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Hall, Basil (31 December 1788–11 September 1844), captain in the British navy and author of scientific works and books of travel, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, the son of Sir James Hall, a geologist of repute who published on a variety of other subjects as well, including architecture, and Helen Douglas. After a basic education in Edinburgh, Basil at age fourteen joined the Royal Navy and set out on the first of many voyages. By age twenty he was made lieutenant and at twenty-nine was a captain....

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Vancouver, George (22 June 1757–12 May 1798), explorer and naval officer, was born in King’s Lynn, Norfolk, England, the son of John Jasper Vancouver, deputy collector of customs, and Bridget Berners. At the age of fourteen he gained appointment as midshipman in training and joined Captain James Cook’s explorations of the Antarctic, the South Atlantic, and the South Pacific aboard the ...