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Alcuin [Albinus, Flaccus] (c. 740–804), abbot of St Martin's, Tours, and royal adviser, was a major figure in the revival of learning and letters under the Frankish king and emperor, Charlemagne (r. 768–814).

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Alcuin (c. 740–804) medallion drawing © reserved

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Bolton, William (d. 1532), prior of St Bartholomew's, West Smithfield, London, and royal administrator, was of unknown parentage. A canon of the Augustinian order, his talents permitted him to rise to a degree of prominence. Between 1501 and 1503 he attended the Augustinian foundation of ...

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Chauncy [Cancy], Joseph of (b. in or before 1213, d. in or after 1283), prior of the hospital of St John of Jerusalem in England and royal administrator, was probably a younger son, born by 1213 into a family of Norman origin holding lands in ...

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Clappertoun, George (d. 1574), Roman Catholic priest and royal official, first appears in the records as a witness in 1531 at Stirling (Thomson, 3.1029), and was appointed to the parish of Duchale in Moray in 1532. Prior to that point, there is no trace. His parents and family are unknown, and he does not appear in any of the Scottish university records. In fact, he appears only as ...

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Cumin [Comyn], John (d. 1212), archbishop of Dublin and royal servant, may have come from a minor Somerset family. Certainly it is in connection with this county that his name first appears in the official records: in 1158 and 1159 John Cumin was pardoned debts in ...

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Edgeworth [later Edgeworth de Firmont], Henry Essex (1745–1807), Roman Catholic priest and confessor to Louis XVI, was the second son, in a family of eight children (four of whom died in infancy), of the Revd Robert Edgeworth, rector of Edgeworthstown, co. Longford...

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Henry Essex Edgeworth (1745–1807) by Anthony Cardon, pubd 1800 (after Augustin de Saint-Aubin) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Farnham, Nicholas of (d. 1257), royal doctor and bishop of Durham, was a native of the south of England, probably of Farnham in Surrey. It is likely that he was born in the reign of Henry II, and before 1200 had started his academic career at ...

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Warr, Charles Laing (1892–1969), Church of Scotland minister and royal chaplain, was born at the manse, Rosneath, Dunbartonshire, on 20 May 1892, the younger son of the minister, the Revd Alfred Warr, himself a distinguished minister of the Church of Scotland, and his wife, ...