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Aelsinus (fl. c. 1023–c. 1031), Benedictine monk and scribe of New Minster, Winchester, is known only because, unusually, he identified himself in one of his own productions. In a cryptic colophon in British Library, MS Cotton Titus D.xxvii, fol. 13v, he used the common code of replacing every vowel with the consonant that follows it. Decoded, the first section of the note reads: 'Frater humillimus et monachus ...

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Alban [St Albans], Roger (d. after 1461), genealogist, copyist, and Carmelite friar, was born in St Albans, Hertfordshire, and joined his order in London. He was ordained acolyte on 17 December 1401 and deacon on 19 December 1405. His name occurs as the copyist on three manuscripts, BL, Harley MS 3138 (dated 1424), Harley MS 211, and Stowe MS 8, and it has also been claimed that he copied BL, Stowe MS 38 and, in 1439, the anti-...

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Bodwrda, William (1592/3–1660), Church of England clergyman and manuscript copyist, was the second son and one of thirteen children of Huw Gwyn Bodwrda (c.1573–1622), landowner, of Bodwrda, Aberdaron, Caernarvonshire, and Elsbeth Gwyn (d. 1637) of Berth-ddu in the Conwy valley...

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T. F. Henderson

revised by John D. Haigh

Chabot, Charles (bap. 1815, d. 1882), graphologist, was born in Battersea, Surrey, and baptized on 19 March 1815 at St Mary's, Battersea, the second of the three children of Charles Chabot, a lithographer, and his wife, Amy (or Amey), née Pearson; the family was Huguenot. He began as a lithographer in ...

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Crane, Ralph (fl. 1589–1632), poet and scribe, was the son of a freeman of the Merchant Taylors' Company. Although he may have been educated at the company's school his name is not recorded in its registers. The sources of Crane's biography are a rejoinder, dated 1623 (...

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Davies, Margaret [Marged Dafydd] (c. 1700–1785?), Welsh-language poet and copyist, was the daughter of Dafydd or David Evans (d. 1729) of Coetgae-du, Trawsfynydd, Meirioneth, and his wife, Ann Dafydd (c.1664–1726). Little is known about the early life of Margaret Davies...

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Eadwig [Eadui] Basan (fl. c. 1020), Benedictine monk and scribe, is identified by himself in the gospel book Hanover, Kestner Museum, MS W. M. XXIa, 36, in which he added a colophon to the end of John's gospel: 'Do not disdain, Father, to pour forth a prayer for the scribe. The monk ...

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Eadwig Basan (fl. c. 1020) miniature [prostrate before St Benedict] The British Library

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Ellis, John (1698–1791), scrivener and poet, was born on 22 March 1698 in the parish of St Clement Danes, London, one of four known children of James Ellis and Susannah Philpot. His mother was a 'fanatical dissenter' (DNB) and his upbringing turned him against nonconformity. His restless, eccentric father worked on the fringes of the legal profession. ...

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John Ellis (1698–1791) by William Pether, 1781 (after Thomas Frye, 1761) © National Portrait Gallery, London