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Abercromby, David (d. 1701?), physician and philosopher, most probably belonged to the Abercrombys of Seaton in the north-east of Scotland where he is believed to have been born. It is not known if Abercromby married or had children, although what survives of his biography makes marriage unlikely. Nothing is known of his parentage....

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Abercromby, Patrick (b. 1656, d. in or after 1716), antiquary, was born at Forfar, the third son of Alexander Abercromby of Fetterneir and his wife, Jean Seton. The family was a branch of the Abercrombys of Birkenbog in Banffshire, which in turn descended from the ...

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Abudacnus, Josephus (fl. 1595–1643), scholar of oriental languages, was born in Cairo. His parents were Copts, his father probably connected with the Ottoman administration. His Arabic name, Yusuf ibn Abu Dhaqn, was Latinized as Josephus Abudacnus (or Barbatus). In 1595, after a rudimentary education in ...

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John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, first Baron Acton (1834–1902) by Eveleen Myers, 1890s © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Acton, John Emerich Edward Dalberg, first Baron Acton (1834–1902), historian and moralist, was born at Naples on 10 January 1834, the only child of Sir Ferdinand Richard Edward Acton, seventh baronet (1801–1837), and Marie Louise Pelline de Dalberg (1812–1860), the French-bred heir of ...

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Adams, James (1737–1802), Jesuit and philologist, was born on 3 November 1737 to William Adams and Anne or Sarah Spencer; he refers to Bury St Edmunds as his 'native town' (Euphonologia Linguae Anglicanae, 1794, 7). He was educated at the Jesuit college in ...

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Francesco Algarotti, Count Algarotti in the Prussian nobility (1712–1764) by Jean-Étienne Liotard, c. 1745 Rijksprentenkabinet, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

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Algarotti, Francesco, Count Algarotti in the Prussian nobility (1712–1764), poet and scholar, was born on 11 December 1712 in the family home in Venice on the Fondamenta Nuove, the second son of Rocco Algarotti (d. 1726) and his wife, Maria Mercati. His father was a prosperous merchant of Paduan origin, settled in ...

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Allanson, Peter [name in religion Athanasius] (1804–1876), historian and abbot of Glastonbury, was born on 11 June 1804 in Castle Street, Holborn, London, the second son of William Walter Allanson and his wife, Mary Ann Barber, from Lambeth. The family was Roman Catholic and ...

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Allen, Thomas (1540?–1632), mathematician and antiquary, was probably born on 21 December 1540 (though some sources suggest 1542) at Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, the son of William Allen. His family were local gentry who are known to have had Roman Catholic connections. Two of his four uncles also lived at ...

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Allies, Mary Helen Agnes (1852–1927), historian and translator, was born possibly at St John's Wood, London, on 2 February 1852, the eldest daughter of Thomas William Allies (1813–1903) and his wife, Eliza Hall (d. 1902), second daughter of Thomas Harding Newman of ...

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Anscombe, (Gertrude) Elizabeth Margaret (1919–2001), philosopher, was born on 18 March 1919 at Glanmire, North Strand, Limerick, the youngest child and only daughter of Allen Wells Anscombe (1885–1939), a schoolmaster at Dulwich College, then serving as a captain in the Royal Welch Fusiliers...

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(Gertrude) Elizabeth Margaret Anscombe (1919–2001) by Steve Pyke, 1990 [with Peter Thomas Geach] © Steve Pyke; National Portrait Gallery, London

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Armour, Peter James (1940–2002), Italian scholar, was born on 19 November 1940 at the Victoria Nursing Home, Cleveleys, Fleetwood, Lancashire, the elder son and eldest of three children of James Armour, a gas company cashier, and his wife, Anne Mary, née Monaghan of ...

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Armstrong, (Arthur) Hilary (1909–1997), classical scholar, was born on 13 August 1909 at 56 Tisbury Road, Hove, Sussex, the son of William Alexander Armstrong, a Church of England priest, and his wife, Emily Mary, née Cripps. His father was a high-church tory, and ...

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Armstrong, Wallace Edwin (1896–1980), anthropologist and economist, was born on 24 February 1896 at 2 Deerbrook Road, Norwood, London, the second of three sons of William Wallace Armstrong, a civil servant with the Local Government Board, and his wife, Alice Imeson of Herne Hill, London...

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Thomas Arnold (1823–1900) by unknown photographer © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Arnold, Thomas (1823–1900), literary scholar and teacher, was born on 30 November 1823 at Laleham, Middlesex, the third of the nine surviving children of Dr Thomas Arnold (1795–1842), schoolmaster and clergyman, and his wife, Mary, née Penrose (1791–1873), youngest daughter of the Revd John Penrose...

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Arouet, François-Marie [known as Voltaire] (1694–1778), writer and philosopher, was born in Paris on 21 November 1694 according to the notice of baptism. He was the fifth of five surviving children born to François Arouet (1649–1722), lawyer and minor official, and his wife, ...

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Ashe, Thomas [Tomás Aghas] (1885–1917), schoolteacher and Irish republican, was born on 12 January 1885 at Lispole, co. Kerry, the fourth son and seventh of the ten children of Gregory Ashe, a farmer, and Ellen Hanafin, daughter of Patrick Hanafin of Tobar. He became a monitor at ...