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Achilli, (Giovanni) Giacinto (b. c. 1803), Dominican priest, anti-Catholic polemicist, and seducer, was born in the village of Celleno, 18 miles from Viterbo, then in the Papal States. He joined the Dominican order in 1819, studied at the convent of the Minerva in ...

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(Giovanni) Giacinto Achilli (b. c. 1803) by unknown engraver, pubd 1850 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Aconcio, Jacopo [Jacobus Acontius] (c. 1520–1566/7?), theologian and military engineer, was perhaps born at Ossana, in the Val di Sole, not far from Trento in Italy, the son of Gerolamo Aconcio and his wife, Oliana. After studying law Aconcio was admitted to the ...

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Alexandre, Pierre [pseud. Simon Alexius] (c. 1498–1563), prior of Arras and theologian, was born in Arras where he entered the Carmelite priory. He studied theology at Paris, gaining his doctorate there on 11 December 1534. This suggests he was born about 1498. Having become Carmelite prior at ...

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Allies, Thomas William (1813–1903), theologian and Roman Catholic convert, born at Midsomer Norton, Somerset, on 12 February 1813, was the son of Thomas Allies, curate of Henbury, Bristol, and later rector of Wormington, and his wife, Frances Elizabeth Fripp, daughter of a Bristol...

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Anderton, James [pseud. John Brereley] (1557–1613), religious controversialist, was the eldest son of the lawyer and magistrate Christopher Anderton, and his wife, Dorothy, née Anderton. On his father's death in 1592 James inherited his large estate at Lostock near Bolton in Lancashire...

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Arthur, James (1587–1654), Dominican friar and theologian, was born into a wealthy Limerick merchant family. He was sent to Spain where in 1606 he entered the Irish secular college in Salamanca. Later he joined the Dominicans. He attended the University of Salamanca from 1610 to 1616 and began teaching there about 1616. Already in 1626 he was recommended to ...

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A. H. Bullen

revised by S. J. Skedd

Aspinwall, Edward (1678–1732), religious controversialist, was born on 1 January 1678 and baptized the same day at Aughton by Ormskirk, Lancashire, the son of Henry Aspinwall. Almost certainly born into a Roman Catholic family, he was educated at the English College at St Omer...

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Austin, John [pseud. William Birchley] (1613–1669), religious writer, was born at Walpole, Norfolk, third son of John Austin (d. before 1631) of Walpole and Mary Williams of Aswarby, Lincolnshire. During 1629–31 John Austin attended the grammar school of Sleaford, Lincolnshire, and on 31 March 1631 he was admitted to ...

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Barclay, Robert, of Ury (1648–1690), religious writer and colonial governor, was born at Gordonstown, Moray, on 23 December 1648, the eldest of the five children of David Barclay of Ury (1610–1686), soldier and politician, and Katherine Gordon (1620–1663), daughter of Sir Robert Gordon...

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Barnes, John (c. 1581–1661), Benedictine monk and religious controversialist, was probably born in Norfolk 'of parents of humble condition', and studied at Cambridge (McCann and Connolly, 203). Having converted to Catholicism he entered the English College, Douai, on 18 November 1601 and was sent as a seminarian to ...

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Barrett, William (b. c. 1561, d. in or after 1630), theologian, is of unknown parentage. He matriculated as a pensioner at Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1580, graduating BA in 1585 and proceeding MA in 1588. He was appointed fellow and chaplain of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge...

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Bayly, Thomas (d. c. 1657), Church of England clergyman and Roman Catholic controversialist, was the fourth son of Dr Lewis Bayly (c. 1575–1631), bishop of Bangor, and his first wife, probably named Judith Appleton. His brother was John Bayly (1595/6–1633), scholar and clergyman. He was educated at ...

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Bell [alias Burton], Thomas (b. c. 1551, d. in or after 1610), Roman Catholic priest and protestant polemicist, was born at Raskelf, near Thirsk, in Yorkshire. His parents are unknown, but he had several sisters and brothers, one of whom was later a merchant at ...

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Belson, John (c. 1625–1704), historian and religious controversialist, was born at Stokenchurch, Buckinghamshire, the eldest son of Augustin Belson (c.1606–1684) and Elizabeth Cursonn (b. c.1606). The Belsons were an ancient Roman Catholic family with estates in Brill and Aston Rowant...

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Berington, Joseph (1743–1827), Roman Catholic priest and religious controversialist, was born on 16 January 1743 at Winsley, Herefordshire, the son of John Berington and his wife, Winefred Hornyold. From a prominent Catholic family, he was tutored for a year by his uncle Bishop John Hornyold...

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Joseph Berington (1743–1827) by unknown engraver © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bishop, Edmund (1846–1917), liturgical scholar and ecclesiastical historian, was born at Bridgetown, in Berry Pomeroy, near Totnes, Devon, on 17 May 1846, the youngest child of Michael Bishop (1802–1851), an innkeeper, and his wife, Susanna Quick (1804–1863). He had his early schooling in the grammar school at ...

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Bonville [Boville; alias Terill], Anthony (1623–1676), Jesuit and theologian, was born at Canford in Dorset either on 20 February or on 2 March 1623, the son of Humphrey Bonville, esquire, and his wife, Mary. Both his parents were Roman Catholics, although, according to a later account by ...

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Boulding, Mary [name in religion Maria] (1929–2009), nun and theologian, was born on 3 May 1929 at 94 Kenilworth Avenue, Wimbledon, Surrey, the eldest of three daughters of Reginald Sidney Henry Boulding (1894–1962), an electrical engineer and radar specialist, who was a Catholic convert, and his second wife, ...