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Andrew [St Andrew] (fl. 1st cent.), apostle and patron saint of Scotland, was a fisherman from Capernaum in Galilee.

In the synoptic gospels Andrew is merely mentioned as one of the twelve disciples of Jesus, but in the gospel of St John he appears as a follower of ...

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Arthur (supp. fl. in or before 6th cent.), legendary warrior and supposed king of Britain, has an attested career that is entirely posthumous. From obscure beginnings in British legend, he became internationally known in the twelfth century, particularly through the success of Geoffrey of Monmouth's...

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David [St David, Dewi] (d. 589/601), patron saint of Wales and founder of St David's, is known from written sources dating from no earlier than the eighth century and an inscription which may be of the seventh.

By the ninth century David's cult was sufficiently well established for him to be one of three Welsh saints included in the early ninth-century Irish martyrology of ...

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George [St George] (d. c. 303?), patron saint of England, is a figure whose historicity cannot be established with certainty. However, an inscription at Shaqqa in the Hauran, in the south-west of present-day Syria, which commemorates 'the holy and triumphant martyrs, George...

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See Mo Ling [St Mo Ling, Mo Ling Lúachra, Tairchell, Daircell]

Image

Benjamin Hall, Baron Llanover (1802–1867) by George Zobel (after T. Hurlstone) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Hall, Benjamin, Baron Llanover (1802–1867), politician and eponymist of Big Ben, was the eldest son of Benjamin Hall (1778–1817), MP and ironmaster, of Hensol Castle, Glamorgan, and his wife, Charlotte, daughter of Richard Crawshay of Cyfarthfa, Glamorgan. He was born on 8 November 1802 in ...

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Hood, Robin (supp. fl. late 12th–13th cent.), legendary outlaw hero, is wellnigh impossible to identify, first because of the sparsity and peculiar nature of the evidence, and second because Robin quickly became a composite figure of an archetypal criminal, and then an outlaw hero....

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Magnús Erlendsson, earl of Orkney [St Magnus] (1075/6–1116?), patron saint of Orkney, was the son of Erlend Thorfinnsson, earl of Orkney [see under Paul (d. 1098/)], and Thora, daughter of Sumerlidi Ospaksson of Iceland, whose union is the first evidence for close connections between ...

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Merlin [Myrddin] (supp. fl. 6th cent.), poet and seer, is a figure whose historicity is not proven. He is known in Welsh sources as Myrddin and from the twelfth century also as Merlinus or Merlin. No definite conclusion can be drawn from Myrddin's...

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Patrick [St Patrick, Pádraig] (fl. 5th cent.), patron saint of Ireland, was the son of a deacon named Calpornius. Patrick was a Romano-Briton by birth, but subsequently became honoured as apostle to the Irish and Ireland's patron saint.

Patrick is known primarily from two works of his which have survived, both of them written in ...

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Railton, David (1884–1955), Church of England clergyman and originator of the idea of the tomb of the unknown warrior, was born on 13 November 1884 at 48 Altham Road, Hackney, London, the son of George Scott Railton (bap. 1849, d. 1913), ...

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Tuck, Friar (fl. 15th cent.), legendary outlaw, may have originated in a real individual, but his mythic qualities as a member of Robin Hood's band are his own, and have become indelibly established in the popular mind. In the developed stories he enters the band, like other recruits, by a personal encounter with Robin Hood in which a contest of wits and physical prowess brings each to respect the other. Once in the greenwood, he dispenses joviality and brings a sly wisdom to the outlaws' councils. His clericity, ordinarily not much in evidence, gives him a status that strengthens rather than disturbs the structure of the band....

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Unknown Warrior, the [the Unknown Soldier] (d. 1914?), an unidentified British soldier of the First World War, was buried in Westminster Abbey as a symbolic representative of the British and dominion servicemen who died in that war. About 9 per cent of British males under forty-five died in the conflict, and some northern towns whose pals' battalions were devastated on the ...

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Wallace, Sir William (d. 1305), patriot and guardian of Scotland, is a man whose origins, once thought secure, have now become uncertain.

The name Wallace originally meant a Welshman, and William's descent has been confidently traced from a Ricardus Wallensis, or Richard Wallace...

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Worcester Pilgrim (fl. 1450s?), archaeological discovery is the name given to the skeleton of a man, largely intact and partially clothed, which was discovered in 1987 during excavations at the base of the south-east pier of the crossing tower of Worcester Cathedral. The absence of a skull and of the right shoulder was caused by disturbances to the grave by building works in the cathedral in the centuries after the burial. An analysis of the remains and their associated grave goods has suggested that they constitute a rare example of a burial identifiable from its clothing as that of a pilgrim—the only other English one known being a twelfth- or thirteenth-century find in ...