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Beauchamp, Thomas, eleventh earl of Warwick (1313/14–1369), soldier and magnate, was the son and heir of Guy de Beauchamp, tenth earl of Warwick (c. 1272–1315), and his wife, Alice Tosny, widow of Thomas Leyburn.

Beauchamp was probably born some time between August 1313 and 14 February 1314, most likely the latter date. He was no more than two years old when his father died on 12 August 1315, and the earldom thus underwent a long minority at a time of political instability. The custody of the lands of the earldom was granted on 21 June 1317 to ...

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Beaufort, Edmund, first duke of Somerset (c. 1406–1455), magnate and soldier, was the younger brother of John Beaufort, duke of Somerset (1404–1444); John and Edmund were the second and third sons of John Beaufort, marquess of Dorset and of Somerset (c. 1371–1410), who was the eldest son of ...

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Beaufort, John, duke of Somerset (1404–1444), magnate and soldier, was the second son of John Beaufort, marquess of Dorset and of Somerset (d. 1410), and Margaret Holland, daughter of Thomas Holland, earl of Kent. He succeeded to the earldom of Somerset on the death of his elder brother, ...

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Beaufort, Thomas, duke of Exeter (1377?–1426), magnate and soldier, was the youngest of the three illegitimate sons of John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, and Katherine Swynford [see Katherine, duchess of Lancaster]. His brothers were John Beaufort and Henry Beaufort...

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Bigod, Roger, fifth earl of Norfolk (c. 1245–1306), magnate and soldier, was the son of Hugh (III) Bigod (b. in or before 1220, d. 1266), justiciar of England. He succeeded to his father's lands in 1266, and to the earldom of Norfolk when his uncle, ...

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Bourchier, Sir William, count of Eu (c. 1374–1420), magnate and soldier, was the son and heir of Sir William Bourchier (d. 1375) and his wife, Eleanor Lovayne (1345–1397).

Bourchier's family had risen to prominence during the fourteenth century through an unblemished record of service to the crown, gaining estates concentrated in ...

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Bradeston, Thomas, Lord Bradeston (d. 1360), soldier and royal councillor, was probably the son of Robert de Bradeston, a minor landowner of Breadstone, Gloucestershire. The Bradestons were close allies of the Berkeleys of Berkeley Castle, their near neighbours, and Thomas probably began his career in the ...

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Brandon, Charles, first duke of Suffolk (c. 1484–1545), magnate, courtier, and soldier, was the second but only surviving son of Sir William Brandon (d. 1485) and his wife, Elizabeth Bruyn (d. 1494) of South Ockendon. The manner of Sir William's death, killed at ...

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Charles Brandon, first duke of Suffolk (c. 1484–1545) by unknown artist, c. 1540–45 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Brus [Bruce], Robert de, lord of Annandale (d. 1142), baron and soldier, has been said without authority to be the son of a Robert (sometimes Adam) de Brus, who was alleged to have fought at Hastings. The subject of this memoir came from ...

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Burgh, Walter de, first earl of Ulster (d. 1271), magnate and soldier, was the second son of Richard de Burgh (d. 1243), lord of Connacht, and Egidia, daughter of Walter de Lacy, lord of Weobley and Meath. Richard de Burgh died early in 1243 while serving on ...

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Burley, Sir Simon (1336?–1388), soldier and courtier, was the second of at least three sons of a minor Herefordshire landowner, perhaps Roger Burley (fl. 1322–1331); Simon's nephew was also named Roger. Simon's elder brother Sir John Burley, and John's son Sir Richard...

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Byrhtnoth [Brihtnoth] (d. 991), magnate and soldier, was the hero of the battle of Maldon. His family origins are obscure, although his wealth, connections, and office imply noble birth. His name appears as Byrhtnoth in the poem The Battle of Maldon, which names ...

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Cecil, Thomas, first earl of Exeter (1542–1623), courtier and soldier, was born in Cambridge on 5 May 1542, the eldest son of William Cecil, first Baron Burghley (1520/21–1598), and his first wife, Mary (c.1520–1544), sister of John Cheke. His mother died when he was less than two years old and he never seems to have aroused any affection in his puritanical stepmother, ...

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Thomas Cecil, first earl of Exeter (1542–1623) by unknown artist, c. 1610 The Burghley House Collection. Photograph: Photographic Survey, Courtauld Institute of Art, London

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Clifford, John, ninth Baron Clifford (1435–1461), soldier and magnate, sometimes known as ‘the Butcher’, was born at Conisbrough Castle in the West Riding of Yorkshire on 8 April 1435, the eldest son of Thomas Clifford, eighth Baron Clifford (1414–1455), and his wife, Joan Dacre...

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Clifford, Robert, first Lord Clifford (1274–1314), soldier and magnate, was born about the beginning of April 1274, the son of Roger de Clifford the younger (d. 1282) and his wife, Isabella de Vieuxpont (d. 1291), coheir with her sister Idonea to the lordship of ...

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Clifford, Sir Roger de (b. c. 1221, d. in or before 1286), baron and soldier, was the son of Roger de Clifford of Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire (d. 1230/1231), younger son of Walter de Clifford, lord of Clifford, near Hay, Herefordshire, and of ...

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Clinton, William, earl of Huntingdon (d. 1354), soldier and magnate, was the second son of John Clinton, of Maxstoke (d. 1315), and Ida, daughter and coheir of William de Odingsells of Maxstoke, through whom the family inherited the castle and manor of ...

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Dacre, Thomas, second Baron Dacre of Gilsland (1467–1525), magnate and soldier, was born on 25 November 1467, the eldest son of Humphrey Dacre, first Baron Dacre (d. 1485), and his wife, Mabel Parr (d. 1508). Still a minor when his father died, ...