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Abingdon, Henry (d. 1437), ecclesiastic and college head, probably came from Abingdon in Berkshire. He was first elected a fellow of Merton in 1390 and spent most of his later career either there or fulfilling his residential duties as a canon of Wells...

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Adams, William (1706–1789), Church of England clergyman and college head, was born at Shrewsbury on 17 August 1706, the son of John Adams, mayor of Shrewsbury in 1726, and his wife, Elizabeth Jorden. Adams entered Pembroke College, Oxford, on 6 August 1720, graduated MA in 1727, became fellow of his college and, in 1734, tutor in place of ...

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See Authorized Version of the Bible, translators of the

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Alison, Francis (1705–1779), Presbyterian minister and college principal in America, was born in the parish of Leck in co. Donegal, the son of Robert Alison, a weaver descended from emigrants from Scotland. His mother's name and ancestry are unknown. He may have received his early education at ...

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Arbuthnot, Alexander (1538–1583), Church of Scotland minister and college head, was the second son of Andrew Arbuthnot of Pitcarles in Kincardineshire. He himself wrote a valuable history of the Arbuthnot family, which survives as MS 2764 in Aberdeen University Library. He was educated at ...

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Arrowsmith, John (1602–1659), college head and theologian, was born on 29 March 1602 in Gateshead; nothing is known of his parents or early life. He entered St John's College, Cambridge, in 1616 and graduated BA in 1620. He proceeded MA in 1623, and in the same year became a fellow of ...

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Ashwell, Arthur Rawson (1824–1879), Church of England clergyman and college head, was born at Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, on 9 December 1824, the son of James Ashwell, civil engineer and resident director of the Luxembourg Railway, and his wife, Susan, née Rawson. In 1843 he entered ...

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Baggs, Charles Michael (1806–1845), college head and vicar apostolic of the western district, was born at Belville, in co. Meath, Ireland, on 21 May 1806. He was the eldest son of a protestant barrister of Dublin, Charles Baggs, afterwards judge of the court of vice-admiralty in ...

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Baily, Thomas (c. 1527–1591), Roman Catholic priest and college head, was born in Yorkshire. On 3 June 1543, in his sixteenth year, he entered Clare College, Cambridge, as a scholar. He graduated BA in 1546. Wardale's Clare College says that the master and fellows of ...

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Baird, George Husband (1761–1840), Church of Scotland minister and university principal, was a native of the parish of Bo'ness on the Forth, Linlithgowshire, where his father, a landed gentleman of Stirlingshire, rented a farm from the duke of Hamilton. Born on 13 July 1761 at ...

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Barclay, Robert (1611/12–1682), Roman Catholic priest and college head, was born probably in Kincardineshire, the youngest of the four sons of David Barclay (1580–1660) of Mathers and Elizabeth Livingston, daughter of Sir John Livingston of Dunnipace. He graduated MA from Aberdeen University in 1633. After conversion to Roman Catholicism, ...

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Thomas Barclay (1792–1873) by Thomas Annan, pubd 1871 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Barclay, Thomas (1792–1873), Church of Scotland minister and university principal, was born at Unst, in Shetland, in June 1792, the youngest of the five sons of James Barclay (1745–1793), the minister of the parish, and his wife, Ursula, daughter of William Archibald, James Barclay's...

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Barton [Berton], William (d. after 1382), theologian and university principal, originated in the diocese of Canterbury, and must have read the arts course at Oxford in the early 1350s. First recorded in 1356 as a fellow of Merton College, he vacated his fellowship in 1361, although he acted as a feoffee for the college as late as 1380. He was bachelor of theology by 1376 and doctor by 1380. He was admitted rector of ...

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Ralph Bathurst (1619/2020–1704) by David Loggan © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bathurst, Ralph (1619/20–1704), dean of Wells and college head, was born at Hothorpe, Northamptonshire, the fifth of thirteen sons and four daughters of George Bathurst (c.1579–1656) and his wife, Elizabeth Villiers. He was educated at Coventry Free School, and matriculated at ...

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Baylie, Richard (1585/6?–1667), college head and dean of Salisbury, was the son of Richard Baylie (d. 1587) of Lichfield, Staffordshire, and Anne Quiney of Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire, sister of William Shakespeare's friend Richard Quiney. After his father's death his mother married ...

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Bernard, John Henry (1860–1927), Church of Ireland archbishop of Dublin and college head, was born on 27 July 1860 at Sooree, Beerbohm, Bengal, the eldest of the three children (one brother who died in infancy and one sister) of William Frederick Bernard (1825–1863)...

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Blackwell, Thomas (1660?–1728), Church of Scotland minister and college head, was probably born in Glasgow, the son of a covenanting calenderer, Thomas Blackwell, and his wife, Janet Knox. He was educated at the University of Glasgow, where he apparently earned an MA in 1684. He was licensed to preach on 23 February 1693 and received a call to become a minister from the ...

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Bloxham, John [Geffrei] (c. 1340–1387), theologian and college head, evidently came from Bloxham, Oxfordshire. He was elected fellow of Merton in 1361, and spent his whole life thereafter at the college, as bursar in 1365–7, and as warden from 16 October 1375 until his death. He studied theology as a fellow, and having completed all the requirements for the doctorate by October 1375 qualified as an inceptor in theology; but, presumably omitting to perform his necessary lectures as a regent master, he did not graduate as a doctor. He benefited from the ecclesiastical patronage of his college, becoming vicar of ...