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Abrahams, Israel (1858–1925), Jewish scholar and historian, was born on 26 November 1858 at 10 Finsbury Square, London, the second son in the family of four sons and two daughters of Barnett Abrahams (1831–1863) and his wife, Jane, née Brandon (1834–1895). His father was principal of ...

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Achilli, (Giovanni) Giacinto (b. c. 1803), Dominican priest, anti-Catholic polemicist, and seducer, was born in the village of Celleno, 18 miles from Viterbo, then in the Papal States. He joined the Dominican order in 1819, studied at the convent of the Minerva in ...

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W. H. Fremantle

revised by Roger T. Stearn

Alford, Henry (1810–1871), dean of Canterbury and biblical scholar, was born at 25 Alfred Place, Bedford Square, London, on 10 October 1810, the son of the Revd Henry Alford (1782–1852), an evangelical and the son and grandson of evangelical clergy, and his first wife, ...

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Ali, Abdullah Yusuf (1872–1953), Indian civil servant and Islamic scholar, was born on 4 April 1872 in Surat, Gujarat, India. His father, Yusuf Ali Allahbuksh, otherwise Khan Bahadur Yusuf Ali, a Shi'i in the Dawoodi Bohra tradition, had abandoned the traditional occupation of his community, business, and entered instead the police force, being presented on retirement with the title of ...

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Ames, William (1576–1633), theologian and university teacher, was born at Ipswich, the son of William Ames, merchant, and his wife, Joane Snelling, also from a Suffolk merchant family. Both of these families were substantial folk. William had one sister, Elizabeth. When the two were quite young, the parents died, and ...

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Arkwright, Sir John Stanhope (1872–1954), politician and hymn writer, was born at 11 Lowndes Street, London, on 10 July 1872, the only son (there were three daughters) of John Hungerford Arkwright (1833–1905), landowner and lord lieutenant of Herefordshire, of Hampton Court, Leominster, Herefordshire...

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Aston, Sir Thomas, first baronet (1600–1646), apologist of the Church of England and local politician, was born on 29 September 1600 at Aston near Runcorn, Cheshire, the eldest son of John Aston (d. 1615) and his wife, Maude Needham. The Aston family had a long history of service to the crown and ...

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Babington, Gervase (1549/50–1610), theologian and bishop of Worcester, was born in Nottinghamshire, as Sir John Harington noted, 'by birth … a gentleman of a verie good house' (Harington, 129). Claims that he was a native of Devon, made by ...

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Badawi, (Mohammed Aboulkhair) Zaki (1922–2006), scholar of Islam and Muslim community leader, was born on 14 January (or possibly 11 August) 1922 at Sharkia, outside Cairo, Egypt, the son of Zaki Badawi, a university lecturer. He entered al-Azhar University in Cairo, arguably the most prestigious major place of learning for ...

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Barclay, William (1907–1978), New Testament scholar, writer, and broadcaster, was born on 5 December 1907 in Wick, Caithness, the only child of William Dugald Barclay (1864–1936), a bank manager and lay evangelist, and his wife, Barbara Linton McLeish (1867–1932). In 1912 the family left for the industrial south-west when ...

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Barker, Joseph (1806–1875), Methodist minister and politico-religious controversialist, was born on 11 May 1806 at Bramley, near Leeds. His ancestors, originally of Keighley, had been settled in this area for several generations as farmers and manufacturers. The identity of his parents has not been discovered, though it is known that his father was employed in woollen manufacture and served for some time in the militia, and that ...

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Barrow, Isaac (1630–1677), mathematician and theologian, was born in London in October 1630, the son of Thomas Barrow, from a Cambridgeshire family, and his wife, Anne Buggin. Following the death of his mother in 1634 Isaac was sent to his grandfather's house where he remained until his father, already becoming a successful linen draper, married ...

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Barrow, William (bap. 1754, d. 1836), writer on theology, baptized on 16 December 1754 at St Andrew's Church, Dent, Yorkshire, was the fourth son of John Barrow and his wife, Isabel, née Hodgson. He was educated at Sedbergh School, Yorkshire, and entered Queen's College, Oxford...

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Bastwick, John (1595?–1654), religious controversialist and pamphleteer, was born probably in Writtle, near Chelmsford, Essex, fourth child and only son of John Bastwick (c.1540–1596), yeoman, and his second wife, Sara Lovet (c.1570–1625). His father seems to have been the first ...

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Baxter, Richard (1615–1691), ejected minister and religious writer, was born in the village of Rowton, Shropshire, on 12 November 1615, the son of Richard Baxter (d. 1663) of Eaton Constantine, Shropshire, and his wife, Beatrice Adeney (d. 1635). He was baptized in the parish church at ...

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Beckett, Edmund [formerly Edmund Beckett Denison], first Baron Grimthorpe (1816–1905), ecclesiastical controversialist, architect, and horologist, was born at Carlton Hall, near Newark, on 12 May 1816, the eldest son of Sir Edmund Beckett, fourth baronet (1787–1874), later MP for the West Riding...

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Becon, Thomas (1512/13–1567), theologian and Church of England clergyman, was born in Norfolk, near Thetford, in 1512 or 1513 to unknown parents.

Becon entered Cambridge in 1527, when the university was home to such future reformers as ...

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Bennett, William Henry (1855–1920), Congregational minister and biblical scholar, was born on 22 May 1855 at 1 Conduit Street, Paddington, London, the son of William Emmanuel Bennett, draper, and his wife, Emily Brice. He was educated at the City of London School under ...

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Benson, George (1699–1762), Presbyterian minister and theologian, was born on 1 September 1699 at Great Salkeld, Cumberland, the sixth of seven children born to Joseph Benson (d. 1722) and his wife, Isabel Moorehouse (d. 1718); he was baptized on 7 September in the parish church, a not uncommon practice among dissenters at that time. His father was the grandson of ...

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Berington, Joseph (1743–1827), Roman Catholic priest and religious controversialist, was born on 16 January 1743 at Winsley, Herefordshire, the son of John Berington and his wife, Winefred Hornyold. From a prominent Catholic family, he was tutored for a year by his uncle Bishop John Hornyold...