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Bannatyne, George (1545–1607/8), compiler of the Bannatyne manuscript, was born in Edinburgh on 22 December 1545, the seventh child and fourth (but second surviving) son of James Bannatyne of Kirktown of Newtyle (1512–1584) and Catherine Telfer (1522/3–1570). George had eleven brothers and eleven sisters. No offspring is known from his father's second marriage in 1573 to ...

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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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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

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Jordan, William (fl. 1611), scribe, is supposed to have been the author of the Cornish language mystery play Gwreans an bys, or, The Creacion of the World with Noye's Fludde. Scholars are uncertain, however, whether he was actually the author of this work or merely the transcriber of an existing text. At the end of the earliest manuscript of the play (Bodl. Oxf., MS 219) it is stated that it was written by ...

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Mac Brádaigh, Fiachra (c. 1690–c. 1760), poet and scribe, may have been born in the townland of Drumgallon in the parish of Drung, co. Cavan, where he later lived. He taught in a ‘hedge school’ in Stradone in the nearby parish of ...

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Mac Cairteáin, Uilliam [William MacCartan] (1667/8–1724), poet and scribe, was born in Munster; a manuscript in his own hand records that he was aged thirty-four on 30 March 1702 (Royal Irish Academy, MS 23 H 18, p. 137). The names of his parents are not known. His wife's name was ...

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Mac Dónaill, Seán Clárach (1691–1754), Irish poet and scribe, was born near Charleville (Ráth Luirc), in northern co. Cork. The epithet ‘Clárach’ was apparently descriptive of his large forehead, and not a toponym linking him with co. Clare. In his youth he lived in the parish of ...

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MacCurtin, Andrew [Aindrias Mac Cruitín] (c. 1670–1738), poet and scribe, was born in the townland of Moyglass, about 5 miles south of Milltown Malbay, in the parish of Kilmurry, co. Clare. His father, Roland Mac Cruitín, is reputed to have been a prosperous farmer but nothing else is known about his immediate family. ...

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Marshall [née Broadbent], Marian Sutton (1846–1901), secretary and trade unionist, was born at Lockwood, Huddersfield, in Yorkshire on 12 September 1846, the daughter of William Broadbent, tea dealer, and his wife, Ann, née Thornton. After her father's death she went with her mother to ...