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Browne, William (d. 1489), merchant and benefactor, was the son of John Browne (d. 1442), a Stamford draper and Calais stapler, and his wife, Margery (d. 1460). He was born into a family that can be traced in Stamford back to the mid-fourteenth century. His date of birth is uncertain, though it seems likely that he was born during the decade following 1410. It is possible that he was the ...

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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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Chestre, Alice (d. 1485), trader and benefactor, in common with many fifteenth-century women, seems particularly to have come into her own after the death of her husband. Henry Chestre, a Bristol draper, had been prosperous and was numbered among the worthy men of his parish, ...

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Ellis, Thomas (d. 1562), merchant and benefactor, appears to have been a Yorkshireman by birth. His origins were assiduously investigated by several nineteenth-century genealogists, but with limited success, and the most that can be said is that the arms granted him in 1549 suggest kinship with the ...

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Howel [Howell], Thomas (c. 1480–1537), merchant and philanthropist, was the son of John Howel, a prosperous and well-established merchant of Bristol, and his wife, Alice, who subsequently married Sir Thomas Morgan of Pen-coed, Monmouthshire. His father's family seems originally to have come from ...

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Percyvale [née Bonaventure], Thomasine (d. 1512), trader and school founder, was born in Week St Mary, near Bude in Cornwall, daughter of John and Joan Bonaventure. She became the subject of a legend, recounted by Richard Carew in his Survey of Cornwall...