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Alderson, Thomas Hopper (1903–1965), wartime rescue party leader, was born at Ashburne Stables, Sunderland, on 15 September 1903, the fifth of six children and first son of Thomas Alderson (1864–1945), domestic coachman, and his wife, Sarah Annie, née Hopper (1872–1942). He was educated at a village school; then at ...

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Horace Gundry Alexander (1889–1989) by Morland Braithwaite private collection

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Alexander, Horace Gundry (1889–1989), Quaker envoy and mediator, was born on 18 April 1889 at Croydon, Surrey, the youngest of four sons of Joseph Gundry Alexander (1848–1918), a Quaker barrister and advocate of international arbitration, and of Josephine Crosfield Alexander. He was educated at ...

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Andrew [St Andrew] (fl. 1st cent.), apostle and patron saint of Scotland, was a fisherman from Capernaum in Galilee.

In the synoptic gospels Andrew is merely mentioned as one of the twelve disciples of Jesus, but in the gospel of St John he appears as a follower of ...

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Annesley, Richard, sixth earl of Anglesey (bap. 1693, d. 1761), kidnapper and bigamist, was baptized on 26 November 1693 at St Peter's Cathedral, Exeter, Devon, the third son of Dr Richard Annesley (1654/5–1701), dean of Exeter, from c.1700 third Baron Altham, and his wife, ...

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Appleby, Sir William (1732–1796), eccentric and municipal reformer, was born at Durham on 15 September 1732, the third surviving son of Edward Appleby (1702–1736), a grocer, who was said to have introduced the bleaching of linen cloth from Ireland to Durham, and his wife, ...

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Appulby, Simon [Symon the Anker of London Wall] (d. 1537), religious recluse and author, was the last anchorite to be attached to the church of All Hallows, London Wall. An ordained priest, Simon made his anchoritic profession at the nearby priory of the ...

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Arthur (supp. fl. in or before 6th cent.), legendary warrior and supposed king of Britain, has an attested career that is entirely posthumous. From obscure beginnings in British legend, he became internationally known in the twelfth century, particularly through the success of Geoffrey of Monmouth's...

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Balthere [St Balthere, Baldred, Balther] (d. 756), hermit, is often confused with an earlier saint of the same name. The later and better-known Balthere was described by his near contemporary Alcuin, in his poem on the bishops, kings, and saints of York. The so-called ...

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Bannatyne, Richard (d. 1605), secretary to John Knox, may have originated in western Scotland, for his brother James was a merchant in Ayr around the time of Richard's death. There is no evidence to support suggestions that he belonged to the same family as his contemporary ...

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Barlow, Sir Thomas, first baronet (1845–1945), physician, was born at Brantwood Fold, Edgworth, near Bolton, Lancashire, on 4 September 1845; he was the eldest of seven children of James Barlow (1821–1887) of Greenthorne, Edgworth, who established the cotton mills of Barlow and Jones...

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Sir Thomas Barlow, first baronet (1845–1945) by Catharine Dodgson, 1936 from the collection of the Athenaeum, London

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Barrett, John [Jacky] (1753/4–1821), classical scholar and eccentric, was born in Ballyroan, Queen's county, the son of Daniel Barrett (d. 1760), a Church of Ireland clergyman, and his wife, Rossamund Gofton (d. 1782). Although baptized John he was universally known as ...

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Barry, Richard, seventh earl of Barrymore (1769–1793), rake and actor, was born on 14 August 1769, probably in London, the second child and eldest of three sons of Richard Barry, sixth earl of Barrymore (1745–1773), and Lady Emily Stanhope (1749–1780), daughter of William Stanhope, ...

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Barry, Thomas Bernardine (1897–1980), Irish revolutionary and folk hero, was born on 1 July 1897 in Killorglin, co. Kerry, the eldest son and second of eleven children of Thomas Barry, a policeman, and his wife, Margaret Donovan, both of co. Cork. After Tom...

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Bartholomew of Farne [St Bartholomew of Farne] (d. 1193), hermit, stands second in reputation only to Godric of Finchale among the hermits of northern England in the twelfth century. Just as Godric's fame depends on the life written by Reginald, a monk of ...

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Beadon, Frederick (1777–1879), Church of England clergyman and centenarian, third son of the Revd Edward Beadon, rector of North Stoneham, Hampshire, was born in London on 6 December 1777. He was educated at Charterhouse School and at Trinity College, Oxford. He took orders in 1801, and was shortly afterwards presented by his uncle, ...

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Bentinck, (William) John Cavendish-Scott- [formerly Lord John Bentinck], fifth duke of Portland (1800–1879), recluse, son of William Henry Cavendish-Bentinck, fourth duke (1768–1854), who in 1795 assumed the additional surname of Scott by royal licence, and Henrietta (d. 1844), eldest daughter and coheir of ...

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(William) John Cavendish-Scott- Bentinck [Lord John Bentinck], fifth duke of Portland (1800–1879) by Richard Dighton unknown collection; photograph Sotheby's Picture Library, London / National Portrait Gallery, London

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Beresford, Henry de la Poer, third marquess of Waterford (1811–1859), reprobate and landowner, was born on 26 April 1811 at 5 Mansfield Street, Marylebone, Middlesex, the second son of Henry de la Poer Beresford, second marquess of Waterford (1772–1826), and his wife, Lady Susanna Hussey Carpenter (1784–1827)...