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Barre, Richard (b. c. 1130, d. in or after 1202), ecclesiastic and justice, was related to the Sifrewasts, Berkshire knights who also held land at their ancestral centre, Chiffrevast, in Normandy. Some time before 1150 he studied law at Bologna, where he was a fellow student of the canonist ...

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Bellasis, Edward (1800–1873), serjeant-at-law and Roman Catholic convert, the only son of the Revd George Bellasis of Queen's College, Oxford, rector of Yattendon and vicar of Basilden and Ashampstead, Berkshire, and his second wife, Leah Cooper, only surviving child and heir of Emery Viall...

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Blackwood, Adam (1539–1613), civil lawyer and Roman Catholic polemicist, was born in Dunfermline, Fife, one of at least three children of William Blackwood (d. 1547), soldier, and Helen Reid (d. 1547/8). His parents died when he was about eight years old, his father in battle at ...

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Butler, Charles (1750–1832), Roman Catholic layman and lawyer, was born in London on 14 August 1750, the son of James Butler, a successful linen draper who had a shop on Pall Mall. His mother, whose maiden name was Blandecque and whose family came from ...

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Charles Butler (1750–1832) by Robert William Sievier, pubd 1817 (after John Barry) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Castro, Alfonso de (c. 1495–1558), Franciscan friar and jurist, was born in Zamora (León), not far from the Castilian-Portuguese border, and in 1510 or 1511, at about the age of fifteen, he entered the friary of San Francisco in Salamanca. About 1516, or even earlier, he went to study at the ...

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Clark, William (1568–1603), Roman Catholic priest and conspirator, was born about June 1568, the son of John and Helen Clark. He was born and raised at Walsall, Staffordshire, where his father was master of the grammar school. Clark attended the English College, then at ...

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Thompson Cooper

revised by G. Martin Murphy

Clifford, Henry (1768–1813), Roman Catholic layman and lawyer, was born on 2 March 1768, the second of the eight sons of Thomas Clifford (1732–1787) of Tixall, Staffordshire (brother of Hugh, fourth Baron Clifford), and his wife, Barbara (d. 1786), youngest daughter and coheir of ...

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Colville, John (1542?–1605), conspirator and Church of Scotland minister, was born in Scotland, the second son of Robert Colville of Cleish (d. 1560) and Francesca (d. 1591), daughter of Patrick Colquhoun of Drumskeath. He was educated at St Leonard's College, University of St Andrews...

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Fenwick [née Benison], Ann (1724–1777), Roman Catholic litigant and heir, was the only child of Thomas Benison (1696–1735), a Lancaster attorney, and his wife, Ann Dowbiggin (1694–1762), widow of a Mr Winder. The Benisons had been landowners in Hornby and Roeburndale, a few miles west of ...

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Philip Howard [St Philip Howard], thirteenth earl of Arundel (1557–1595) by unknown artist reproduced by kind permission of His Grace the Duke of Norfolk. Photograph: Photographic Survey, Courtauld Institute of Art, London

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Howard, Philip [St Philip Howard], thirteenth earl of Arundel (1557–1595), magnate and alleged traitor, was born on 28 June 1557 at Arundel House, the Strand, London, the only child of Thomas Howard, fourth duke of Norfolk (1538–1572), nobleman and courtier, and his first wife, ...

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John Lesley (1527–1596) by unknown artist Marischal Museum, University of Aberdeen

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Lesley [Leslie], John (1527–1596), bishop of Ross, historian, and conspirator, was born on 29 September 1527, the eldest illegitimate son of Gavin Lesley, parson of Kingussie, Inverness-shire, a descendant of the Lesleys of Balquhain. His mother was apparently a Ruthin, daughter of the laird of ...

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MacNamara, Daniel (1720–1800), lawyer and Roman Catholic activist, was born into the Roman Catholic MacNamara family of Ardcloney, near Killaloe, co. Clare, Ireland; his mother was Mary O'Callaghan. No information has been uncovered about his education. Although in later life he was generally known as ...

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Marsh, Walter (bap. 1560, d. 1595), spy and protestant martyr, was baptized on 17 October 1560 at St Stephen, Coleman Street, London, the third or fourth of the four children of John Marsh (b. before 1516, d. 1579), MP, mercer, and governor of the ...

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Martin [Martyn], Thomas (1520/21–1592/3), civil lawyer and polemicist, the son of John Martin of Cerne, Dorset, was educated at Winchester (admitted 1533, aged twelve) and New College, Oxford, of which he became a fellow in 1540, and subsequently (c.1550) at Bourges University...

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Paget, Thomas, fourth Baron Paget (c. 1544–1590), Roman Catholic layman and exile, was the second son of William Paget, first Baron Paget, the noted Tudor statesman (1505/6–1563), and Anne, Lady Paget (d. 1587), the daughter of Henry Preston. He matriculated as a fellow-commoner of ...

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Thomas Pickering (1621?–1679) by unknown engraver © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Pickering, Thomas (1621?–1679), Benedictine monk and victim of the Popish Plot, was probably born in 1621 as a member of the Pickering family of the barony of Kendal in Westmorland. His father was killed during the civil wars. He made his profession as a lay brother of ...