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Acworth, George (1534–1581x6), administrator and scholar, was born in London in 1534, the son of Thomas Acworth, a merchant taylor of London, and his wife, Anne. Thomas came from Bedfordshire, where his father, also named George, had been elected knight of the shire for that county in 1529. During his youth ...

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Ælfric of Eynsham [Ælfric Grammaticus, Ælfric the Homilist] (c. 950–c. 1010), Benedictine abbot of Eynsham and scholar, is of unknown origins, though his language suggests he came from Wessex. He was educated under Æthelwold in the monastic school at Winchester, and after becoming a monk and priest was sent about 987 to the abbey of ...

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Ailerán [Aileranus Sapiens] (d. 665), scholar, usually called ‘the Wise’ (Aileranus Sapiens), was a teacher in the monastery of Clonard, Meath, and wrote at least two works to assist students in interpreting the gospels. Apart from his being a monk and teacher in ...

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Aldhelm [St Aldhelm] (d. 709/10), abbot of Malmesbury, bishop of Sherborne, and scholar, was a prolific Latin author whose idiosyncratic style of composition in the media of prose and verse, both metrical and rhythmical, was profoundly influential both in England and on the continent up to the Norman conquest. His life is moderately well documented: ...

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Aldhelm [St Aldhelm] (d. 70910) drawing The British Library

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Alfonsi, Petrus (fl. 1106–1126), scholar and translator of scientific works, was born in northern Spain, to Jewish parents. He was baptized a Christian on 29 June 1106 in Huesca, Aragon, with the names of the apostle on whose feast day the baptism took place and of his godfather, ...

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Francesco Algarotti, Count Algarotti in the Prussian nobility (1712–1764) by Jean-Étienne Liotard, c. 1745 Rijksprentenkabinet, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

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Algarotti, Francesco, Count Algarotti in the Prussian nobility (1712–1764), poet and scholar, was born on 11 December 1712 in the family home in Venice on the Fondamenta Nuove, the second son of Rocco Algarotti (d. 1726) and his wife, Maria Mercati. His father was a prosperous merchant of Paduan origin, settled in ...

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Ammonius, Andreas [Andrea della Rena] (bap. 1476, d. 1517), humanist scholar and poet, was the son of Elisabetta Vanni and her husband, Francesco della Rena (dell' Arena). Of a family long established as silk weavers at Lucca, he was baptized in the cathedral there on 13 October 1476. In preparation for an ecclesiastical career, he studied with ...

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Ashe, St George (1658–1718), Church of Ireland bishop of Derry and scholar, was born at Castle Strange, co. Roscommon, on 3 March 1658, the second of the three sons of Thomas Ashe, who belonged to a Wiltshire family that had settled in Ireland...

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Thomas Seccombe

revised by M. C. Curthoys

Babington, Churchill (1821–1889), scholar, was born at Roecliffe, Leicestershire, on 11 March 1821, the only son of Matthew Drake Babington (1788–1851), rector of Thringstone, and his wife, Hannah (d. 1873), daughter of Benjamin Fleetwood Churchill. He was connected with the Macaulay family, and slightly, on his mother's side, with that of the poet ...

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Bacon [née Cooke], Anne, Lady Bacon (c. 1528–1610), gentlewoman and scholar, was probably born at Gidea Hall, Essex. She was third of the nine children of Sir Anthony Cooke (1505/6–1576), one of the humanist educators who tutored Edward VI, and Anne (...

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Anne Bacon, Lady Bacon (c. 1528–1610) by unknown artist reproduced by permission of the Earl of Verulam. Photograph: Photographic Survey, Courtauld Institute of Art, London

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Bartholomaeus Anglicus (b. before 1203, d. 1272), Franciscan friar and encyclopaedist, is of unknown parentage, and there is no information about his early years. His association with the Suffolk Glanvilles, reported by John Leland, who identifies Bartholomaeus as Bartholomew de Glanville, depends upon a late fourteenth-century colophon in Cambridge, Peterhouse, MS 67. ...

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Bartholomaeus Anglicus (b. before 1203, d. 1272) illuminated initial © The Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

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Basingstoke, John of [John Basing] (d. 1252), scholar and ecclesiastic, takes his name from the town of Basingstoke in Hampshire. Two contemporary sources speak of him: the chronicler Matthew Paris, and Robert Grosseteste, bishop of Lincoln (d. 1253). Basingstoke was closely associated with ...

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Bayly, John (1595/6–1633), scholar and Church of England clergyman, was born in Herefordshire, the eldest son of Lewis Bayly (c. 1575–1631), later bishop of Bangor, and of his first wife, probably called Judith Appleton, and brother of Thomas Bayly (d. c. 1657), also later a clergyman. By 1611 he was an undergraduate at ...

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Thomas Spencer Baynes (1823–1887) by Thomas Rodger courtesy of St Andrews University Library

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Baynes, Thomas Spencer (1823–1887), editor of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, was born on 24 March 1823 at Wellington, Somerset, the son of Joseph Baynes (for fifty years minister of Wellington's Baptist congregation) and his wife, Anna Day Ash, a descendant of the lexicographer Dr John Ash...