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Allen, John Willoughby Tarleton (1904–1979), colonial administrator and Swahili scholar, was born at Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire, on 14 November 1904, the second child and only son of the vicar, the Revd Roland Allen (1868–1947), writer and theologian, and his wife, Mary Beatrice, ...

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Aston, William George (1841–1911), diplomatist and Japanese and Korean scholar, was born on 9 April 1841 near Londonderry, one of the five children of George Robert Aston, minister of the Unitarian Church of Ireland and schoolmaster. He was educated at Saintfield national school...

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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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Robert Speaight

revised by Annette Peach

Baring, Maurice (1874–1945), poet and author, was born at 37 Church Street, Mayfair, London, on 27 April 1874, the fifth son of Edward Charles Baring (1828–1897), who became first Baron Revelstoke, banker, and his wife, Louisa Emily Charlotte (d. 1892), daughter of ...

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Beasley [née James], (Catherine) Eileen (1921–2012), teacher and Welsh-language campaigner, was born on 4 April 1921 at Pen-y-bryn, Henllan Amgoed, Carmarthenshire, the daughter of David John James, farmer, and his wife, Mary Winifred, née Williams. Pen-y-bryn was her maternal grandparents' home, and she was raised on her parents' farm, ...

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Bell, Sir (Harold) Idris (1879–1967), papyrologist and scholar of Welsh literature, was born on 2 October 1879 at Epworth, Lincolnshire, the son of Charles Christopher Bell (b. 1845), chemist, and his wife, Rachel Hughes (d. 1880). His father's family had been yeoman farmers in the north midlands and had marked literary leanings, his father not least; but the Welsh inheritance from his mother meant more to ...

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Belzoni, Giovanni Battista (1778–1823), performing artist and Egyptologist, was born on 5 November 1778 in Padua, the son of a barber, Giacomo Belzoni, and his wife, Teresa. He went to Rome aged sixteen to prepare himself for monastic orders; he claimed also to have studied hydraulics. The French invasion of ...

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Blacker, Carmen Elizabeth Deidre (1924–2009), Japanese scholar, was born on 13 July 1924 at 12 Eldon Road, Kensington, London, the eldest of three children of Carlos Paton Blacker (1895–1975), psychiatrist and eugenicist, and his wife, Helen Maud, née Pilkington (1894–1984). At an early age she became interested in ...

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Blackie, John Stuart (1809–1895), classical and Scottish Gaelic scholar, was born on 28 July 1809 in Charlotte Street, Glasgow, the eldest son of Alexander Blackie (bap. 1780, d. 1856), banker, and Helen (1783–1819), daughter of William Stodart of Hamilton and his wife, ...

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Bohn, Henry George (1796–1884), translator and publisher, was born on 4 January 1796 and baptized in London on 7 February, the first of four sons of John Henry Martin Bohn (c.1757–1843), of Münster, Westphalia, Germany, and Elizabeth Watt, niece of James Watt...

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Bourchier, John, second Baron Berners (c. 1467–1533), soldier, diplomat, and translator, was the son of Sir Humphrey Bourchier (d. 1471) and Elizabeth (d. 1497), daughter and sole heir of Frederick Tilney of Boston, Lincolnshire. His father, a Yorkist, was killed at the battle of ...

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Bownas, Geoffrey (1923–2011), Japanese scholar, was born on 9 February 1923 at 6 Hawthorne Avenue, Yeadon, Yorkshire, the only son of Frederick Bownas (1892–1959), telephone engineer, and his wife, Grace Ethel, née Richardson (1884–1963), teacher and shopkeeper. At the time of his birth registration his parents lived at ...

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Brazil, Angela (1868–1947), children's writer, was born at 1 West Cliff, Preston, Lancashire, on 30 November 1868, the younger daughter and fourth child of Clarence Brazil (1831–1899) and his wife, Angelica McKinnell (1835/6–1915). The Brazils were of Irish descent and Angela was proud of her ‘Celtic’ ancestry, but with her dark hair and eyes she resembled in appearance her half-Spanish mother. ...

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Bredsdorff, Elias Lunn (1912–2002), Danish scholar, was born on 15 January 1912 at Roskilde folk high school, Denmark, the youngest of six sons of Thomas Vilhelm Birkedal Bredsdorff (1868–1922) and his wife, Margrethe, née Lunn (1871–1958). His father was the headmaster of the school, a further education college run on liberal Christian principles, and his mother a teacher. Originally taught at home, from the age of twelve he attended ...

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Brenan, Edward FitzGerald [Gerald] (1894–1987), writer and Hispanic scholar, was born on 7 April 1894 at Sliema, Malta, the elder son (there were no daughters) of Hugh Brenan, subaltern in the Royal Irish Rifles, and his wife, Helen, daughter of Sir Ogilvie Graham...

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Broome, William (bap. 1689, d. 1745), translator and poet, was born at Haslington, Cheshire, and baptized there on 3 May 1689, the son of Randle Broome, a farmer. He was first educated at Eton College, where he was captain of the school until he was eventually sent to ...

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Broughton, Hugh (1549–1612), divine and Hebraist, was born in Oldbury, Shropshire, the son of Robert Broughton of Broughton, Shropshire. He referred to himself as of Welsh descent but nothing more certain is known. He received his early education from Bernard Gilpin, who prepared him for university and sent him to ...

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A. T. Quiller-Couch

revised by Nilanjana Banerji

Butler, Arthur John (1844–1910), Italian scholar and mountaineer, born at Putney, Surrey, on 21 June 1844, was the eldest of the six children of William John Butler (1818–1894), at that time curate of Puttenham, near Guildford, Surrey, but best-known as the dean of ...

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Butler, Eliza Marian [Elsie] (1885–1959), German scholar, was born on 29 December 1885 in Bardsea, Lancashire, third daughter and third of the seven children of Theobald Fitzwalter Butler (1845–1914), a coal owner and iron manufacturer at Barrow in Furness, and his wife, Catherine Elizabeth Barraclough (...

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Carey, Henry, second earl of Monmouth (1596–1661), translator, eldest son of Robert Carey, first earl of Monmouth (1560–1639), and his wife, Elizabeth (d. 1641), daughter of Sir Hugh Trevannion and widow of Sir Henry Widdrington of Swynburne Magna, was born at Denham, Buckinghamshire...