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Francis Espinasse

revised by Philip A. Hunt

Beatson, Robert (1741–1818), writer and army officer, was born at Vicarsgrange, Dysart, Fife, on 25 June 1741, the eldest son of David Beatson (d. 1785) of Vicarsgrange and his wife and cousin, Jean, daughter of Robert Beatson of Kilrie, the descendant of a local laird. His father enjoyed the patronage of the ...

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William Cavendish, first duke of Newcastle upon Tyne (bap. 1593, d. 1676) by Abraham van Diepenbeck [with Bolsover Castle in the background] © Copyright The British Museum

Article

Cavendish, William, first duke of Newcastle upon Tyne (bap. 1593, d. 1676), writer, patron, and royalist army officer, was born at Handsworth Manor, Yorkshire, and was baptized in the parish on 16 December 1593. He was the second of three children, the first having died in infancy, of ...

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Churchyard, Thomas (1523?–1604), writer and soldier, was born at Shrewsbury, probably in 1523. He claims to have been a gentleman, but there is no evidence of this. The facts of Churchyard's life are uncertain, partly because of the lack of official records, but more because of the erratic quality of the evidence he offers himself. As well as making many references to events in his life in passing, he wrote three wholly or partly autobiographical poems: ...

Article

Conway, Sir John (d. 1603), writer and soldier, was the son and heir of Sir John Conway of Arrow, Warwickshire, landowner, and Katherine, daughter of Sir Ralph Verney and his wife, Elizabeth. Little is known of his youth or education but he was well read. He was knighted in 1559, on the accession of ...

Article

Crealock, Henry Hope (1831–1891), army officer, artist, and author, born on 31 March 1831, was the son of William Betton Crealock of Langeston, Littleham, near Bideford. Crealock entered Rugby School in February 1844. He was commissioned in the 90th light infantry on 13 October 1848, and promoted lieutenant on 24 December 1852 and captain on 29 December 1854. On 5 December 1854 he landed at ...

Article

Gardiner, Richard (1723–1781), writer and army officer, was born on 4 October 1723 at Saffron Walden, Essex, the son of the Revd John Gardiner (d. 1770) and Hannah (d. 1759), daughter of John Turner of Saffron Walden, Essex. He was a pupil at ...

Article

Gascoigne, George (1534/5?–1577), author and soldier, was the eldest of three children of Sir John Gascoigne (b. in or before 1510, d. 1568) of Cardington, Bedfordshire, and his wife, Margaret (d. 17 Oct 1575), daughter of Sir Robert Scargill of ...

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George Gascoigne (1534/5?5–1577) by unknown engraver, pubd 1576 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Heron, Haly (c. 1550–1591), author and soldier, matriculated in November 1565 as a sizar at Queens' College, Cambridge, whence he graduated BA in 1570. At some point in the 1570s he became tutor to John Kaye the younger, whom he perhaps met at ...

Article

Kyffin, Maurice (c. 1555–1598), author and soldier, is more than likely to have been the son of Thomas Kyffin and Catrin Llwyd, who are known to have had four children. If so, he may have been born before his parents were married. Both his probable parents belonged to landed families in or near ...

Article

Macky, John (d. 1726), writer and spy, was a Scot of obscure birth, parentage, and education. He fled from France to London in the summer of 1692 with the first news of the intended French and Jacobite invasion from La Hogue. Although he was initially disbelieved, he was vindicated, informed on several Scottish Jacobites, and was rewarded with an appointment as a coastal inspector between ...

Article

Richards, Alfred Bate (1820–1876), writer and promoter of the volunteers, was born on 17 February 1820 at Baskerville House, Worcestershire, the eldest son of John Richards of Wassell Grove, near Stourbridge, Worcestershire, who was MP for Knaresborough in the West Riding of Yorkshire...

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Smythe [Smith], Sir John (1533/4–1607), soldier, diplomat, and writer, was the eldest son and heir of Sir Clement Smith (d. 1552), administrator, of Little Baddow and Rivenhall, Essex, and his wife, Dorothy (d. in or after 1553), daughter of Sir John Seymour...

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Théveneau de Morande, Charles-Claude (1741–1805), writer and spy, was born on 9 November 1741 in Arnay-le-Duc in Burgundy, probably at 22 rue St Honoré, the eldest child of Louis Théveneau (bap. 1715, d. 1772), a notary, and his wife, Philiberte Belin (...

Article

Tourneur, Cyril (d. 1626), writer and soldier, is of obscure origins. It seems possible that he was either a son of Edward Tournor of Canons, Great Parndon, Essex, and his second wife, Frances Baker (d. 1600), or (less likely) a grandson, his father, also named ...

Article

See Yule, Sir Henry