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Æthelweard [Ethelwerd] (d. 998?), chronicler and magnate, was ealdorman of south-western England. He styled himself 'Patricius Consul Fabius Quaestor', a latinization of 'Æthel-/ealdorman/Fabius/-weard'. He was the father of Æthelmær, grandfather of one Æthelweard and grandfather-in-law of another: all also ealdormen, and two of the same south-western ealdormanry as ...

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Benolt, Thomas (d. 1534), herald and diplomat, may have been born at Rouen; his mother's maiden name was Meautis, but his father's identity is not known. It was with Calais, however, that the family had its strongest links; Benolt is generally thought to have been a native of ...

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Bysshe, Sir Edward (c. 1610–1679), herald and politician, was one of the seven children of Edward Bysshe MP (d. 1655), of Burstow, Surrey, and his wife, Mary, daughter of John Turner of Ham, Bletchingley, Surrey. The family had been at Burstow since the fifteenth century, and there his father, a successful lawyer in the ...

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Clare, Elizabeth de [Elizabeth de Burgh; known as lady of Clare] (1294/5–1360), magnate and founder of Clare College, Cambridge, was usually known as Elizabeth de Burgh, and was described by herself and others as lady of Clare. She was the youngest daughter of ...

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Dethick, Sir Gilbert (1499/1500–1584), herald and diplomat, was the grandson of Robert Derrick (d. 1525) of the king's armoury at Greenwich, a German armourer brought to England by Erasmus Kyrkener, and Agatha, daughter of Matthis Leyendecker, a barber of Aachen. His grandparents had three sons, ...

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Douglas, William, first marquess of Douglas (1589–1660), magnate and scholar, was the eldest son of William Douglas, tenth earl of Angus (c. 1554–1611), and his wife, Elizabeth (d. in or after 1611), daughter of Laurence Oliphant, fourth Lord Oliphant. From early childhood, the ...

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Ferne, Sir John (c. 1560–1609), administrator and writer on heraldry, was the son of William Ferne (d. 1592) of Temple Belwood in the Isle of Axholme, Lincolnshire, and Anne, daughter of John Sheffield of Beltoft, Lincolnshire. Admitted to the Inner Temple in 1576/7, when he was probably in his late teens, ...

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Keith, George, fourth Earl Marischal (1549/50–1623), magnate and founder of Marischal College, Aberdeen, was the eldest son of William, master of Marischal (c.1530–1580), and his wife, Elizabeth Hay (b. c.1530), daughter of George, seventh earl of Erroll. He was educated with his younger brother ...

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King, Gregory (1648–1712), herald and political economist, was born at Lichfield, Staffordshire, on 15 December 1648, the eldest son of Gregory King (fl. 1648–1668), who was originally from Leicester, and his first wife, Elizabeth Andrews (d. 1668) of Sandwich in Kent...

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Machado, Roger [Ruy] (d. 1510), diplomat and herald, was probably of Portuguese extraction and may have lived among the Portuguese merchants at Bruges in 1455.

Machado first appears as Leicester herald on missions to the Low Countries in 1478 or 1479 and in 1480. He was possibly the Leicester herald present at the marriage of ...

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Spithovius [Spithoff], Johannes (d. 1563), royal tutor and diplomat, was born in or near Münster, in Westphalia, and maintained the alias Monasteriensis, though he generally identified himself with the Low Countries. He signed his name most frequently in Latin; his Danish name was ...

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Mary de St Pol, countess of Pembroke (c. 1304–1377) workshop of Jean Pucelle, c. 1320 [kneeling, left, before St Cecilia] by permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library

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St Pol, Mary de, countess of Pembroke (c. 1304–1377), magnate and founder of Pembroke College, Cambridge, was the fourth daughter of Guy de Châtillon, count of St Pol (d. 1317), and of Mary of Brittany, granddaughter of Henry III. She had five sisters and two brothers, but nothing is known of her childhood. Both ...

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Sir Peter Young (1544–1628) by unknown artist © Scottish National Portrait Gallery

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Young, Sir Peter (1544–1628), royal tutor and diplomat, was born on 15 August 1544 at Dundee, the second son of John Young (b. 1497), burgess of Edinburgh and Dundee, and Margaret, daughter of Walter Scrymgeour of Glasswell. John Young's third son, Alexander...