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Acland, Sir John (c. 1552–1620), politician and benefactor, was the younger son of John Acland (d. 1553) of Acland Barton in the parish of Landkey, north Devon, and Margaret, daughter and coheir of Hugh Radcliff of Stepney and the Middle Temple. He was born into an established gentry family which already bore heraldic arms and owned lands in five other ...

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Edward Alleyn (1566–1626) by unknown artist by permission of the Trustees of Dulwich Picture Gallery

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Alleyn, Edward (1566–1626), actor, theatre entrepreneur, and founder of Dulwich College, was born on 1 September 1566 in the London parish of St Botolph without Bishopsgate, 'near Devonshire House, where now is the sign of the Pye'. He was baptized the following day in the parish church, the son of ...

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Alleyne [Allyn], Thomas (c. 1488–1558), clergyman and benefactor, was probably a native of Sudbury, Staffordshire, where he later made provision for the commemoration of his parents. A suggestion that he originated in the diocese of Salisbury and studied at Oxford seems to be without foundation. His father's name was most probably ...

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Armitt, Mary Louisa (1851–1911), author and founder of the Armitt Library, Ambleside, was born at 19 Melbourne Terrace, Salford, Lancashire, on 24 September 1851. She was the youngest of three daughters of William Armitt (1815–1867), an impecunious assistant overseer who valued learning, and his wife, ...

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Mary Louisa Armitt (1851–1911) by Sophia Armitt The Armitt Trust Collection

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Ashton, Hugh (d. 1522), Catholic ecclesiastic and university benefactor, apparently never himself had a formal university education, his main expertise lying in administration and estate management. He probably first encountered Lady Margaret Beaufort, countess of Richmond and Derby, in Lancashire, his native county, and rose to prominence through this association. On 7 January 1496 he was admitted to the rectory of ...

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Hugh Ashton (d. 1522) by unknown sculptor © Crown copyright. NMR

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Aske, Robert (1619–1689), silk merchant and benefactor, was born on 24 February 1619, the son of Robert Aske of the parish of St Mary Woolchurch, London, and his second wife, Margery Middleton, the widowed daughter of John Hill of Wendover, whom he married in 1611. The two ...

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Aylesbury, Sir Thomas, baronet (1579/80–1658), patron of mathematics, was born probably in early 1580, possibly in London, where some of his siblings were later baptized at St Andrew's, Holborn. He was the second son among at least eight children of William Aylesbury (...

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Badew, Richard (d. 1361), university principal and founder of University Hall, Cambridge, was born, towards the close of the thirteenth century, into an established knightly family which took its name from Great Baddow, near Chelmsford, Essex, where it had estates dispersed among several neighbouring villages. According to ...

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Balliol, Dervorguilla de, lady of Galloway (d. 1290), noblewoman and benefactor, was a daughter of Alan, lord of Galloway (b. before 1199, d. 1234), and his second wife, Margaret, eldest daughter of David, earl of Huntingdon (d. 1219). Born some time after 1209, the date of her parents' marriage, her distinctive Gaelic name, ...

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Balsham, Hugh of (d. 1286), bishop of Ely and benefactor, took his name from Balsham, Cambridgeshire, one of Ely Priory's manors. Nothing is known of his background, except that during the controversy aroused by his election as bishop it was alleged that he was of servile origins. He became a monk at ...

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Bampton, John (1689–1751), benefactor, was born in 1689; details of his place of birth, parentage, and upbringing are unknown. He was educated at Trinity College, Oxford, where he graduated BA (1709) and MA (1712). Having taken orders he was installed as a prebendary at ...

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Bancroft, Francis (1667–1728), financial agent and benefactor, was born in Spitalfields, London, on 26 October 1667, the second son of John Bancroft (bap. 1614, d. 1705), a City financier who became serjeant-carver to the lord mayor, and his second wife, Rebecka Cole (...

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Barnham, Benedict (bap. 1559, d. 1598), merchant and benefactor, was baptized on 2 June 1559 at St Mildred Poultry, London, the fourth and youngest son of Alice Barnham, silkwoman and benefactor, and her husband, Francis Barnham [see under Barnham, Alice], draper and local politician. From 1559 the family lived at ...

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Bateman [Norwich], William (c. 1298–1355), diplomat, founder of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and bishop of Norwich, was probably born in Norwich (from which he was sometimes named), the third son of William and Margery Bateman. His father was many times bailiff of the city, and in 1326–7 its member of ...

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Mary Ann Baxter (1801–1884) by Edward Hughes, 1883 University of Dundee Archive Services

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Baxter, Mary Ann (1801–1884), benefactor, was born on 4 May 1801 at Dundee, the seventh child of eight surviving children of William Baxter (1767–1854), linen merchant and manufacturer, and his wife, Betty or Elisabeth Gorell (d. 1804), daughter of Edward Gorell of ...

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Bevan [née Vaughan], Bridget [known as Madam Bevan] (bap. 1698, d. 1779), educational benefactor, baptized on 30 October 1698 at Merthyr church in Llannewydd, Carmarthenshire, was the youngest daughter of John Vaughan (1663–1722) and his wife, Elizabeth Thomas (d. 1721)...