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See Abberbury family

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Abbo of Fleury [St Abbo of Fleury] (945x50–1004), abbot of St Benoît-sur-Loire, was a French monk influential, by both his presence in England and his writings, in the monastic revival of the late tenth century. He was born in the region of Orléans...

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Abbot, John (1587/8–c. 1650), Roman Catholic priest and poet, is of unknown parentage and is variously recorded as 'of London' and 'of Leicester'. He was born a protestant, and was reputedly a nephew of George Abbot, who became archbishop of ...

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Abel (fl. 744–747), bishop-suffragan of Rheims, first appears in the acts of the Council of Soissons in March 744, which record the elevation of himself and one Hartbert to the status of archbishops, although the acts mention no specific sees. Historians have considered these appointments as a restoration of the lapsed ancient Gallic provincial organization under the inspiration of ...

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Abell, Adam (1475x80?–1537?), Franciscan friar and chronicler, was born in Salt Preston, Haddingtonshire, but the names and occupations of his parents are not recorded and details of his early life are scant. What little is known is derived largely from his chronicle, ...

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Abell, Thomas (d. 1540), Roman Catholic priest and martyr, is of obscure origins. He was in priest's orders by May 1513. Nothing else is known about his early life beyond his studies at Oxford, where he determined as a BA in 1514, and proceeded MA in 1518. In 1522 he was admitted to the rectory of ...

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Abercromby, John (supp. fl. 1561), Benedictine monk, is recorded only in Thomas Dempster's Historia ecclesiastica, a lengthy compilation of short biographies which sometimes have a substratum of fact, but more often no factual basis whatever. Dempster's few lines on Abercromby are vague. He adds '...

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Abercromby, Robert (1536–1613), Jesuit, was born at Murthly, in the parish of Little Dunkeld, Perthshire, a kinsman of Richard Abercromby, last abbot of Inchcolm (d. 1549). He matriculated at St Mary's College at the University of St Andrews in 1551, and graduated in humanities from ...

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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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Abingdon, Robert of [Robert Rich] (d. 1243), ecclesiastic and supposed hagiographer, was the younger brother of Edmund of Abingdon and his assistant in the administration of the diocese and province of Canterbury. He was the second son of Reginald the Rich and Mabel of Abingdon...

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Acca [St Acca] (d. 740), bishop of Hexham, is best known as the disciple of Wilfrid and patron of Bede. He became a monk at an unknown date and joined the household of Bishop Bosa of York after 678; but he seems to have attached himself to ...

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(Giovanni) Giacinto Achilli (b. c. 1803) by unknown engraver, pubd 1850 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Achilli, (Giovanni) Giacinto (b. c. 1803), Dominican priest, anti-Catholic polemicist, and seducer, was born in the village of Celleno, 18 miles from Viterbo, then in the Papal States. He joined the Dominican order in 1819, studied at the convent of the Minerva in ...

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Aconcio, Jacopo [Jacobus Acontius] (c. 1520–1566/7?), theologian and military engineer, was perhaps born at Ossana, in the Val di Sole, not far from Trento in Italy, the son of Gerolamo Aconcio and his wife, Oliana. After studying law Aconcio was admitted to the ...

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Thompson Cooper

revised by Rosemary Mitchell

Acton, Charles Januarius Edward (1803–1847), cardinal, was born at Naples on 6 March 1803, the second son of Sir John Francis Edward Acton, sixth baronet (1736–1811), of Aldenham Hall, near Bridgnorth, Shropshire. Sir John was commander-in-chief of the land and sea forces of the kingdom of ...

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John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, first Baron Acton (1834–1902) by Eveleen Myers, 1890s © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Acton, John Emerich Edward Dalberg, first Baron Acton (1834–1902), historian and moralist, was born at Naples on 10 January 1834, the only child of Sir Ferdinand Richard Edward Acton, seventh baronet (1801–1837), and Marie Louise Pelline de Dalberg (1812–1860), the French-bred heir of ...

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Acton, Ralph (supp. fl. after 1179), supposed preacher and compiler of sermons, is said to have composed various series on the Sunday gospels and epistles, and on the gospels and epistles for saints' days, which are listed by Bale, with incipits, from three manuscripts no longer extant. ...

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Adalbert [St Adalbert, Adalbert Levita] (supp. fl. early 8th cent.), missionary, is associated with Willibrord and venerated at Egmont, near Alkmaar in the Netherlands. He makes his earliest appearance in a life written between 978 and 993 by monks of the monastery of ...

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Adam Anglicus (supp. fl. 14th cent.), supposed theologian, is described in a treatise on the immaculate conception of the Virgin by the fifteenth-century Dominican Vincentius Bandellus as one of the notable theologians of the past, a doctor of Paris who in a commentary on the ...