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Acton, Sir Robert (b. before 1497, d. 1558), saddler and member of parliament, was born into a family of Worcestershire gentry, the son of Richard Acton of Sutton and his wife, Margery Dore. How he obtained an entrée to the royal court is unknown, but by 22 October 1518 he was a groom of the chamber, subsequently becoming a page (1526) and a gentleman usher (1528). More important to his advancement, however, was his marriage, by May 1528, to ...

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Allen, Francis (c. 1583–1658), politician and regicide, was probably born in London, though nothing is as yet known of his early life or parentage. He first appears in the mid-1630s as a liveryman of the Goldsmiths' Company living on Fleet Street. He was one of those goldsmiths living in 'remote' places who opposed attempts to force them back into the ...

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Allen, Sir John (c. 1470–1544), mayor of London, was born in Thaxted, Essex, into an agrarian family of moderate means. His father, Richard Allen, apprenticed him to Roger Bourchier of the London Mercers' Company, to which he was admitted in 1497. Allen was elected a warden of the Mercers in 1509, making him eligible for ward office, and in 1515 he was nominated alderman from ...

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Alured, John (bap. 1607, d. 1651), army officer and regicide, was baptized in the parish of All Saints, Sculcoates, Hull, Yorkshire, on 4 April 1607, the eldest son of Henry Alured (c.1581–1628), gentleman landowner, and his wife, Frances (d. 1626)...

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Anslay, Brian (d. 1536), administrator and translator, about whose parentage and origins little is known, participated, as yeoman of the wine cellar, in Henry VII's funeral procession and in Henry VIII's coronation ceremonies in 1509. In 1521 his translation of Christine de Pisan's...

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Arundell, Sir Thomas (c. 1502–1552), administrator and convicted conspirator, was the younger son of Sir John Arundell of Lanherne, Cornwall (c.1474–1545), and his first wife, Eleanor (d. by December 1503), daughter of Thomas Grey, first marquess of Dorset (c. 1455–1501)...

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Ascham, Anthony (bap. 1614, d. 1650), diplomat and pamphleteer, was baptized on 6 March 1614 in Boston, Lincolnshire, the son of Thomas and Cicilly (d. 1634) Ascham or Ascombe. Little is known of his parents, though Allen states he was descended of the same family as ...

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See Ashe, John

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Ashe, John (1597–1659), clothier and parliamentarian activist, was born in Westcombe, Somerset, the eldest son of James Ashe (d. 1646), clothier, and his wife, Grace Pitt, daughter of Richard Pitt of Weymouth. He was baptized at Batcombe, in the same county, on 27 October 1597. He married ...

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Audley, Thomas, Baron Audley of Walden (1487/8–1544), lord chancellor, was born at Hay House, Earls Colne, Essex, the son of Geoffrey Audley, administrator, of Berechurch, Essex. At an unknown date he was sent to Buckingham College, Cambridge, which he re-established as Magdalene College...

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Baker, Sir John (c. 1489–1558), administrator and speaker of the House of Commons, was born c.1489, being about sixty-two in 1551, the eldest of four sons of Richard Baker (d. 1504), landowner, of Cranbrook, Kent, and his wife, Joan (d...

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Bampfield, Thomas (1622/3–1693), speaker of the House of Commons, was a younger son of John Bampfield (d. c.1650) and Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Drake. The Bampfields were one of Devon's leading gentry families, seated at Poltimore near Exeter. After attending Exeter College, Oxford...

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Baynes, Roger (1546–1623), author and administrator, was the son of Hugh Baynes of Shrewsbury. In his will he mentions a brother who married in Spain and two brothers living in England. He was admitted to the Middle Temple on 24 November 1565. There is no record of his call but after becoming a Roman Catholic he left ...

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Beaumont, John (d. in or after 1556), lawyer and administrator, was the elder son of Thomas Beaumont of Thringstone, Leicestershire (who was cousin to John Beaumont, first Viscount Beaumont), and his wife, Mary, daughter of Robert Moton of Peckleton, Leicestershire. A member of the ...

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Bedyll, Thomas (c. 1486–1537), administrator and canon lawyer, was born at Winchester, where his father was a college tenant. In 1498 he was admitted a scholar at Winchester College and two years later proceeded to New College, Oxford. Elected a fellow of New College...

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Belasyse [née Cromwell], Mary, Countess Fauconberg (bap. 1637, d. 1713), daughter of Oliver Cromwell, was born in Ely, Cambridgeshire, and baptized at St John's Church, Huntingdon, on 9 February 1637, the eighth of nine children and the third of four daughters of ...

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Bellingham, Sir Edward (d. 1550), lord deputy of Ireland, was the eldest son of Edward Bellingham, a gentleman of Erringham in Sussex, and Jane, daughter of John Shelley of Michelgrove in the same county. Raised in the household of the duke of Norfolk...

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Bishop, George (d. 1668), government official and religious writer, was born in Bristol, probably the son of Thomas Bishop, brewer, who became a freeman of the city in 1612. A local and London administrator as well as a New Model Army captain during the civil wars, ...

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Boleyn, George, Viscount Rochford (c. 1504–1536), courtier and diplomat, was the only son of Thomas Boleyn, earl of Wiltshire (1476/7–1539), and Elizabeth Howard (d. 1538), eldest daughter of Thomas Howard, earl of Surrey and later second duke of Norfolk (1443–1524). He first appears in the public record participating in the Christmas revels of 1514, and he signalled his father's success when he became a royal page in 1516. His earliest recorded grants resulted from his father's service to the crown and his sister ...

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Bourchier, Henry, second earl of Essex (1472–1540), magnate, was the son of Sir William Bourchier (d. 1483) and his wife, Anne (d. 1489), daughter of Richard Woodville (Wydeville), Earl Rivers. His father's death made Henry heir to his grandfather, Henry Bourchier, first ...