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Acton, Sir Robert (b. before 1497, d. 1558), saddler and member of parliament, was born into a family of Worcestershire gentry, the son of Richard Acton of Sutton and his wife, Margery Dore. How he obtained an entrée to the royal court is unknown, but by 22 October 1518 he was a groom of the chamber, subsequently becoming a page (1526) and a gentleman usher (1528). More important to his advancement, however, was his marriage, by May 1528, to ...

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Addison, John (d. 1540), clergyman, was born in York diocese and studied at Cambridge, where he graduated BA in 1506, subsequently proceeding MA (1509), BD (1515), and DD (1523). A fellow of Pembroke College from 1505 to 1522, on which title he was ordained priest at ...

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Aldrich, Robert (1488/9–1556), bishop of Carlisle, was born at Burnham, Buckinghamshire, probably the son of Richard Aldryge; his brother John, a London grocer, died early in 1518. Robert was educated at Eton College, and was admitted as a scholar of King's College, Cambridge...

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Allen, Francis (c. 1583–1658), politician and regicide, was probably born in London, though nothing is as yet known of his early life or parentage. He first appears in the mid-1630s as a liveryman of the Goldsmiths' Company living on Fleet Street. He was one of those goldsmiths living in '...

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Allen, Sir John (c. 1470–1544), mayor of London, was born in Thaxted, Essex, into an agrarian family of moderate means. His father, Richard Allen, apprenticed him to Roger Bourchier of the London Mercers' Company, to which he was admitted in 1497. Allen was elected a warden of the Mercers in 1509, making him eligible for ward office, and in 1515 he was nominated alderman from ...

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Alleyne [Allyn], Thomas (c. 1488–1558), clergyman and benefactor, was probably a native of Sudbury, Staffordshire, where he later made provision for the commemoration of his parents. A suggestion that he originated in the diocese of Salisbury and studied at Oxford seems to be without foundation. His father's name was most probably ...

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Alured, John (bap. 1607, d. 1651), army officer and regicide, was baptized in the parish of All Saints, Sculcoates, Hull, Yorkshire, on 4 April 1607, the eldest son of Henry Alured (c.1581–1628), gentleman landowner, and his wife, Frances (d. 1626)...

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Alured, Matthew (bap. 1615, d. 1694), parliamentarian army officer, was baptized at Sculcoates, Yorkshire, on 3 January 1615, the sixth son of Henry Alured (c.1581–1628) of the Charterhouse, near Hull, and his wife, Frances (d. 1626), daughter of Francis Vaughan...

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Anderson [alias Munson], Lionel [name in religion Albert] (c. 1633–1710), Dominican friar, was born in Lincolnshire, the son of William Anderson of Castlethorpe and his wife, Jane Johnson. He was received into the Roman Catholic church in Lisbon, and made his way to ...

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Anslay, Brian (d. 1536), administrator and translator, about whose parentage and origins little is known, participated, as yeoman of the wine cellar, in Henry VII's funeral procession and in Henry VIII's coronation ceremonies in 1509. In 1521 his translation of Christine de Pisan's...

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Arden, Thomas (c. 1508–1551), murder victim, was the son of Margery Arden of Norwich, also known as Mother Arden. His career shows that he was well educated, almost certainly as a lawyer. By 1537 he was an assistant to Edward North, clerk of the ...

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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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Arundell, Sir Thomas (c. 1502–1552), administrator and convicted conspirator, was the younger son of Sir John Arundell of Lanherne, Cornwall (c.1474–1545), and his first wife, Eleanor (d. by December 1503), daughter of Thomas Grey, first marquess of Dorset (c. 1455–1501)...

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Ascham, Anthony (bap. 1614, d. 1650), diplomat and pamphleteer, was baptized on 6 March 1614 in Boston, Lincolnshire, the son of Thomas and Cicilly (d. 1634) Ascham or Ascombe. Little is known of his parents, though Allen states he was descended of the same family as ...

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See Ashe, John

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Ashe, John (1597–1659), clothier and parliamentarian activist, was born in Westcombe, Somerset, the eldest son of James Ashe (d. 1646), clothier, and his wife, Grace Pitt, daughter of Richard Pitt of Weymouth. He was baptized at Batcombe, in the same county, on 27 October 1597. He married ...

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Ashwell, John (d. 1541?), prior of Newnham, was educated at Oxford University, where he received the degree of DCnL in 1515. He was incorporated at Cambridge soon afterwards. Little else is known of his early career. He became rector of Mistley, Essex, in 1504; the living was vacant by August 1516, the same month in which ...