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Adeane, Michael Edward, Baron Adeane (1910–1984), courtier, was born on 30 September 1910 in London, the only son of Captain Henry Robert Augustus Adeane of the Coldstream Guards, who was killed in action in 1914, and his wife, Victoria Eugenie (d. 1969)...

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Aigueblanche, Peter d' [Peter de Aqua Blanca] (d. 1268), bishop of Hereford and royal councillor, was descended from the family of Briançon, holders of the lordship of Aigueblanche (Savoie) in the Tarentaise or valley of the upper Isère, dependants of the counts of Savoy...

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Alcuin [Albinus, Flaccus] (c. 740–804), abbot of St Martin's, Tours, and royal adviser, was a major figure in the revival of learning and letters under the Frankish king and emperor, Charlemagne (r. 768–814).

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Armstrong, Archibald [Archy] (d. 1672), court fool, was born of Scottish parents, perhaps at Arthuret in Cumberland or Langholm, Roxburghshire; his father was also named Archibald Armstrong. Young Archy's early life and the means by which he first entered the service of King James VI and I...

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Ashmore, Sir Peter William Beckwith (1921–2002), naval officer and courtier, was born on 4 February 1921 at 5 Coombe Villas, Saltash, Cornwall, the younger son (there were no daughters) of Lieutenant (later Vice-Admiral) Leslie Haliburton Ashmore (1893–1974), naval officer, and his wife, Tamara, ...

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Astley, John (c. 1507–1596), courtier, was the eldest son of Thomas Astley (d. in or after 1514), landowner, of Hill Morton and Melton Constable, Norfolk, and his second wife, Anne (d. in or after 1508), daughter and coheir of John Wood...

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Ayton, Sir Robert (1570–1638), poet and courtier, was born at the castle of Kinaldie, near St Andrews, Fife, the second of four sons, to Andrew Ayton (d. 1589), landowner, and his wife, Mariona London or Lundie, daughter of the laird of Balgonie...

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Biddulph, Sir Thomas Myddleton (1809–1878), courtier and army officer, born on 29 July 1809, was the second son of Robert Biddulph of Ledbury and Charlotte, the daughter and coheir of Richard Myddleton MP, of Chirk Castle, of the old Welsh family of Myddleton...

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Bigge, Arthur John, Baron Stamfordham (1849–1931), courtier, was born on 18 June 1849 at Linden Hall, near Morpeth, Northumberland, the son of John Frederick Bigge (1814–1885), vicar of Stamfordham, Northumberland, and his wife, Caroline Mary (d. 1901), only daughter of Nathaniel Ellison...

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Blanke, John (fl. 1507–1512), royal trumpeter, was employed as a musician at the courts of Henry VII and Henry VIII, making his first recorded appearance there in 1507. He is thought to have been of African descent, but his age, place of birth, and parentage are unknown. His surname may have originated as a nickname, derived from the word ...

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Blount, Mountjoy, first earl of Newport (c. 1597–1666), courtier and politician, was the eldest of three illegitimate sons of Charles Blount, earl of Devonshire (1563–1606), and Lady Penelope Rich (1563–1607), daughter of Walter Devereux, first earl of Essex; his parents were eventually to marry, contrary to canon law, in 1605. He was the half-brother of ...

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Bonetta [née Davies], (Ina) Sarah Forbes [Sally] (c. 1843–1880), Queen Victoria's ward, was born in west Africa (in the south-west of modern-day Nigeria) about 1843, of Yoruba descent. Few details are known about her family besides their massacre by forces loyal to the Dahomian monarch, ...

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Bothmer, Hans Kaspar [Johann] von, Count Bothmer in the nobility of the Holy Roman empire (1656–1732), courtier and diplomat, was born on 10 April 1656 ns in Lauenbrück, in the Celle portion of the duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg, northern Germany, the eldest son of ...

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Brandon, Charles, first duke of Suffolk (c. 1484–1545), magnate, courtier, and soldier, was the second but only surviving son of Sir William Brandon (d. 1485) and his wife, Elizabeth Bruyn (d. 1494) of South Ockendon. The manner of Sir William's death, killed at ...

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Bréauté, Sir Falkes de (d. 1226), soldier and royal favourite, was of obscure Norman parentage. One reasonably reliable source, which described him as 'small in stature but very valiant', stated that he was the son of a Norman knight by a concubine (...

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Brett, Reginald Baliol, second Viscount Esher (1852–1930), courtier, was born on 30 June 1852 at 19 Prince's Terrace, Kensington, London, the eldest of three children of William Baliol Brett, first Viscount Esher (1815–1899), barrister and later master of the rolls, and his wife, ...

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Brown, John (1826–1883), servant to Queen Victoria, was born on 8 December 1826 at Crathienaird in the parish of Crathie, Aberdeenshire, the second among the nine sons and two daughters of John Brown (1790–1875), a tenant farmer, and his wife, Margaret Leys (1799–1876)...

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Browne, Anthony, first Viscount Montagu (1528–1592), nobleman and courtier, was born on 29 November 1528, the eldest of seven sons of Sir Anthony Browne (c. 1500–1548), courtier, of Cowdray Park, Sussex, and his first wife, Alice (d. 1540), daughter of Sir John Gage (1479–1556)...

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Browne, Sir Anthony (c. 1500–1548), courtier, was the son of Sir Anthony Browne (d. 1506), a cadet of the Browne family of Betchworth, Surrey, and his wife, Lucy (d. 1534), widow of Sir Thomas Fitzwilliam of Aldwark, Yorkshire, and daughter and coheir of ...

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Browning, Sir Frederick Arthur Montague (1896–1965), army officer and courtier, often known as Boy Browning, or as Tommy to intimates, was born on 20 December 1896, at 31 Hans Road, Brompton, London, the second child and only son of Frederick Henry Browning and his wife, ...