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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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John Anstis (1669–1744) attrib. Thomas Hudson The College of Arms

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Anstis, John (1669–1744), herald and antiquary, was born at St Neot, Cornwall, on 28 or 29 August 1669, the first son of John Anstis (d. 1692), registrar of the archdeaconry of Cornwall, and Mary (1641×52–1669), daughter of George Smith of Lantewy and ...

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Anstis, John (1708–1754), herald, was born on 17 November 1708 in St Clement Danes, Westminster, the seventh of fourteen children and eldest surviving son of John Anstis the elder (1669–1744), Garter king of arms, and his wife, Elizabeth (c.1675–c.1735)...

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Ascham, Roger (1514/15–1568), author and royal tutor, was born at Kirby Wiske, near Northallerton in the North Riding of Yorkshire, the third of the four sons of John Ascham (d. 1544), steward to Henry, seventh Lord Scrope of Bolton, and his wife, ...

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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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Sir James Balfour of Denmiln and Kinnaird, first baronet (1600–1657) by unknown artist Scottish National Portrait Gallery

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Balfour, Sir James, of Denmiln and Kinnaird, first baronet (1603/4–1657), antiquary and herald, was probably born at Denmiln, Fife, the son of Sir Michael Balfour of Denmiln (c.1580–1652), later MP for Fife and comptroller of the household to Charles I, and his wife, ...

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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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Barker, Sir Christopher (d. 1550), herald, was one of three sons of William Barker of Stokesley, Yorkshire, and his wife, Jane, daughter of William Carlill or Carlisle of Newcastle; there were also half-brothers and a half-sister. Christopher Carlill (d. 1511), Norroy king of arms, was his uncle, and another ...

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Belmaine, Jean (fl. 1546–1559), royal tutor, is of uncertain origins. He probably came to England from France in the wake of the French persecutions of religious evangelicals after the edict of Fontainebleau (1540). He certainly had Calvinist sympathies: his corrections to Edward VI's...

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Beltz, George Frederick (1774–1841), genealogist, was born on 9 August 1774, the eldest son and second of seven children of George Nicholas Beltz of St George's, Bloomsbury, coal merchant, and his wife, Elizabeth (d. 1796), only child of Samuel Gutteridge of Purley, Berkshire...

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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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Bigland, Ralph (1712–1784), herald and cheesemonger, was born on 29 January 1712 at Stepney, Middlesex, the only son of Richard Bigland (1658–1725) of Wapping, tallow chandler, and his second wife, Mary (1676–1736), daughter of George Errington of Benwell, Northumberland. His father was a native of ...

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Ralph Bigland (1712–1784) by Charles Townley, 1771 (after Richard Brompton) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Blount, Charles, fifth Baron Mountjoy (1516–1544), courtier and patron of learning, was the eldest son of William Blount, fourth Baron Mountjoy (c. 1478–1534), and his third wife, Alice Brown, née Kebel (or Keble; d. 1521). Charles was born on 28 June 1516 in ...

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Blundell, William (1620–1698), royalist landowner and topographer, was born on 15 July 1620 at Crosby Hall, Little Crosby, Lancashire, the second son of Nicholas Blundell (c.1590–1631) and Jane (d. 1640), daughter of Roger Bradshaigh of Haigh, near Wigan. In 1635 at the age of fifteen he married, in ...

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Borough, Sir John (d. 1643), antiquary and herald, was the son of John Borough of Sandwich, Kent, and his wife, a daughter of Robert Denne of Dennehill, Kent, who inherited land in The Hague. His grandfather William Borough was apparently married to a Dutchwoman, and his father was described by contemporaries as a Dutch gardener or brewer. He should not be confused with ...

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Boutell, Charles (1812–1877), writer on heraldry and antiquities, was born on 1 August 1812 at Pulham St Mary, Norfolk, the son of the Revd Charles Boutell (1771–1855), perpetual curate of Repps-with-Bastwick, Norfolk (1808–48), and his wife, Mary Elizabeth (née Day). He entered ...