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Ambrosius Aurelianus [called Emrys Wledig] (fl. 5th cent.), military leader, successfully resisted the Anglo-Saxon advance across Britain. What little specific information can be established about him and his activities derives from chapter 25 of the De excidio Britanniae by Gildas, which was the source for ...

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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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Brennan, Michael [Mícheál] (1896–1986), Irish revolutionary and general, was born on 2 February 1896 at Gortgarraun, near Meelick, co. Clare, the youngest of three rebel sons of Patrick Brennan, a tenant farmer (1865–1901), and Mary (1862/3–1939), daughter of Michael Clancy from Rathurd, co. Limerick...

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Caesar [Gaius Julius Caesar] (100–44 bc), politician, author, and military commander, was born on 13 Quinctilis (July) 100 bc, probably at Rome, the son of Gaius Julius Caesar, a patrician of old but recently undistinguished family whose brother-in-law was Gaius Marius, and Aurelia...

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Calgacus [Galgacus] (fl. c. ad 83/4), chieftain in Caledonia, was the British war leader whom Tacitus represents as exhorting the confederate host which opposed a Roman army under Cn. Julius Agricola at the battle of 'Mons Graupius'. The site of this conflict, in which upwards of (reportedly) 30,000 native troops united to defend ...

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Calveley, Sir Hugh (d. 1394), military commander, was the son of David Calveley of Lea in Cheshire and his first wife, Joan.

Calveley served his military apprenticeship in the war of succession in Brittany (1341–64), in which the English supported the partisans of ...

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Clare, Richard fitz Gilbert de [called Strongbow], second earl of Pembroke [earl of Striguil] (c. 1130–1176), warrior, was the son of Gilbert fitz Gilbert (d. 6 Jan? 1148), whom King Stephen created earl of Pembroke in 1138 and to whom the sobriquet ...

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Clinton, Edward Fiennes de, first earl of Lincoln (1512–1585), military commander, was the only son and heir of Thomas Fiennes de Clinton, eighth Baron Clinton and Saye (c.1490–1517), and his wife, Joan, illegitimate daughter of Sir Edward Poynings (1459–1521). Thomas, whose seat was at ...

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Edward Fiennes de Clinton, first earl of Lincoln (1512–1585) by unknown artist, 1584 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Courcy [Courci], John de (d. 1219?), conqueror of Ulster, styled by contemporaries prince of Ulster, is of uncertain parentage. He was without doubt a member of the well-known family who took their name from Courcy-sur-Dives in Calvados and who were lords of Stoke Courcy (Stogursey)...

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T. F. Tout

revised by R. R. Davies

Dafydd [David] Gam (d. 1415), warrior, was descended lineally from the native Welsh rulers of Brycheiniog; his own pedigree, which can be documentarily established from the mid-thirteenth century, runs as follows: Dafydd Gam ap Llywelyn ap Hywel Fychan ap Hywel ab Einion Sais...

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Ealdred (d. 933?), leader of the Northumbrians, was the son of Eadulf and lord of Bamburgh. He was the most important Anglo-Saxon in Northumbria during the early tenth century, a time of renewed viking activity, and the last representative of an independent Anglo-Saxon royal family in the north. His father, ...

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Edward [Edward of Woodstock; known as the Black Prince], prince of Wales and of Aquitaine (1330–1376), heir to the English throne and military commander, was the eldest son of Edward III (1312–1377) and Philippa of Hainault (1310x15?–1369).

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Edward, prince of Wales and of Aquitaine (1330–1376) tomb effigy by kind permission of the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury; photographer: Mrs Mary Tucker

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Gerontius (d. 411), Roman general, was commander-in-chief (magister militum) successively of the usurpers Constantine III and Maximus. Gerontius was a native of Britain; his name is Greek, but since the third century it had been popular in Rome's western provinces, and has survived in Welsh as ...

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Sir (James) Aylmer Lowthorpe Haldane (1862–1950) by Bassano, 1922 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Haldane, Sir (James) Aylmer Lowthorpe (1862–1950), army officer and author, was born on 17 November 1862 at 14 Stafford Street, Edinburgh, the only son and sixth of seven children of Daniel Rutherford Haldane (1824–1887), physician, and his wife, Charlotte Elizabeth Lowthorpe (d...

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Sir John Hawkwood (d. 1394) by Paolo Uccello, 1436 photograph: AKG London

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Hawkwood, Sir John (d. 1394), military commander, was the second son of Gilbert Hawkwood, a tanner and minor landowner at Sible Hedingham, Essex, where the family had held land since the beginning of the thirteenth century. The date of his birth is not recorded, but he was evidently in his early manhood by the time of his father's death in 1340, since, along with his elder brother, also called ...

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Heke Pokai, Hone Wiremu (c. 1807/8–1850), Maori war leader, was born at Pakaraka, inland from the Bay of Islands in the North Island of New Zealand. His birth probably took place shortly after the great battle between his people and Ngati Whatua, often known as ...