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Bruce, Thomas, second earl of Ailesbury (1656–1741), nobleman and memoirist, was born on 26 September 1656, probably at Ampthill, Bedfordshire, the fifth but first surviving son of Robert Bruce, first earl of Ailesbury (bap. 1626, d. 1685), and his wife, Diana (d...


Holland, Catherine [name in religion Mechtildis] (1637–1720), Roman Catholic convert, nun, and autobiographer, was one of eleven children (six sons and five daughters) of Sir John Holland, first baronet (1603–1701), of Quidenham, Norfolk, and his wife, the Catholic heiress Alathea Sandys, née...


Psalmanazar, George (1679–1763), impostor and author, was born in southern France under a name that is now unknown and to parents whose names, like that of his place of birth, he does not mention in his Memoirs (published posthumously in 1764), the only source of information about his early life. For an important and lengthy period of his life he claimed to be a native of ...


George Psalmanazar (1679–1763) by unknown engraver © National Portrait Gallery, London