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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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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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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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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 ...

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Bradeston, Thomas, Lord Bradeston (d. 1360), soldier and royal councillor, was probably the son of Robert de Bradeston, a minor landowner of Breadstone, Gloucestershire. The Bradestons were close allies of the Berkeleys of Berkeley Castle, their near neighbours, and Thomas probably began his career in the ...

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Bréauté, Sir Falkes de (d. 1226), soldier and royal favourite, was of obscure Norman parentage. One reasonably reliable source, which described him as 'small in stature but very valiant', stated that he was the son of a Norman knight by a concubine (...

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Sir Falkes de Bréauté (d. 1226) drawing Master and Fellows of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge

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Brechin, Sir David (b. before 1278, d. 1320), soldier and landowner, was the son of Sir William Brechin, son of Henry, illegitimate son of David, earl of Huntingdon (d. 1219); his mother was Elena, daughter of Alexander Comyn, earl of Buchan. His father died between 1286 and June 1291 (when no claim to the Scottish throne was submitted by him); on 10 December 1292 ...

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Bruce, Edward, earl of Carrick (c. 1280–1318), soldier and claimant to the Irish throne, was the third, or possibly fourth, son of Robert VI de Brus (d. 1304), son of the claimant for the Scottish throne, and Marjory, countess of Carrick. He had two older brothers, ...

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Brus [Bruce], Robert de, lord of Annandale (d. 1142), baron and soldier, has been said without authority to be the son of a Robert (sometimes Adam) de Brus, who was alleged to have fought at Hastings. The subject of this memoir came from ...

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Brydges, John, first Baron Chandos (1492–1557), landowner and soldier, was born on 9 March 1492 at Coberley, Gloucestershire, the eldest of three sons and three daughters of Sir Giles Brydges (d. 1511), landowner, and his wife, Isabel (fl. c.1475–1511), daughter of ...

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Burgh, Walter de, first earl of Ulster (d. 1271), magnate and soldier, was the second son of Richard de Burgh (d. 1243), lord of Connacht, and Egidia, daughter of Walter de Lacy, lord of Weobley and Meath. Richard de Burgh died early in 1243 while serving on ...