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Ball, Francis Elrington (1863–1928), author and historian, born on 18 July 1863 at Portmarnock, co. Dublin, was the third son of John Thomas Ball (1815–1898), lord chancellor of Ireland from 1875 to 1880, and his wife, Catherine (d. 1887), daughter of the ...

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H. van Laun

revised by Nilanjana Banerji

Barré, William Vincent (c. 1760–1829?), author, was born in Germany about 1760 of French protestant parents, who had left their native country on account of their religious opinions. He served first in the Russian navy, but returned to France when the Revolution broke out. He was a volunteer in the army during the Italian campaign of 1796 and was afterwards raised to the rank of captain for the bravery he had displayed on the field of battle. His knowledge of European languages brought him to the attention of ...

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Baynes, Roger (1546–1623), author and administrator, was the son of Hugh Baynes of Shrewsbury. In his will he mentions a brother who married in Spain and two brothers living in England. He was admitted to the Middle Temple on 24 November 1565. In May 1572 ...

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Maker: George Romney

William Thomas Beckford (1760–1844) by George Romney, 1781–2 National Trust Photographic Library / John Hammond

Article

Beckford, William Thomas (1760–1844), writer and art collector, was born on 29 September 1760 at one of his father's houses, in Westminster or Fonthill, Wiltshire, and baptized at Fonthill on 6 January 1761, the only legitimate son of William Beckford (bap. 1709, d. 1770)...

Article

Bland, John Otway Percy (1863–1945), writer and journalist, was born on 15 November 1863 in Malta, the second son of the ten children of Major-General Edward Loftus Bland (1829–1923) and Emma Frances Franks (d. 1894). Educated in Switzerland, and then at Victoria College, Jersey...

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Blaquiere, Edward (1779–1832), author and philhellene, was born in Ireland, the sixth of eight children of James Blaquiere (1726–1803), soldier and farmer. His father, a lieutenant-colonel in the 13th dragoons, was the brother of John Blaquiere, first Baron de Blaquiere (1732–1812), and both were among the nine children of ...

Article

Bohun, Edmund (1645–1699), writer and press licenser, was born on 12 March 1645 at Ringsfield, Suffolk, the only son of Baxter Bohun (bap. 1616, d. 1658) and his wife, Margaret Lawrence (d. 1687). Edmund's father and grandfather, also Edmund, both died in 1658, leaving the thirteen-year-old boy the family's estates in ...

Article

Thompson Cooper

revised by David Kaloustian

Burnett, George (1774/5–1811), writer, was born at Huntspill, Somerset, the son of John Burnett (d. 1799), a respectable farmer. After a suitable introduction to classical literature under the care of a clergyman in the neighbourhood, he was sent to Balliol College, Oxford...

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J. H. Thorpe

revised by Adam Jacob Levin

Burnham, Richard (1709–1752), writer, was born at Guildford, Surrey, on 18 December 1709 and probably baptized at either Black Horse Lane or Chapel Street Independent chapel, Guildford, of pious parents, George and Elizabeth Burnham. He collected the dying sayings of more than a hundred pious persons, with some account of their lives and last hours. He died on 4 June 1752, and in the following year was published ...

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T. F. Henderson

revised by Michael Harris

Calder, John (1733–1815), author, was a native of Aberdeen, where he was educated at Marischal College. At an early period he obtained the patronage of the duke of Northumberland, who employed him as private literary secretary both at Alnwick Castle and in London...

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William Carleton (1794–1869) by John Kirkwood, pubd 1841 (after Charles Grey) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Carleton, William (1794–1869), writer, was born in 1794, probably on 4 March, in Prillisk, Clogher, co. Tyrone, the youngest of the fourteen children (six of whom died in infancy) of James Carleton, a Catholic tenant farmer, and his wife, Mary Kelly. James Carleton...

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Castelvetro, Giacomo (bap. 1546, d. 1616), writer and teacher of Italian, was born in Modena, Italy, and was baptized there at S. Barnaba, on 25 March 1546, the third son and ninth child of Niccolò Castelvetro (d. 1578), a wealthy banker, and his wife, ...

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Elizabeth Lane Furdell

Cholmley, William (d. 1554), author, is of unknown origins. He describes himself both as a 'Londyner' and as 'beynge a grosser, and one that selleth spyces' (Cholmeley, 17), but his principal significance lies in a treatise on political economy, which he completed in 1553 and presented to ...

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Clarke, Charles Cowden (1787–1877), writer and public lecturer, was born on 15 December 1787 at Enfield, Middlesex, the son of John Clarke (1757–1820) and his wife, Ann Isabella, née Stott (d. 1853). Isabella Jane Clarke (1790-1867), writer of books for children, was his sister. ...

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Concanen, Matthew (1701–1749), writer and lawyer, was born in Ireland. Nothing is known of his parentage, education, or early life beyond Shiels's statement that he 'was bred to the Law' (Cibber, 5.27). He showed early literary ambitions with a comedy, ...

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Crull, Jodocus (d. 1713/14), writer and translator, was a native of Hamburg who studied medicine at Leiden (MD, 1679) and thereafter settled in England. He was admitted MD of Cambridge by incorporation on 7 August 1681 and licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians...

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Darcie [Darcy], Abraham (fl. 1623–1635), author and translator, called himself, in his work on the Howard family, Abraham de Ville Adrecie, alias Darcie. According to the inscription on his portrait by Delaram he was the son of Peter Darcie and was born in ...

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Daniel Defoe (1660?–1731) by Michael Vandergucht, pubd 1706 (after Jeremiah Taverner, 1706) © National Portrait Gallery, London