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Adomnán [St Adomnán] (627/8?–704), abbot of Iona and writer, who became known to history as the ninth abbot of Iona and the outstanding Irish churchman of his day, was born of the royal line of Cenél Conaill, a dynasty which formed part of the over-kingdom of the northern ...

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Blacman [Blakman], John (1407/8–1485?), biographer of Henry VI, was born in the diocese of Bath and Wells, and was admitted about 1437 to Merton College, Oxford; he graduated MA, and became a fellow of that college, some two years later. In 1443 he resigned his fellowship, to become a fellow of ...

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Blair, John (supp. fl. c. 1300), supposed biographer and priest, was the creation of Hary, the late fifteenth-century author of a life of Sir William Wallace (d. 1305). To give authority to his own tendentious and unreliable verse account of his hero's exploits, ...

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Bosham, Herbert of (d. c. 1194), biographer, was the son of a clerk (later a priest), who may have been one of the ministers of the royal chapel of Bosham in Sussex, at that time an outlier of the diocese of Exeter. Nothing more is known about his parentage and early education; but both must have been good, for he became an excellent Latin scholar and rhetorician, skilled in the arts of letter-writing and diplomacy, and he went on to study theology at ...

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Brakelond, Jocelin of (fl. 1173–c. 1215), Benedictine monk and biographer, probably came from Brakelond Street in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. He professed at Bury in 1173 and Samson, the future abbot, was his novice master. He became the prior's chaplain, but within four months of ...

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Cavendish, George (b. 1494, d. in or before 1562?), biographer and poet, was born on 21 June 1494, the fourth child and eldest son of Thomas Cavendish (d. 1524), clerk of the pipe to Henry VII and Henry VIII, and Alice, daughter of ...

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A. A. Brodribb

revised by G. Martin Murphy

Cooper, Thompson (1837–1904), biographer and journalist, born at Cambridge on 8 January 1837, was the eldest son of Charles Henry Cooper (1808–1866), the Cambridge antiquary, and his wife, Jane, the youngest daughter of John Thompson of Prickwillow, Cambridgeshire.

A younger brother, John William Cooper (1845–1906)...

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Dicconson, William (1654/5–1742), Jacobite courtier and biographer, eldest son of Hugh Dicconson (c.1621–1691) of Wrightington Hall near Wigan, and his wife, Agnes (d. 1719), third daughter of Roger Kirkby of Kirkby, came from a Lancashire Roman Catholic gentry family, which occasionally (as in the 1660s) conformed outwardly. He had three brothers (including the Catholic bishop ...

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Lord Alfred Bruce Douglas (1870–1945) by George Charles Beresford, 1902 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Douglas, Lord Alfred Bruce (1870–1945), poet and biographer, was born on 22 October 1870 at Ham Hill near Worcester, the third son of John Sholto Douglas, ninth marquess of Queensberry (1844–1900), and his wife, Sybil (1845–1935), daughter of Alfred Montgomery, a commissioner of ...

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Thompson Cooper

revised by Rosemary Mitchell

England, Thomas Richard (1790–1847), Roman Catholic priest and biographer, the younger son of Thomas England and his wife, Honora Lordan, and brother of John England, bishop of Charleston, was born at Cork. After taking holy orders in the Roman Catholic church he was appointed curate of the church of ...

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Fitzpatrick, William John (1830–1895), biographer, was born at Thomas Street, Dublin, on 31 August 1830, the son of John Fitzpatrick, a successful tallow chandler. His father, whose profession gave rise to Fitzpatrick's nicknames of the Knight of Tallow and the Historian of Greece (grease)...

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Fothergill, (Arthur) Brian (1921–1990), biographer, was born on 3 April 1921 at 3 Park Avenue, Lytham St Annes, the youngest of three children of John Smirthwaite Fothergill (1887–1938) and his wife, Kathleen Anderson, née Entwisle (1895–1957), daughter of Anderson Entwisle of Milnshaw, Lytham St Annes...

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Gillow, Joseph (1850–1921), biographical lexicographer and genealogist, was born on 5 October 1850 at Frenchwood House, Preston, Lancashire, the son of Joseph Gillow (1801–1872), a magistrate, and his wife, Jane Haydock, née Smith (1805–1872), of Lea. The Gillows were a long-established Roman Catholic yeoman family who could trace an unbroken pedigree back to ...

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Grim, Edward (fl. 1170–c. 1186), biographer, was a clerk, born in Cambridge, who had acquired the title of master before December 1170, when he visited Thomas Becket, then archbishop, at Canterbury. He is perhaps to be identified with the Master Evrardus, or Errardus...

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Hebblethwaite, Peter (1930–1994), journalist and biographer, was born on 30 September 1930 at 91 Welbeck Street, Ashton under Lyne, Lancashire, the elder by five years of the two children, both boys, of Charles Hebblethwaite (b. 1903), an itinerant seller of crockery, and his wife, ...

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Langdale [formerly Stourton], Charles (1787–1868), politician and biographer, was born on 19 September 1787, the fourth son of the six sons and six daughters of Charles Philip, seventeenth Baron Stourton (1752–1816), and his wife, Mary (d. 1841), second surviving daughter and coheir of ...

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More, (Christopher) Cresacre (1572–1649), biographer, was born on 3 July 1572 at Barnborough, Yorkshire, the youngest of the thirteen children of Thomas More (1531–1606), gentleman and landowner, and his wife, Maria Scrope (1534–1607), daughter of John Scrope, second son of Henry, sixth Lord Scrope of Bolton...

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Muirchú [St Muirchú, Muirchú maccu Machthéni] (fl. 697), biographer, is commemorated on 8 June. In his life of St Patrick, Muirchú calls himself Muirchú moccu Machthéni, that is, ‘Muirchú descendant of Machthéine’. Although the forms do not correspond exactly, it seems likely that he was a member of the minor kinship group called ...

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William Munk (1816–1898) by John Collier, 1898 Estate of the Artist; Royal College of Physicians, London