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Arthur, Thomas (d. 1532/3), religious radical, is of uncertain origins, though he may have belonged to an Arthur family of Wisbech. He studied at Cambridge, graduating in 1513 and proceeding MA in 1516. In 1518 he became a fellow of St John's, and is recorded as principal of ...

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Askew [married name Kyme], Anne (c. 1521–1546), writer and protestant martyr, was probably born at her family home in Stallingborough, near Grimsby in Lincolnshire, the second daughter of Sir William Askew (1489–1541) and his first wife, Elizabeth Wrottesley. She had two brothers, ...

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Bainham, James (d. 1532), lawyer and protestant martyr, was the youngest son of Sir Alexander Bainham and Elizabeth Langley, née Tracy, of Westbury-on-Severn in Gloucestershire, and nephew through his mother of Sir William Tracy, the evangelical landowner from Toddington in Gloucestershire whose will was refused probate in 1531 because of its heretical content. The source of his early education is unknown, but he probably attended a grammar school for he knew both Latin and Greek; later he was admitted to the inns of court and became a lawyer. However, he did not confine his energies to the law; he also espoused the evangelical faith articulated so eloquently in his uncle's will. ...

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Barlowe, Jerome (fl. 1528–1529), Franciscan friar and writer, is an obscure figure. The one incontrovertible record of Barlowe is that he was sighted on the road north from Attleborough to Bishop's Lynn in June 1529. Cardinal Wolsey's agents exacted this information as they made enquiries in ...

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Bayfield [alias Somersam], Richard (d. 1531), Benedictine monk and protestant martyr, was born at Hadleigh in Suffolk of unknown parentage. His alias, presumably a locative surname, suggests that his family originated at Somersham, a few miles north-east of Hadleigh. He was professed at ...

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Bernard, John (d. 1554), religious writer, was a Yorkshireman by birth, probably from the West Riding. His parentage is unknown. He is first recorded in 1541, as a scholar of Queens' College, Cambridge. Having graduated there in 1544 he became Trotter's priest and then, in 1545, a fellow, before commencing MA in 1547. He was college bursar in 1550–51 and 1551–2. A supporter of religious reform, he was granted a licence to preach by the bishop of ...

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Bilney, Thomas (c. 1495–1531), evangelical reformer and martyr, known as Little Bilney on account of his short stature, was born in Norfolk, most likely at Norwich. Of his parents nothing is known, except that they survived him. Sent up to Cambridge at an early age (...

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Blage, Sir George (c. 1512–1551), courtier, was the younger son of Sir Robert Blage of Broke Montagu, Somerset (d. 1522), and of Mary, the daughter of John Brooke, seventh Baron Cobham. He is said to have been educated at Cambridge. By 1535 he was in diplomatic service, working in ...

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Bland, John (d. 1555), protestant martyr, was born at Sedbergh, Yorkshire, and was educated by Roger Lupton, the provost of Eton College, before becoming a fellow of St John's College, Cambridge, where he took the degree of MA in 1536. According to John Foxe...

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Bocher, Joan (d. 1550), religious radical, also known as Joan Knell and Joan of Kent, is of unknown origins, but Bocher and Knell families are found either side of the rim of Romney Marsh. Her religious history is also obscure. The earliest that is known for certain is that she was much in favour in reforming circles in ...