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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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Benjamin Hall, Baron Llanover (1802–1867) by George Zobel (after T. Hurlstone) © National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

Hall, Benjamin, Baron Llanover (1802–1867), politician and eponymist of Big Ben, was the eldest son of Benjamin Hall (1778–1817), MP and ironmaster, of Hensol Castle, Glamorgan, and his wife, Charlotte, daughter of Richard Crawshay of Cyfarthfa, Glamorgan. He was born on 8 November 1802 in ...

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Hood, Robin (supp. fl. late 12th–13th cent.), legendary outlaw hero, is wellnigh impossible to identify, first because of the sparsity and peculiar nature of the evidence, and second because Robin quickly became a composite figure of an archetypal criminal, and then an outlaw hero....

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Merlin [Myrddin] (supp. fl. 6th cent.), poet and seer, is a figure whose historicity is not proven. He is known in Welsh sources as Myrddin and from the twelfth century also as Merlinus or Merlin. No definite conclusion can be drawn from Myrddin's...

Article

Railton, David (1884–1955), Church of England clergyman and originator of the idea of the tomb of the unknown warrior, was born on 13 November 1884 at 48 Altham Road, Hackney, London, the son of George Scott Railton (bap. 1849, d. 1913), ...

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Tuck, Friar (fl. 15th cent.), legendary outlaw, may have originated in a real individual, but his mythic qualities as a member of Robin Hood's band are his own, and have become indelibly established in the popular mind. In the developed stories he enters the band, like other recruits, by a personal encounter with Robin Hood in which a contest of wits and physical prowess brings each to respect the other. Once in the greenwood, he dispenses joviality and brings a sly wisdom to the outlaws' councils. His clericity, ordinarily not much in evidence, gives him a status that strengthens rather than disturbs the structure of the band....

Article

Unknown Warrior, the [the Unknown Soldier] (d. 1914?), an unidentified British soldier of the First World War, was buried in Westminster Abbey as a symbolic representative of the British and dominion servicemen who died in that war. About 9 per cent of British males under forty-five died in the conflict, and some northern towns whose pals' battalions were devastated on the ...

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Wallace, Sir William (d. 1305), patriot and guardian of Scotland, is a man whose origins, once thought secure, have now become uncertain.

The name Wallace originally meant a Welshman, and William's descent has been confidently traced from a Ricardus Wallensis, or Richard Wallace...