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See Addison, Joseph

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Aelsinus (fl. c. 1023–c. 1031), Benedictine monk and scribe of New Minster, Winchester, is known only because, unusually, he identified himself in one of his own productions. In a cryptic colophon in British Library, MS Cotton Titus D.xxvii, fol. 13v, he used the common code of replacing every vowel with the consonant that follows it. Decoded, the first section of the note reads: '...

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Alban [St Albans], Roger (d. after 1461), genealogist, copyist, and Carmelite friar, was born in St Albans, Hertfordshire, and joined his order in London. He was ordained acolyte on 17 December 1401 and deacon on 19 December 1405. His name occurs as the copyist on three manuscripts, BL, Harley MS 3138 (dated 1424), Harley MS 211, and Stowe MS 8, and it has also been claimed that he copied BL, Stowe MS 38 and, in 1439, the anti-...

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Jean Armour (1765–1834) by J. A. Gilfillan, 1822 Scottish National Portrait Gallery

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Armour, Jean (1765–1834), wife of Robert Burns and subject of poetry, was born in Mauchline, Ayrshire, on 25 February 1765, the second of the eleven children of James Armour and his wife, Mary Smith. The family lived in Mauchline's Cowgate. James Armour was a master mason whose work included ...

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Bannatyne, George (1545–1607/8), compiler of the Bannatyne manuscript, was born in Edinburgh on 22 December 1545, the seventh child and fourth (but second surviving) son of James Bannatyne of Kirktown of Newtyle (1512–1584) and Catherine Telfer (1522/3–1570). George had eleven brothers and eleven sisters. No offspring is known from his father's second marriage in 1573 to ...

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Bertram, Charles Julius (1723–1765), literary forger, was born in London, the son of a silk dyer who moved with his family to Copenhagen at an unknown date. Nothing else is known of his family or educational background, other than that he had a brother who died at sea in 1752. ...

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Blake [née Boucher], Catherine Sophia (1762–1831), wife and assistant to William Blake, was born in Battersea, Surrey, on 25 April 1762, and baptized there at St Mary's Church on 16 May 1762, the thirteenth child of William Boucher (1714–1794), a market gardener, and his wife, ...

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See Blount, Martha

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Bodwrda, William (1592/3–1660), Church of England clergyman and manuscript copyist, was the second son and one of thirteen children of Huw Gwyn Bodwrda (c.1573–1622), landowner, of Bodwrda, Aberdaron, Caernarvonshire, and Elsbeth Gwyn (d. 1637) of Berth-ddu in the Conwy valley...

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Boothby, Hill (1708–1756), friend of Samuel Johnson, was born on 27 October 1708 at Ashbourne, Derbyshire, the only daughter of Brooke Boothby (d. 1727) of Ashbourne Hall, Derbyshire, and his second wife, Elizabeth Fitzherbert, daughter of John Fitzherbert of Somersall-Herbert, Derbyshire. A woman of considerable ability, she made the acquaintance of ...

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Margaret Montgomerie Boswell (1738?–1789) by unknown artist © reserved

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Boswell, Margaret Montgomerie [Peggie] (1738?–1789), wife of James Boswell, was born at Lainshaw, Ayrshire, the fourth of five children of David Montgomerie, formerly Laing (d. 1752), of co. Down, and Veronica Boswell (b. 1704, d. before 1753), daughter of James Boswell, ...

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Frances Brawne (1800–1865) by unknown artist, c. 1833 Keats House, Hampstead; photograph © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Brawne [married name Lindon], Frances [Fanny] (1800–1865), fiancée of John Keats, was born on 9 August 1800 in the West End of London, the first of five children of Samuel Vernon Brawne (1778–1810), a businessman 'of no commercial reputation' (...

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Sonia Mary Brownell [Sonia Orwell] (1918–1980) by unknown photographer, 1949 [left, at the offices of Horizon] UCL, MSSRB, Orwell Archive 3B18

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Brownell [married names Blair, Pitt-Rivers], Sonia Mary [known as Sonia Orwell] (1918–1980), literary editor, writer, and friend of artists and intellectuals, was born Sonia Mary Brownell on 25 August 1918 at Mesra Thaua, Ranchi, Bihar, India, the younger daughter of ...

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Bulstrode, Cecily (bap. 1584, d. 1609), courtier and subject of poetry, was baptized on 12 February 1584 at Beaconsfield, one of the ten children of Edward Bulstrode (d. 1595), landowner, and his wife, Cecily (fl. 1575–1608), daughter of Sir John Croke...

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See Calvert, Charles

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Caryll, John, Jacobite second Baron Caryll of Durford (1667–1736), friend of Alexander Pope, was the son of Richard Caryll (1635–1701), of West Grinstead, Sussex, and Frances (c.1644–1704), daughter of Sir Henry Bedingfield, and nephew and heir of John Caryll, Jacobite first Baron Caryll...