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Alleyne [Allyn], Thomas (c. 1488–1558), clergyman and benefactor, was probably a native of Sudbury, Staffordshire, where he later made provision for the commemoration of his parents. A suggestion that he originated in the diocese of Salisbury and studied at Oxford seems to be without foundation. His father's name was most probably ...

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Ashton, Hugh (d. 1522), Catholic ecclesiastic and university benefactor, apparently never himself had a formal university education, his main expertise lying in administration and estate management. He probably first encountered Lady Margaret Beaufort, countess of Richmond and Derby, in Lancashire, his native county, and rose to prominence through this association. On 7 January 1496 he was admitted to the rectory of ...

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Hugh Ashton (d. 1522) by unknown sculptor © Crown copyright. NMR

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Balsham, Hugh of (d. 1286), bishop of Ely and benefactor, took his name from Balsham, Cambridgeshire, one of Ely Priory's manors. Nothing is known of his background, except that during the controversy aroused by his election as bishop it was alleged that he was of servile origins. He became a monk at ...

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Bateman [Norwich], William (c. 1298–1355), diplomat, founder of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and bishop of Norwich, was probably born in Norwich (from which he was sometimes named), the third son of William and Margery Bateman. His father was many times bailiff of the city, and in 1326–7 its member of ...

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Bell, William (1731–1816), Church of England clergyman and benefactor, was born in Greenwich, the son of William Bell. He was educated at Greenwich School, and admitted pensioner at Magdalene College, Cambridge, on 26 May 1749. He graduated BA, as eighth wrangler, in 1753, the year in which he was elected fellow of ...

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Bingham [Byngham], William (d. 1451), ecclesiastic and founder of Christ's College, Cambridge, may have been the William Byngham who was presented to the vicarages of Hutton, near Beverley, Yorkshire, and Alverstoke, Hampshire, by Henry IV in 1401–2. More probably, the future founder of ...

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Blair, James (1655/6–1743), Church of England clergyman and founder of the College of William and Mary, was the son of Peter Blair (d. 1673), Church of Scotland minister of St Cuthbert's parish, Edinburgh, and his wife, Mary Hamilton (d. in or after 1696)...

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James Blair (1655/66–1743) by Charles Bridges Muscarelle Museum of Art, College of William and Mary

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Canynges, William (1402–1474), merchant and ecclesiastical benefactor, was one of the younger of seven children of John Canynges, clothier and merchant of Bristol, and his wife, Joan Wotton. He was born into a notably successful Bristol family. William Canynges (d. 1396) was a wealthy clothier who was five times mayor of ...

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Chaloner, Robert (1547/8–1621), Church of England clergyman and educational benefactor, was born in Goldsborough, near Knaresborough, West Riding of Yorkshire, the second son of Robert and Ann Chaloner of Llanfyllin (possibly Llanfyllin, Montgomeryshire). He was elected to a studentship at Christ Church, Oxford...

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Clarke, Alured (1696–1742), Church of England clergyman and benefactor, was the son of Alured Clarke (1658/9–1744), gentleman, of Godmanchester, Huntingdonshire, and his second wife, Ann (1667/8–1755), fourth daughter of Charles Trimnell (1630–1702) [see under Trimnell, Charles], rector of Abbots Ripton, in ...

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Philip Thomas Byard Clayton (1885–1972) by Howard Coster, 1937 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Clayton, Philip Thomas Byard [Tubby] (1885–1972), Church of England clergyman and founder of the Toc H movement, was born on 12 December 1885 at Maryborough, Queensland, Australia, the third son and sixth and youngest child of Reginald Byard Buchanan Clayton, manager of a sugar plantation, and his wife, who was also his first cousin, ...

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Colet, John (1467–1519), dean of St Paul's and founder of St Paul's School, was born in January 1467, as attested by a contemporary document; Erasmus, always vague as to chronology, believed him to have been about thirty, two or three months younger than himself, when they first met in 1499. ...

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Colfe, Abraham (1580–1657), Church of England clergyman and benefactor, was born in Canterbury on 7 August 1580, the eldest son of Richard Colfe (d. 1613), a Church of England clergyman, and his first wife, whose maiden name was Thorneton; he was a nephew of ...

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Crombie, James (1730–1790), non-subscribing Presbyterian minister and founder of the Belfast Academy, was born on 4 December 1730 at Perth, the eldest son of James Crambie, mason, and his wife, May Johnstoun. In 1748 he matriculated at St Andrews, and he graduated MA in 1752. He studied for a short time at ...

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Durham, William of (d. 1249), theologian and university benefactor, may have been born at Sedgefield, co. Durham. Nothing otherwise is known of his origins or early life, until he is recorded as a regent master in theology at Paris, at a date between 1220 and 1223. To ...

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Edgar, John (1798–1866), minister of the United Secession church and philanthropist, was born at Ballykine, co. Down, a few months before the battle of Ballynahinch (12–13 June 1798), the son of Revd Samuel Edgar (1766–1826), minister of the Burgher congregation of Ballynahinch, and his wife, ...

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Ekarte, George Daniel [known as Daniels Ekarte] (1896/7–1964), minister and community worker, was born in west Africa, possibly in the Calabar region of Nigeria. His early years were spent at mission stations run by Free Church of Scotland missionaries. Impressed by what he had heard of the glories of the ‘mother country’, he obtained a seaman's certificate (which named him simply ...