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Canynges, William (1402–1474), merchant and ecclesiastical benefactor, was one of the younger of seven children of John Canynges, clothier and merchant of Bristol, and his wife, Joan Wotton. He was born into a notably successful Bristol family. William Canynges (d. 1396) was a wealthy clothier who was five times mayor of ...

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Heylyn, Rowland (1562–1632), ironmonger and church benefactor, was born in Shrewsbury, the son of David Heylyn, who was of Welsh ancestry, and his wife, Alice. After attending the free school there from 1571 he went to London, where in 1576 he became an apprentice ironmonger. He was admitted to the company in 1584 and subsequently served twice as its master, in 1614 and 1625. Elected an alderman from ...

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Hobart [née Egerton], Lady Frances (1603–1664), religious patron and benefactor, was born in London, the eldest child of Sir John Egerton (1579–1649), from 1617 first earl of Bridgewater, and Lady Frances Egerton, née Stanley (1583–1636). Put under the charge of a Huguenot governess before she could talk, she acquired a lifelong fluency in French, and Reformed views on church discipline and doctrine. The latter were reinforced by her beloved father, who admonished her against Arminianism. She received religious instruction from the family chaplain, besides learning reading, writing, and accounting, sewing, and household management. She also learned to sing, play the lute, and dance, to fit her for court. There she was high in favour with ...

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Menzies, John, of Pitfodels (1756–1843), benefactor, was born on 15 August 1756, the last member of a Roman Catholic family long resident at Pitfodels, Aberdeenshire. His father had died earlier in 1756, and Menzies was raised by his mother, a member of the house of ...

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Rahere [Rayer] (d. 1143x5), founder of St Bartholomew's Hospital and priory, London, was of unknown origins. The one authoritative source for his life, Liber fundacionis ecclesiae Sancti Bartholomei Londoniensis written some forty years after his death but existing only in a fifteenth-century text, describes '...

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Townshend [née Bacon], Anne, Lady Townshend (1573–1622), gentlewoman and benefactor, was born in Waxham on the north Norfolk coast in August 1573 and baptized at Cockthorpe on 7 August, the eldest of three daughters and a coheir of Sir Nathaniel Bacon (1546?–1622)...

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Weld [née Slaney], Mary, Lady Weld (bap. 1560?, d. 1623), benefactor and patron of ministers, was one of at least four surviving children of Sir Stephen Slaney (1524–1608), merchant of London and lord mayor, and his wife, Margaret (d. 1618), daughter of ...