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Arneway, John (1599/1600–c. 1653), polemicist, was the third surviving son of John Arneway (d. 1622), yeoman of Peplow, Hodnet, Shropshire, and Dorothy (fl. 1599–1621), probably née Hinstocke. He had one elder sister who survived until adulthood. In 1618, aged eighteen, he matriculated at ...

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J. E. Bailey

revised by Vivienne Larminie

Askew, Egeon (1575/6–1637), Church of England clergyman, was a native of Lancashire. His family originated from Mulcaster, Cumberland, and lived subsequently at Kirby Ireleth, Lancashire, where Thomas Askew, probably Egeon's younger brother, was instituted vicar in 1606. Having matriculated from Queen's College, Oxford...

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Joseph Barker (1806–1875) by John Cochran, pubd 1880 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Barker, Joseph (1806–1875), Methodist minister and politico-religious controversialist, was born on 11 May 1806 at Bramley, near Leeds. His ancestors, originally of Keighley, had been settled in this area for several generations as farmers and manufacturers. The identity of his parents has not been discovered, though it is known that his father was employed in woollen manufacture and served for some time in the militia, and that ...

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Crowley, Thomas [pseud. Amor Patriae] (c. 1713–1787), religious controversialist and political writer, of whose date and place of birth details are unknown, appears to have been connected to those Crowleys who pioneered the iron industry of the west midlands. In any event he turned up in ...

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Fisher, Edward (b. 1611/12, d. in or after 1656), political and religious controversialist, was the eldest son of Sir Edward Fisher (d. 1654), knight, of Mickleton, Gloucestershire, and his wife, Maria (d. 1642), daughter of Sir Thomas Challoner. On 25 August 1627, aged fifteen, he was admitted to ...

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Frost, Thomas (1821–1908), radical writer, was born at Croydon, Surrey, on 16 December 1821, the son (he had two sisters and a brother) of William Frost (1785/6–1872), a tailor who read Cobbett's Register and took part in the Reform Bill agitation, and his wife, ...

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Fuller, William (1670–1733), government agent and controversialist, was born, according to his own account, on 20 September 1670 at Milton, near Sittingbourne, Kent, the son of Robert Fuller, a substantial local grazier, who died only a few months later, and his wife, Catherine (...

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Hitchens, Christopher Eric (1949–2011), journalist and author, was born on 13 April 1949 at 3 Nettlecombe Avenue, Southsea, Portsmouth, the elder son of Eric Ernest Hitchens (1909–1987), a Royal Navy commander, and his wife, Yvonne Jeanne (or Jean), née Hickman (d. 1973)...

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Christopher Eric Hitchens (1949–2011) by John Dempsie, 1978 ©John Dempsie; Associated News / Rex

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Hunt, Thomas (1626/7–1688), lawyer and whig polemicist, was born in Austin Friars, London, the son of Richard Hunt, citizen and mercer of London, and his wife, Mary Gascoyne, daughter of William Gascoyne of Cleveland, Yorkshire. He was admitted a pensioner at Queens' College, Cambridge...

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Hunton, Philip (bap. 1602, d. 1682/3), polemicist, was baptized at Andover, Hampshire, on 12 September 1602, the son of Philip Hunton, yeoman. He was admitted as a batteler or servitor at Wadham College, Oxford, in 1622; he matriculated on 31 January 1623, graduated BA in 1626, and proceeded MA in 1629. He was ordained priest at ...

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Jane, Joseph (d. 1658), politician and controversialist, was born in Liskeard, Cornwall, to an influential Cornish family (the family coat of arms was argent, a lion rampant azure between three escallops gules). The identity of his mother is unknown. His father, Thomas Jane...

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Kravchinsky, Sergey Mikhailovich [pseud. Stepniak] (1851–1895), revolutionary and author, was born on 1 July 1851 os in Novy Starodub, Aleksandriya district, Kherson province of the Russian empire (roughly in the centre of what is now Ukraine). He was the second son and third of the four children of ...

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Sergey Mikhailovich Kravchinsky (1851–1895) by unknown photographer © National Portrait Gallery, London

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William James Linton (1812–1897) by Sir Emery Walker © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Linton, William James (1812–1897), wood-engraver, polemicist, and poet, was born on 7 December 1812 in Ireland's Row at Mile End in London, probably the second among four children of William Linton, a provision broker in the London docks, and his second wife, Mary (...

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Lupton, Thomas (fl. 1572–1584), political and religious controversialist, does not appear in the historical record except as the author of six or seven books and some incidental compositions. Yet his œuvre gives a good sense of a real individual. His moralistic nationalism and abhorrence of a money economy is already evident in his earliest-known composition—two poems in fourteeners written in commendation of ...

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O'Donnell, Frank Hugh [formerly Francis Hugh MacDonald] (1846–1916), writer and controversialist, was born in an army barracks in Devonport, Devon, on 9 October 1846, the elder son of Sergeant Bernard MacDonald and his wife, Mary, née Kain, daughter of William Kain or O'Cahan...

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Oliver, Frederick Scott (1864–1934), draper and polemicist, was born on 20 February 1864 in Edinburgh, elder son of John Scott Oliver, merchant, and Catherine (d. 1869), daughter of Duncan McLaren. Nephew of John McLaren, Lord McLaren, and Charles McLaren, first Baron Aberconway...