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FALKNER, Thomas (1707-84). An English Jesuit missionary, born in Manchester. As surgeon on board the Assiento, a slave-ship belonging to the South Sea Company, he sailed to the Guinea Coast in 1731, and thence to Buenos Ayres, where he was so kindly treated by the Jesuits during a dangerous illness that he determined to enter their Order. He was ordained in May, 1732, and during the following thirty-eight years he worked as a missionary in Paraguay and the vast region between the Rio de la Plata and the Strait of Magellan, mostly among the natives. Upon the expulsion of the Jesuits from South America, he returned to England, where he was chaplain to several distinguished Catholic families. His religious work was materially aided by his medical and surgical skill. He left several works in manuscript, including four volumes, Botanical, Mineral, and Like Observations on the Products of America (date unrecorded). Under the title, A Description of Patagonia and the Adjoining Parts of South America, a collection of his papers was published in 1774.