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Armorer, Sir Nicholas (c. 1620–1686), royalist army officer, conspirator, and courtier, was born at Belford, Northumberland, a younger son of Thomas Armorer (d. 1642), of Belford, and his wife, Margaret, daughter of Robert Clavering of Callaly in the same county. Like his brother ...

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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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Ashton, Sir John (c. 1354–c. 1398), soldier and landowner, was the son and heir of Sir John Ashton (d. c.1360) of Ashton under Lyne, Lancashire, and of Margaret, a daughter of Robert del Leigh of Adlington, Cheshire. His mother's second marriage, to ...

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Basset, Thomas (d. 1220), soldier and courtier, was a younger son of Thomas Basset (d. c. 1182) of Headington and Adeliza Basset [see under Dunstanville, de, family], daughter of Walter de Dunstanville, lord of Castle Combe in Wiltshire. First recorded before ...

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Beauchamp, Thomas, eleventh earl of Warwick (1313/14–1369), soldier and magnate, was the son and heir of Guy de Beauchamp, tenth earl of Warwick (c. 1272–1315), and his wife, Alice Tosny, widow of Thomas Leyburn.

Beauchamp was probably born some time between August 1313 and 14 February 1314, most likely the latter date. He was no more than two years old when his father died on 12 August 1315, and the earldom thus underwent a long minority at a time of political instability. The custody of the lands of the earldom was granted on 21 June 1317 to ...

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Beauchamp, William, first Baron Bergavenny (c. 1343–1411), soldier and landowner, was the fourth son of Thomas Beauchamp, eleventh earl of Warwick (1313/14–1369), and of Katherine (d. 1369), daughter of Roger Mortimer, first earl of March.

As a younger son Beauchamp was destined for the church and attended ...

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Beauclerk, Charles, first duke of St Albans (1670–1726), army officer, the illegitimate son of Charles II and Nell Gwyn, was born at his mother's house in Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, on 8 May 1670. It is said that one day when the king was with ...

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Beaufort, Edmund, first duke of Somerset (c. 1406–1455), magnate and soldier, was the younger brother of John Beaufort, duke of Somerset (1404–1444); John and Edmund were the second and third sons of John Beaufort, marquess of Dorset and of Somerset (c. 1371–1410), who was the eldest son of ...

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Beaufort, John, marquess of Dorset and marquess of Somerset (c. 1371–1410), soldier and administrator, was the first offspring of the liaison between John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster (1340–1399), and Katherine Swynford (1350?–1403) [see Katherine, duchess of Lancaster]. He became a staunch supporter of ...

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Beaufort, John, duke of Somerset (1404–1444), magnate and soldier, was the second son of John Beaufort, marquess of Dorset and of Somerset (d. 1410), and Margaret Holland, daughter of Thomas Holland, earl of Kent. He succeeded to the earldom of Somerset on the death of his elder brother, ...

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Beaufort, Thomas, duke of Exeter (1377?–1426), magnate and soldier, was the youngest of the three illegitimate sons of John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, and Katherine Swynford [see Katherine, duchess of Lancaster]. His brothers were John Beaufort and Henry Beaufort...

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Berkeley, John, first Baron Berkeley of Stratton (bap. 1607, d. 1678), royalist army officer and courtier, was baptized on 1 February 1607 at Hanworth, Middlesex, the fifth son of Sir Maurice Berkeley (1576/7–1617) of Bruton, Somerset, a well-connected but penurious gentleman who died when ...

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Bertie, Montague, second earl of Lindsey (1607/8–1666), royalist nobleman and army officer, was the eldest son of Robert Bertie, first earl of Lindsey (1582–1642), and Elizabeth Montagu (bap. 1586, d. 1654). He was educated briefly at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, where he was admitted as a fellow-commoner on 1 February 1623. He served as MP for ...

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Bertie, Peregrine, thirteenth Baron Willoughby of Willoughby, Beck, and Eresby (1555–1601), nobleman and soldier, was born on 12 October 1555 in Wesel, Cleves, the only son of Richard Bertie (1517–1582), landowner and religious evangelical, and his wife, Katherine [see Bertie, Katherine, duchess of Suffolk (1519–1580)...

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Biddulph, Sir Thomas Myddleton (1809–1878), courtier and army officer, born on 29 July 1809, was the second son of Robert Biddulph of Ledbury and Charlotte, the daughter and coheir of Richard Myddleton MP, of Chirk Castle, of the old Welsh family of Myddleton...

Image

Sir Thomas Myddleton Biddulph (1809–1878) by Heinrich von Angeli, 1878 The Royal Collection © 2004 HM Queen Elizabeth II

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Bigod, Roger, fifth earl of Norfolk (c. 1245–1306), magnate and soldier, was the son of Hugh (III) Bigod (b. in or before 1220, d. 1266), justiciar of England. He succeeded to his father's lands in 1266, and to the earldom of Norfolk when his uncle, ...

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Bloomfield, Benjamin, first Baron Bloomfield (1768–1846), army officer and courtier, the only son of John Bloomfield, of Newport, co. Tipperary, a lieutenant in the Grenadier Guards, and his wife, Anne (d. 1828), daughter of Samuel Waller, barrister, and sister of Sir Robert Waller, baronet...

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See Blount, Sir Walter

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Bourchier, Sir William, count of Eu (c. 1374–1420), magnate and soldier, was the son and heir of Sir William Bourchier (d. 1375) and his wife, Eleanor Lovayne (1345–1397).

Bourchier's family had risen to prominence during the fourteenth century through an unblemished record of service to the crown, gaining estates concentrated in ...