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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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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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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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Poitiers, William of (b. c. 1020, d. after 1087), biographer, was born into a knightly Norman family from Préaux, probably about 1020. His family may have been connected in some way with the Beaumonts, as his sister became abbess of St Leger-de-Préaux, an abbey under the patronage of the ...

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Stephen of Ripon [Stephanus] (fl. c. 670–c. 730), biographer, was a priest in the entourage of Wilfrid (c.634–709/10), bishop of York (St Wilfrid). He is known only through his strikingly vivid and detailed life of his admired superior. Written in decent, if by no means classically perfect, Latin, his is one of the earliest and most remarkable of all English hagiographical writings and a crucial source for early Anglo-Saxon history. The traditional identification with ...

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William fitz Stephen (fl. 1162–1174), biographer of Thomas, was a clerk for whose life his own Vita sancti Thome is the only reliable source. William describes himself as a fellow citizen of the archbishop, whom between 1162 and 1164 he served principally as a legal expert, drafting letters in his chancery, reading the documents and sometimes presenting cases in his court, and acting as subdeacon in his chapel when he celebrated mass. He was with ...