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Ashbee, Henry Spencer [pseud. Pisanus Fraxi] (1834–1900), book collector and bibliographer, was born on 21 April 1834 at 24 Blackfriars Road, Southwark, London, the only child of Robert Ashbee (1804–1867), manager of the Curtis and Harvey gunpowder mills, and his wife, Frances Elizabeth, ...

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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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Baines, Edward (1774–1848), newspaper proprietor, politician, and historian, was born at Walton-le-Dale, near Preston, Lancashire, on 5 February 1774, the second son of Richard Baines (d. 1811) and his wife, Jane (née Chew). Richard Baines, who was born near Ripon and came from a farming family, had moved to ...

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Barnes, Sir George Reginald (1904–1960), radio and television director and college head, was born in Byfleet, Surrey, on 13 September 1904, the son of Sir Hugh Shakespear Barnes (1853–1940), lieutenant-governor of Burma, and his second wife, Edith Helen, sister of Sir Kenneth Barnes...

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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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Canton, John (bap. 1718, d. 1772), experimental philosopher and schoolmaster, was born at Stroud, Gloucestershire, and baptized in the old chapel there on 31 July 1718, the son of John Canton, a broadcloth weaver. He was expected to follow his father's trade, and left school early to start an apprenticeship. He persisted with his studies in the evenings, however, and his father was eventually persuaded to allow him to go to ...

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Chamberlain, Houston Stewart (1855–1927), racialist writer, was born on 9 September 1855 in Southsea, the last of the four children (one daughter and three sons) of Rear-Admiral William Charles Chamberlain (1818–1878), and his first wife, Eliza Jane (1825?–1856?), daughter of Captain Basil Hall RN...

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Cheke, Sir John (1514–1557), humanist, royal tutor, and administrator, was born on 16 June 1514 in a house on the corner of Market Hill and Petty Cury in Cambridge, the son of Peter Cheke (d. 1530), administrator, of Cambridge, and his wife, ...

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Thompson Cooper

revised by John D. Pickles

Cooper, Charles Henry (1808–1866), biographer and antiquary, was born at Great Marlow, Buckinghamshire, on 20 March 1808, the eldest of the ten children of Basil Henry Cooper (1783–1823), solicitor, and Harriet (1787–1860), daughter of Charles Shoppee of Uxbridge. He was educated at home until he reached his seventh year, when he was sent to a school kept by a ...

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Cust, Maria Eleanor Vere (1862/3–1958), first woman fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, was the second daughter of Robert Needham Cust (1821–1909), orientalist, and his first wife, Maria Adelaide Hobart (d. 1864), daughter of Henry Lewis Hobart, dean of Windsor. Miss Cust...

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Ducarel, Andrew Coltée (1713–1785), librarian and antiquary, was born on 9 June 1713 in Paris, the eldest of three sons of Jacques Coltée Ducarel (1680–1718), banker, merchant, and sieur de Muids, and his wife, Jeanne Crommelin (1690–1723), daughter of André Crommelin and his wife, ...

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Elyot, Sir Thomas (c. 1490–1546), humanist and diplomat, was the only son of Sir Richard Elyot (d. 1522) and his first wife, Alice Delamere, a descendant of the Finderns of Derbyshire. Alice died about 1510 and Sir Richard subsequently married Elizabeth Besilles, whose father, ...

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Erskine, David Steuart, eleventh earl of Buchan (1742–1829), antiquary and political reformer, was born on 1 June 1742 in Edinburgh, the second son of Henry David Erskine, tenth earl (1710–1767), and his wife, Agnes (1717–1778), daughter of Sir James Steuart, bt, and the elder brother of ...

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Firth, Sir Charles Harding (1857–1936), historian, was born at Broom Spring House, Wilkinson Street, Ecclesall, Bierlow, Yorkshire, on 16 March 1857, the eldest son of John Firth and his second wife, Charlotte Harding. His father, a trained architect, was a director of the steel manufacturing and armaments firm of ...

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Florio, John (1553–1625), author and teacher of languages, was born in London, the son of a Tuscan former Franciscan friar, Michael Angelo Florio (d. 1566x71), and of an Englishwoman whose identity has not been determined. His father, like the famous Italian reformers and preachers ...

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Frankland, Richard (1630–1698), nonconformist tutor, was born on 1 November 1630, at Rathmell, Giggleswick, Yorkshire, the son of John Frankland (d. before 1650). Between 1642 and 1648 he was educated at Giggleswick grammar school, before being admitted on 18 May 1648 at ...

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Godwin, William (1756–1836), philosopher and novelist, was born on 3 March 1756 at Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, the seventh of thirteen children of John Godwin (1723–1772), a dissenting minister, and his wife, Anne (c.1723–1809), the daughter of Richard Hull, a shipowner engaged in the ...

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Horner, Leonard (1785–1864), factory inspector, geologist, and educationist, was born on 17 January 1785 at St George's Square, Edinburgh, the third and youngest son of John Horner (d. 1829), a wealthy whig linen merchant, and his wife, Joanna, née Baillie. In his youth his circle of acquaintances included ...

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Howell, James (1594?–1666), historian and political writer, was born at Llangamarch, Brecknockshire, the second son and fourth child of Thomas Howell (d. 1632) and his wife, who was a daughter of James David Powell of Bualt. Howell claimed to have fourteen siblings but the pedigree in BL, MS Harl. 4181, p. 258 lists only three sisters and three brothers, who include ...

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Hunter, Sir William Wilson (1840–1900), administrator in India and historian, was born on 15 July 1840, the son of Andrew Galloway Hunter, a Glasgow manufacturer from Denholm, Roxburghshire, and his wife, Isabella Wilson, a younger sister of James Wilson (1805–1860). He was educated at ...