamarck's interpretation); his third son Robert married Susannah, the daughter of Josiah Wedgwood, and they were Charles's parents Click to show or hide the answer
Famous London courtesan of the 1760s – immortalised in a nursery rhyme Click to show or hide the answer
Statesman and orator, 1749–1806; became an MP aged 19; Britain's first Foreign Secretary; campaigned against slavery, supported the American and French revolutions Click to show or hide the answer
First US Postmaster General (1775–6) Click to show or hide the answer
British ambassador to Naples, 1764–1800 (his wife Emma was Nelson's mistress – a relationship he tolerated, being much older than she) Click to show or hide the answer
First signatory of the American Declaration of Independence Click to show or hide the answer
English clock maker, subject of the biography Longitude (1996); produced the first marine chronometers (from 1730), now housed at Greenwich Royal Observatory Click to show or hide the answer
First Governor of the Presidency of Fort William (Bengal), the head of the Supreme Council of Bengal, and thereby the first de facto Governor–General of India (1774–85); impeached for corruption in 1788, but acquitted in 1795 Click to show or hide the answer
Prison reformer (1726–90), name taken by a present–day charity (the Howard League for Penal Reform) Click to show or hide the answer
Third President of the USA (1789–93) and chief author of the Declaration of Independence Click to show or hide the answer
Captain of the brig Rebecca, whose ear was severed by the Spanish "guarda–costa" Julio Leon Fandino, who boarded the brig as it returned from Jamaica in 1731 Click for more information Click to show or hide the answer
Captain of USS Bonhomme Richard, captured HMS Serapis off Flamborough Head in 1779; when asked (not altogether seriously) to surrender, early in the engagement, famously replied "I have not yet begun to fight" Click to show or hide the answer
Attorney and poet; composed The star–spangled banner; died 1743 Click to show or hide the answer
Young Scots woman, risked her life to save Prince Charles Edward Stuart after his defeat at Culloden (1745) Click to show or hide the answer
Pioneer of hypnotism, born 1734 Click to show or hide the answer
English road builder, 1717–1810, blinded by smallpox aged six – known as "Blind Jack" Click to show or hide the answer
Created Duke of Bronte by the King of Naples in 1799; married Mrs. Frances (Fanny) Nesbit, a widow Click to show or hide the answer
Became the first scientist to be knighted, in 1705 𔂿 although it was for his work at the Royal Mint, where he was Master from 1699 to 1727; said by his niece to have lost £20,000 in the South Sea Bubble Click to show or hide the answer
French army pharmacist, who campaigned for the use of the potato as food for humans across Europe (many believed that it caused leprosy, among other things, and it was banned by the French parliament in 1748, thought only fit for pigs); also established the first mandatory smallpox vaccination campaign, and pioneered the extraction of sugar from sugar beets; his name was given to various dishes that include potatoes Click to show or hide the answer
British naval commander, founded the colony of New South Wales Click to show or hide the answer
Carried the news of the British advance from Boston to Lexington and Concord at the start of the American War of Independence Click to show or hide the answer
US seamstress, credited with designing the Stars & Stripes Click to show or hide the answer
Irish–born botanist whose collection started the British Museum (1753) Click to show or hide the answer
Used the name Betty Burke (while escaping to Skye after Culloden, helped by Flora McDonald, 1746) Click to show or hide the answer
Foreign Minister in post–revolutionary France, whose name (the first part of the double–barrelled surname) became a byword for a crafty, cynical diplomat Click to show or hide the answer
Irish–born British army general, best known for the construction of roads, bridges and barracks in Scotland between 1725 and 1737 Click to show or hide the answer
Arguably the most famous potter of all time: born Burslem, Staffordshire in 1730; set up in business 1754, established the Etruria Works 1769; had his first major commercial success with Black Basalt ware, inspired by Etruscan archaeological finds; persuaded Queen Charlotte to let him name a range of pottery that she had bought "Queen's Ware"; made the Green Frog Service for Empress Catherine II of Russia (Catherine the Great), now on display in the Hermitage Museum, 1774; most famous today for jasperware, with overlaid white decoration on a variety of colours, the best–known of which is pale blue. Grandfather of Charles Darwin (his daughter married the son of Erasmus Darwin), and great–great–grandfather of Ralph Vaughan Williams. A prominent anti–slavery campaigner, he produced the famous medallion with the inscription "Am I not a man and a brother?" in 1787. Had his leg amputated, probably as a result of a childhood smallpox episode which affected his knee; died in 1795, aged 64 Click to show or hide the answer

© Haydn Thompson 2017