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Ainsworth, Robert (1660–1743), lexicographer and schoolmaster, was born in September 1660, probably at Wordsall, which, in the seventeenth century, was a collection of gentlemen's houses, in the parish of Eccles, about 4 miles from Manchester, the location cited by Dr Samuel Patrick in his preface to the second edition of ...

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Aitken, (Adam) Jack (1921–1998), lexicographer and philologist, was born on 19 June 1921 in Edinburgh, the only son and eldest of the three children of Adam Aitken (1896–1958), miner, and his first wife, Alexandrina Sutherland (1896–1931). He was baptized into the Church of Scotland...

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Armstrong, Robert Archibald (1788–1867), lexicographer, was born at Kenmore, Perthshire, and was baptized on 16 February 1788 at Dull, Perthshire, the eldest son of Robert Armstrong and his wife, Mary McKercher. He was educated initially at home, and then in Edinburgh and at ...

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Alexander Gordon

revised by R. D. Smith

Ash, John (1724–1779), lexicographer and grammarian, was born in Stockland, Dorset; the details of his parents are unknown. At first a blacksmith's apprentice, he received encouragement from the minister of Loughwood, near Lyme, in whose parish he had been baptized, and from 1740 he studied for the Baptist ministry under ...

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Bailey, Nathan (bap. 1691, d. 1742), lexicographer and schoolmaster, was baptized on 7 October 1691 in Mill Yard church, a Seventh Day Baptist congregation in Goodman's Fields, Whitechapel, just east of the City of London. His church was opposed to infant baptism and ...

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Barclay, James (fl. 1763–1774), Church of England clergyman and lexicographer, was for many years a curate at All Saints' Church, Edmonton, Middlesex, and a teacher at schools in Goodman's Fields and Tottenham. In 1763 he published What is Meant by Coming to Christ...

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Baret, John (d. 1578), lexicographer, became a sizar at St John's College, Cambridge, at Easter 1551, but then moved to Trinity College. He took the degree of BA in 1554–5 and MA in 1558, and became a fellow of Trinity in 1560.

Baret's...

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Beck, Cave (bap. 1622, d. 1706), writer on universal language and Church of England clergyman, second son of John Beck, 'pandoxator' or brewer, and Anne Flecher (probably née Cave, and widow of Adam Flecher), was born in the parish of St James's, Clerkenwell...

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Bellows, John Thomas (1831–1902), printer, lexicographer, and archaeologist, born at Carthew House, Church Street, Liskeard, Cornwall, on 18 January 1831, was the elder of the two sons of William Lamb Bellows (1798–1877), schoolmaster, of Bere Regis, Dorset, and his wife, Hannah Stickland (1790–1874)...

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John Thomas Bellows (1831–1902) by H. W. Watson, 1891 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Eric Walter Blom (1888–1959) by Howard Coster, 1942 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Alec Hyatt King

revised by G. R. Seaman

Blom, Eric Walter (1888–1959), music critic and lexicographer, was born on 20 August 1888 in Bern, Switzerland, the only son and eldest child of Frederick Walter Blom, bookseller and amateur singer of Danish origin, and his wife, Anna Elise Rosalie Wenger. He was educated privately and was always very reticent about his early years: he seems to have been largely self-taught in music. ...

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Blount, Thomas (1618–1679), antiquary and lexicographer, was born at Bordesley Park, Worcestershire, the eldest of the three sons and five daughters of Miles Blount (c.1585–1663), gentleman, and his wife, Anne (d. 1669), daughter of William Bustard of Adderbury. Both his parents were from strongly Catholic families and his adherence to the religion was to affect his life profoundly. It is not known where he was first educated, but he did not attend a university, and his choice of a legal training—he entered the ...

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A. B. Grosart

revised by Robert Brown

Boag, John (1775–1863), lexicographer, was born at Highgate in the parish of Beith, Ayrshire, on 7 January 1775. He matriculated at the University of Glasgow in 1797, and completed his course with a view to taking orders in the Church of Scotland. However, he joined the body of Independents or Congregationalists who in 1812 formed themselves into the ...

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T. F. Henderson

revised by John D. Haigh

Booth, David (1766–1846), lexicographer and writer, was born at Kinnettles, Forfarshire, on 9 February 1766. He was almost entirely self-taught, the whole amount paid by his father for his instruction being 18d. for one quarter at the parish school. In early life he was engaged in business, and for some years was manager of a brewery at ...

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Bowrey, Thomas (d. 1713), merchant and compiler of the first Malay–English dictionary, is of obscure origins. It may be that he was the son of one Thomas Bowrey of Wapping, Middlesex, mariner, and he was certainly kin to some of the Wapping Bowreys...

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Abel Boyer (1667?–1729) by François Chéreau the elder (after Hans Hysing) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Boyer, Abel (1667?–1729), lexicographer and journalist, was most probably born on 24 June 1667, at Castres in the upper Languedoc, the son of Pierre Boyer, one of the two chief magistrates or consuls of Castres, and Catherine Campdomerc (b. 1651), the eighth child of the marriage of ...

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W. A. Craigie

revised by Jenny McMorris

Bradley, Henry (1845–1923), philologist and lexicographer, born at Manchester on 3 December 1845, was the only child of the marriage of John Bradley (1791/2–1871) of Kirkby in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, and his second wife, Mary Spencer (1804/5–1870), of Middleton by Wirksworth, Derbyshire. From 1846 his father, a fire-clay agent who had been a farmer and partner in a mill, lived at ...

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Ebenezer Cobham Brewer (1810–1897) by George Burnett Esam, c. 1895 © National Portrait Gallery, London