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Agard, Arthur (1535/6–1615), archivist and antiquary, was born at Foston, Derbyshire, the second of the three sons of Clement Agard of Foston and his wife, Eleanor, daughter of Thomas Middlemore of Edgbaston. He matriculated from Queens' College, Cambridge, at Michaelmas 1553, but nothing further is known of his education, and there is no doubt that the greater part of his learning came by his study of the records of which he had charge. His knowledge of the common law may have been acquired first in one of the inns of court. ...

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Ames, Joseph (bap. 1687, d. 1759), bibliographer and antiquary, was born of a seafaring family in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, and baptized there on 20 June 1687. He was the son of John Ames (1651–1699?), master in the merchant service, and his wife, Esther (...

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Axon, William Edward Armytage (1846–1913), librarian and antiquary, was born on 13 January 1846, at 12 Honduras Street, Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester. He was the illegitimate son of Edward Armytage, clothing manufacturer, and Lydia Whitehead, a servant girl in his household, aged fifteen. Lydia Whitehead...

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Samuel Ayscough (1745–1804) by James Basire, pubd 1804 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Ayscough, Samuel (1745–1804), librarian and antiquary, was born in Nottingham and baptized at St Peter's, Nottingham, on 29 November 1745, the only son of George Ayscough (1721/2–1783), printer, and his second wife, Edith Wigley. His grandfather, William Ayscough, was a stationer and printer in ...

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Philip Bliss (1787–1857) by J. Bridges courtesy of the Provost and Fellows of Oriel College, Oxford; photograph © Studio Edmark

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Bliss, Philip (1787–1857), antiquary and book collector, was the elder son of Philip Bliss (d. 1803), rector of Dodington and Frampton Cotterell, near Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire, where Bliss was born on 21 December 1787. His mother was Anne, daughter of Thomas Michell...

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Carter, John Waynflete (1905–1975), bibliographer and antiquarian bookseller, was born at 6 High Street, Eton, on 10 May 1905, the eldest of two sons and two daughters of Thomas Buchanan Carter, an architect but later an Eton master and in Anglican orders, and his wife, ...

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Clay, Sir Charles Travis (1885–1978), antiquary and librarian, was born on 30 July 1885 at Rastrick House, near Halifax, Yorkshire, the younger son (there were no daughters) of John William Clay (d. 1918), historian and genealogist, and his wife, Alice, daughter of ...

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Coffin, Richard (1622–1699), book collector and antiquary, was the son of John Coffin (1593–1622) of Portledge, Alwington, north Devon, and Elizabeth, the daughter of Henry Hurding of Dorset. As he was born after his father's death, Coffin immediately succeeded to the house and manor of ...

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Davidson, James (1793–1864), antiquary and bibliographer, was the eldest son of James Davidson (b. c.1748, d. after 1802) of Tower Hill, London, a stationer and printer and deputy lieutenant of the Tower, and Ann, his wife, only daughter of William Sawyer...

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Andrew Coltée Ducarel (1713–1785) by Francis Perry, pubd 1757 (after Andrea Soldi, 1746) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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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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A. J. K. Esdaile

revised by Marc Brodie

Gilson, Julius Parnell (1868–1929), librarian and palaeographer, was born at Worksop, Nottinghamshire, on 23 June 1868, the younger son of Henry Robert Gilson, of Worksop, and his wife, Mary Anne, daughter of George Quilter, vicar of Canwick, near Lincoln. He was educated at ...

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Godwyn, Charles (1701–1770), antiquary and book collector, was born at Thornbury, in Gloucestershire, and was baptized there on 9 March 1701, the first child of Samuel Godwyn (c.1668–1705?), who in 1702 succeeded his uncle Scudamore Godwyn as vicar of Wapley and rector of ...

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Gulston, Joseph (1744/5–1786), book and art collector and connoisseur, was the eldest son of Joseph Gulston (1693/4–1766), a successful loan contractor with mercantile interests in Lisbon, and his wife, Mericas Sylva (1714/15–1799), the daughter of a Portuguese merchant. His father became MP in turn for ...

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Haslewood, Joseph (1769–1833), bibliographer and antiquary, was born at the lying-in hospital, Brownlow Street, Covent Garden, Westminster, on 5 November 1769, and baptized on 9 November, the son of Richard Haslewood and his wife, Mary Dewberry. He was apprenticed to his mother's brother, a solicitor in ...

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Herbert, William [formerly William Herbert Wilderspin] (1772–1851), antiquary and librarian, was born William Herbert Wilderspin on 18 May 1772 at Worship Street, Curtain Road, Shoreditch, London, the only son of John Wilderspin (c.1717–1781), clockmaker and smith, and his third wife, ...

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Hunter, Joseph (1783–1861), antiquary and record scholar, was born at Sheffield on 6 February 1783, the son of Michael Hunter, a cutler, and his wife, Elizabeth (née Girdler). His mother died in 1787, and he, the only surviving child, was left in the guardianship of the ...

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David Laing (1793–1878) by Sir William Fettes Douglas, 1862 Scottish National Portrait Gallery