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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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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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Disbrowe [Desborough], John (bap. 1608, d. 1680), parliamentarian army officer and politician, was baptized at Eltisley, Cambridgeshire, on 13 November 1608, the second son of James Disbrowe (1582–1638) and his wife, Elizabeth Marshall (d. 1628/9). His brother was Samuel Desborough [Disbrowe], politician and administrator. Their father was a gentleman and owner of the advowson of ...

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Drury, Sir Robert (b. before 1456, d. 1535), lawyer and speaker of the House of Commons, was born before 1456 at Hawstead, Suffolk, the first of four sons and two daughters of Roger Drury (d. 1496), an important landowner in that county, and his wife, ...

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Erle [Earle], Sir Walter (1586–1665), politician, was born on 22 November 1586, the eldest son of Thomas Erle, esquire (d. 1597), of Charborough, Dorset, and his wife, Dorothy, daughter of William Pole of Shute, Devon. Walter was aged ten when his father died and his mother's second husband, ...

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Feilding, Basil, second earl of Denbigh (c. 1608–1675), parliamentarian army officer and politician, was the son of William Feilding (c. 1587–1643) of Newnham Paddox, Warwickshire, and his wife, Susan Villiers (fl. 1606–1651), whose brother George Villiers, the favourite of James I and ...

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Fisher [Hawkins], Thomas (1515/16–1577), member of parliament and landowner, said to be aged thirty-three in 1549, was the son of Thomas Hawkins or Fisher of Warwick, a man of complete obscurity. Dugdale states that the son adopted the alternative surname Fisher because his father was a fishmonger, but this seems an inherently unlikely move for a man moving up the social scale; ...

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Gookin, Vincent (c. 1616–1659), politician and author, was the eldest son of Sir Vincent Gookin and his wife, Mary Wood. He was probably brought up on his father's estate at Courtmacsherry in co. Cork until 1635, when the family moved to England to take up residence in ...

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Hare, Sir Nicholas (c. 1495–1557), lawyer and speaker of the House of Commons, was the first son of John Hare of Homersfield, Suffolk, and Elizabeth Fortescue. He was a pensioner of Gonville Hall, Cambridge, in 1509, and was admitted to the Inner Temple...

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Harley, Sir Robert (bap. 1579, d. 1656), politician, was born probably at Wigmore Castle, Herefordshire, the only surviving child of Thomas Harley (c.1543–1631) of Brampton Bryan Castle, Herefordshire, and his first wife, Margaret Corbet, daughter of Sir Andrew Corbet of Moreton Corbet, Shropshire...

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Jane, Joseph (d. 1658), politician and controversialist, was born in Liskeard, Cornwall, to an influential Cornish family (the family coat of arms was argent, a lion rampant azure between three escallops gules). The identity of his mother is unknown. His father, Thomas Jane...

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King, Sir Robert (d. 1657), politician, was the eldest son of Sir John King (d. 1637) of Boyle Abbey, co. Roscommon, and his wife, Catherine Drury. He succeeded his father as muster-master-general of Ireland in 1618, was knighted in 1621, and served in the administration of ...

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Knyvet, Sir Edmund (c. 1508–1551), landowner and member of parliament, was the eldest son of Sir Thomas Knyvet (c. 1485–1512) of Buckenham Castle, Norfolk, and his wife, Muriel (d. 1512), daughter of Thomas Howard, second duke of Norfolk, and widow of John Grey, ...

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Lawrence, Henry, appointed Lord Lawrence under the protectorate (1600–1664), politician, was born late in 1600, the eldest son of Sir John Lawrence (d. 1604) of St Ives, Huntingdonshire, and Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Ralph Waller of Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire. Sir John died when ...

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Lucy, Sir Richard, first baronet (1592–1667), politician, was the second of six sons of Sir Thomas Lucy (1551–1605) of Charlecote, Warwickshire, and his second wife, Constance Kingsmill. He matriculated at Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1607, and graduated BA from Exeter College in 1611; he was a student of ...

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Markham, Sir John (b. before 1486, d. 1559), soldier and member of parliament, was the eldest son of Sir John Markham of Cotham, Nottinghamshire, whose ancestors had been established in Great Markham since the twelfth century, and his wife, Alice, daughter of Sir William Skipwith...

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Masham, William (1615/16–1654/5), politician, was the son and heir of Sir William Masham, baronet (c.1592–1656), of Otes, or Oates, in the parish of High Laver, Essex, and his wife, Elizabeth (d. in or after 1663), widow of Sir James Altham...

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Maynard, Sir John (1592–1658), politician, was the second son of Sir Henry Maynard (b. after 1547, d. 1610) of Little Easton, Essex, secretary to Lord Burghley, and Susan (d. in or after 1612), second daughter of Thomas Pierson (or Pearson), gentleman usher of ...

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Neville, Sir Thomas (b. in or before 1484, d. 1542), lawyer and speaker of the House of Commons, was the fifth son of George Neville, second Baron Bergavenny (1436–1492) [see under Neville, Edward (d. 1476)], and his first wife, Margaret, daughter of ...