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À Lasco [Laski], John (1499–1560), evangelical reformer, was born in Lask, Poland, the second of three sons and brother to four daughters of Jarslov Laski (d. 1521?), voivode of Sieradz, and Susanna Bak (fl. 1484–1510), daughter of the Bakova-Gora councilman Zbigniew Bak...

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Alesius [formerly Allane or Alan], Alexander (1500–1565), Lutheran theologian and reformer, was born at Edinburgh on 23 April 1500. He is sometimes referred to as Ales, Aless, or Alesse, but the matriculation roll of St Andrews University records his native family name as ...

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Allen, Edmund (1510s–1559), protestant reformer, was born in Norfolk some time in the 1510s. He took his BA at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, in 1535, and his MA in 1537. He was ordained deacon in Lincoln diocese in April 1536. In the same year he was elected a fellow of ...

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Aster, John (1509/10–1574), Church of England clergyman and religious reformer, was probably the son of John Aster of Calais and Boston, Lincolnshire, staple merchant. The younger John Aster was himself trading as a Calais merchant by 1543. In 1544 he was sent to ...

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Balnaves, Henry (d. 1570), diplomat and religious reformer, is said by Calderwood to have come from Kirkcaldy and studied in Cologne. He returned to St Andrews, appearing on the rolls of St Salvator's College in 1527 as magister, the title by which he is usually designated, though where he received his MA degree is uncertain. He worked as a procurator in ...

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Barnes, Robert (c. 1495–1540), religious reformer, was a native of Bishop's Lynn, Norfolk; his parentage is unknown.

According to John Bale, Barnes entered the house of the Austin friars in Cambridge while still a boy. Some time about 1517 he travelled to the ...

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Barnes, Thomas (1747–1810), Presbyterian minister and reformer, was born on 1 February 1747 at Warrington, the son of William Barnes and Elizabeth, daughter of the Revd Thomas Blinston, Presbyterian minister at Wigan. His father died when he was only three. He was educated at the grammar school in ...

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Becon, John (d. 1587), ecclesiastical lawyer and reformer, was born in Suffolk of unknown parentage. Educated at St John's College, Cambridge, he was admitted as a scholar in 1559, graduated BA in 1561, was admitted a fellow on 21 March 1561, and proceeded MA in 1564. His degrees were incorporated at ...

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Bernher, Augustine (d. 1565), religious reformer, was Swiss by birth. He was educated by Johannes Wolff at the school belonging to Zürich's main church, the Grossmunster, where Heinrich Bullinger was the chief pastor.

Bernher had arrived in England by November 1548, one in a wave of Swiss reformers whose influence over the English church was profound. In the 1520s and 1530s a coalition of evangelical reformers (...

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Bilney, Thomas (c. 1495–1531), evangelical reformer and martyr, known as Little Bilney on account of his short stature, was born in Norfolk, most likely at Norwich. Of his parents nothing is known, except that they survived him. Sent up to Cambridge at an early age (...

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Nicholas Bourbon (c. 1503–154950) by Hans Holbein the younger The Royal Collection © 2004 HM Queen Elizabeth II

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Bourbon, Nicholas (c. 1503–1549/50), poet and religious reformer, known as Nicholas Bourbon the elder to distinguish him from his namesake and nephew, was the son of Jean Bourbon, an ironmaster from Vandoeuvre in Champagne, and his wife, Marie Galliard (or Gaulier). He studied at the ...

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Campbell, Archibald, fifth earl of Argyll (1538–1573), magnate and protestant reformer, was the eldest son of Archibald Campbell, fourth earl of Argyll (1498–1558), and his first wife, Lady Helen Hamilton (d. in or before 1541), daughter of the first earl of Arran...

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Constantine, George (b. c. 1500, d. in or before 1561), evangelical reformer, was born near the Cheshire–Shropshire border and educated at a local school before going on to Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1517–18. He became BCL in 1523–4. He took minor orders in 1521, and was subsequently ordained to the priesthood. He became vicar of ...

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Cooke, Joseph (1775–1811), religious reformer and founder of the Methodist Unitarian Movement, was born near Dudley, Worcestershire, on 8 May 1775. His parents were poor, and his education was 'not what is generally esteemed a learned one' (Ashworth, 11). In 1799 he married ...

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Cottisford [Cottesforde], Thomas (d. 1555), clergyman and evangelical reformer, was born at Winchester and studied at both Oxford and Cambridge. In his 'Epistle to an Englyshe Marchaunt' of Winchester, written from Marian exile, he thanked the addressee for his gifts 'whan I was a student at ...

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Ecgberht [St Ecgberht, Egbert] (639–729), church reformer and holy man, was an Anglo-Saxon nobleman, almost certainly Northumbrian, who was in Ireland in 664 when he contracted the great plague of that year. Like many Englishmen he was there to study and perhaps to acquaint himself better with the monastic way of life. Thinking of his past sins he vowed that if he recovered, he would remain in voluntary exile as a 'pilgrim' (...

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Desiderius Erasmus (c. 1467–1536) by Hans Holbein the younger, 1523 private collection. Photograph: Photographic Survey, Courtauld Institute of Art, London

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Erasmus, Desiderius (c. 1467–1536), humanist scholar and reformer, was born in Rotterdam during the night of 27–28 October in the late 1460s—a year about 1467 seems plausible. He was illegitimate, a circumstance that doubtless contributed to the uncertainty attending all record of his origins, family name, and early life. The source of much information is the ...

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Fagius, Paul (c. 1504–1549), protestant reformer and Hebraist, was born in Rheinzabern in the Rhine Palatinate, son of Peter Büchelin, schoolmaster and city clerk in Rheinzabern, and Margarethe Hirn of Heidelberg. At the age of eleven he went to the Neckarschule in Heidelberg...