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Balfour, Sir James, of Pittendreich (c. 1525–1583), politician and legal writer, was the eldest son of Sir Michael Balfour (d. 1577) of Mountquhanie in Fife, and Joneta Boswell. He may have been educated at St Andrews in 1539 or 1540, when he would have been about fifteen years old, and was at ...

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Burley, William (d. 1458), administrator and speaker of the House of Commons, was the eldest son of John Burley of Broncroft, Shropshire, and his wife, Juliana. John Burley had been six times member of parliament for Shropshire between 1399 and 1411. Apparently of age (and legally qualified) on ...

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Bussy, Sir John (d. 1399), speaker of the House of Commons and courtier, was the son and heir of Sir William Bussy of Hougham, Lincolnshire, and Thistleton, Rutland, and Isabel, daughter of John Paynell of Boothby. Bussy first appears in the records in 1378, when he served overseas under the command of ...

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Chaucer, Thomas (c. 1367–1434), administrator and speaker of the House of Commons, of Ewelme, Oxfordshire, was the elder son of the poet Geoffrey Chaucer and his wife, Philippa (d. 1387?), daughter and coheir of Sir Payn Roelt. Although a remarkable combination of qualities, including personal charisma, a talent for leadership, and outstanding powers of judgement, would alone have assured him a central place in English political life, there can be little doubt that ...

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Flamank [Flamanc, Flamang, Flandrensis], Thomas (d. 1497), member of parliament and rebel, was the eldest of eight children of Richard Flamank, esquire, of Boscarne, and Joan, daughter of Thomas Lucombe of Bodmin. The variants of Flamank—Flandrensis, Flamang—suggest migration from Flanders to ...

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Flower [Flore], Roger (d. 1427), administrator and speaker of the House of Commons, was the son of William Flower (d. c.1405), a wool merchant who was member of parliament for Rutland in October 1382, and his wife, Ellen. Like his father, ...

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Howard, John, first duke of Norfolk (d. 1485), soldier and member of parliament, was the only son and heir of Robert Howard (d. 1436) and Margaret (d. 1459), daughter of Thomas (I) Mowbray, first duke of Norfolk (d. 1399), and eventual coheir of ...

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Hungerford, Sir Thomas (b. in or before 1328, d. 1397), landowner and speaker of the House of Commons, was the son of Walter Hungerford and his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Adam Fitzjohn of Cherhill, Wiltshire. Though best known as speaker of the ...

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Hunt, Roger (d. 1455/6), lawyer and speaker of the House of Commons, was of obscure origins. His first interests were probably in Huntingdonshire, where he acquired the manor of Molesworth and became member of parliament in 1407 and 1413 (the first two of fifteen occasions between then and 1433). His interests in ...

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Mare, Sir Peter de la (fl. c. 1365–1387), speaker of the House of Commons, was probably the son of Sir Reynold de la Mare, a Herefordshire knight. His brother Malcolm was also prominent in Herefordshire and in some parliaments. For some years before October 1371 ...

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Orleton [Hereford], Adam (c. 1275–1345), diplomat, politician, and bishop, was probably born not in Orleton but in nearby Hereford, where there were several Orletons, including William who was bailiff or mayor. The brothers John and Thomas Trillek, who both became bishops, are believed to have been his nephews. That ...

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Pickering, Sir James (d. 1398/9), speaker of the House of Commons and administrator, was probably the son of Thomas Pickering of Killington, near Kendal, Westmorland. Probably of age by 1354, he was knighted by 1361. He later claimed to have served Edward III...

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Redman [Redmayne], Sir Richard (d. 1426), soldier, administrator, and speaker of the House of Commons, was the son of Sir Matthew Redman of Levens, Westmorland, and his first wife, Lucy. The Redman family had been prominent in north-west England since the mid-twelfth century, usually as soldiers, and ...

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Retford [Redford], Sir Henry (c. 1354–1409), soldier and speaker of the House of Commons, may have been son of Ralph Retford (fl. 1349–1374) of Castlethorpe, Lincolnshire. Henry Retford seems to have been a man of violent tendencies, twice in 1377 obtaining a pardon for homicide before turning to foreign wars. He served the king in ...

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Russell, John (d. 1437), administrator and speaker of the House of Commons, was a kinsman, perhaps even an illegitimate son, of Sir John Russell (d. 1405) of Strensham, Worcestershire, master of the horse and councillor to Richard II, in whose property in ...

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Savage, Sir Arnold [Arnald] (1358–1410), administrator and speaker of the House of Commons, was born on 8 September 1358 and baptized in St Bartholomew's Church at Bobbing, near Sittingbourne in Kent, where his family had been settled since the thirteenth century. His father, also ...

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Say [Fynys], Sir John (d. 1478), administrator and speaker of the House of Commons, was of unknown parentage, though certainly related to James Fiennes, Lord Say and Sele (d. 1450), in whose company he is often recorded—in 1449 he was even referred to as '...

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Sheffield, Sir Robert (b. before 1462, d. 1518), lawyer and speaker of the House of Commons, was the son of Robert Sheffield (c.1430–1502), a lawyer and administrator of South Cave, Yorkshire, and his wife, Jane Lounde. It was through his mother that the younger ...

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Strangways, Sir James (c. 1410–1480), administrator and speaker of the House of Commons, was the son of James Strangways (d. 1443) of West Harlsey in the North Riding of Yorkshire, a lawyer who became a puisne justice of common pleas, and his wife, ...