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Bailey, Sir Harold Walter (1899–1996), Indo-Iranian scholar and philologist, was born on 16 December 1899 at 54 Northgate Street, Devizes, Wiltshire, one of three sons of Frederick Charles Bailey, labourer, and his wife, Emma Jane, née Richardt. When he was ten his parents moved to ...

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Barnes, William (1801–1886), poet and philologist, was born on 22 February 1801, in a cob and thatch cottage, Rushay Farm, on Bagber Common, near Sturminster Newton, Dorset, the sixth of seven children of John Barnes (bap. 1762, d. 1846), and his wife, ...

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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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Bentley, Richard (1662–1742), philologist and classical scholar, was born on 27 January 1662 at his maternal grandparents' house at Oulton, Yorkshire, the second child of Thomas Bentley (bap. 1637, d. 1675), a yeoman farmer, and his wife, Sarah (bap. 1642, d...

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Best, Richard Irvine (1872–1959), philologist and bibliographer, was born at 3 Bishop Street, Derry, on 17 January 1872, the son of Henry Best (who was of English descent), an excise officer, and his wife, Margaret Jane Irvine. He was educated at Foyle College...

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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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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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Brewer, Ebenezer Cobham (1810–1897), educationist and lexicographer, was born in Russell Square, Bloomsbury, London, on 2 May 1810, the third of the eleven surviving children of John Sherren Brewer (1775/6–1848), a Norwich schoolmaster, and his second wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Kitton of ...

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Castell, Edmund (bap. 1606, d. 1686), orientalist and lexicographer, was baptized on 4 January 1606 at East Hatley, Cambridgeshire, the second son of Robert Castell, a man of property and education, and his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Edmund Alleyn of Hatfield Peverel, Essex...

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Child, Francis James (1825–1896), philologist and ballad scholar, was born on 1 February 1825 in Boston, Massachusetts, to Joseph Child (1792–1879), sailmaker, and his wife, Alice, née James (d. 1839?). He attended Boston's public schools before he was prepared for college at the Latin school there at the insistence and expense of its principal, ...

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Cornwall, Sir James Handyside Marshall- (1887–1985), army officer and linguist, was born in India on 27 May 1887, the only son and elder child of James Cornwall, postmaster-general of the United Provinces, India, and his wife, Agnes Hunter. He was educated at Rugby School...

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Craigie, Sir William Alexander (1867–1957), lexicographer and philologist, was born in Dundee on 13 August 1867, the youngest son of James Craigie, jobbing gardener, and his wife, Christina Gow. His native speech was thus the lowland Scots of Forfarshire, and during his childhood he learned some Gaelic from his maternal grandfather and later his eldest brother. About the age of twelve he began reading the early Scottish writers. From the headmaster of his school—the ...

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Crowther, Samuel Ajayi (c. 1807–1891), bishop of western Africa and linguistic scholar, was born of Yoruba parents at Oshogun, in the south-west of Nigeria. Captured in war in 1821 he was sold on 7 April 1822 to a Portuguese slave ship in Lagos...

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Dillon, Emile Joseph [pseud. E. B. Lanin] (1854–1933), journalist and philologist, was born in Dublin on 21 March 1854, the second son of Michael Dillon, a foundry and hardware merchant, and his wife, Mary Byrne. In accord with his father's wishes, Dillon...

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Ellis [formerly Sharpe], Alexander John (1814–1890), phonetician and mathematician, was born Alexander John Sharpe in Hoxton, London, on 14 June 1814, the elder of the two sons of James Birch Sharpe (bap. 1789) and his wife, Ann Ellis. They first sent him to a private boarding-school at ...

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Elphinston, James (1721–1809), educationist and advocate of spelling reform, was born on 6 December 1721 in Edinburgh, the son of William Elphinston, an Episcopalian minister, and his wife, Rachel Honeyman (d. 1750), niece of the bishop of Orkney. He was educated at the high school and at the university in ...

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Fowler, Henry Watson (1858–1933), lexicographer and grammarian, was born on 10 March 1858 at Tonbridge, Kent, the eldest child of the seven sons and one daughter of the Revd Robert Fowler (1820–1879) and his wife, Caroline, née Watson. Robert Fowler (the son of a master carpenter at ...

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Furnivall, Frederick James (1825–1910), textual scholar and editor, was born on 4 February 1825 in Egham, Surrey, the eldest of the nine children of George Frederick Furnivall (1781–1865) and Sophia Hughes Barwell (1794–1879). Furnivall's father, descended from a family of Cheshire yeoman farmers, was trained at ...

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R. M. Dawkins

revised by John D. Pickles

Giles, Peter (1860–1935), philologist and college head, was born at Strichen in the district of Buchan, Aberdeenshire, on 20 October 1860, the eldest son of Peter Giles (d. c.1865), a factor, and his wife, Margaret Eddie Brown (d. 1905), who on her mother's side was of highland descent from ...

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Grierson, Sir George Abraham (1851–1941), administrator in India and philologist, was born at Glenageary, co. Dublin, on 7 January 1851, the eldest son of George Abraham Grierson LLD, printer to the queen in Dublin, and his wife, Isabella, daughter of Henry Ruxton RN...