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Arthur (supp. fl. in or before 6th cent.), legendary warrior and supposed king of Britain, has an attested career that is entirely posthumous. From obscure beginnings in British legend, he became internationally known in the twelfth century, particularly through the success of Geoffrey of Monmouth's...

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Magnús Erlendsson, earl of Orkney [St Magnus] (1075/6–1116?), patron saint of Orkney, was the son of Erlend Thorfinnsson, earl of Orkney [see under Paul (d. 1098/)], and Thora, daughter of Sumerlidi Ospaksson of Iceland, whose union is the first evidence for close connections between ...

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Tuck, Friar (fl. 15th cent.), legendary outlaw, may have originated in a real individual, but his mythic qualities as a member of Robin Hood's band are his own, and have become indelibly established in the popular mind. In the developed stories he enters the band, like other recruits, by a personal encounter with Robin Hood in which a contest of wits and physical prowess brings each to respect the other. Once in the greenwood, he dispenses joviality and brings a sly wisdom to the outlaws' councils. His clericity, ordinarily not much in evidence, gives him a status that strengthens rather than disturbs the structure of the band....

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Wallace, Sir William (d. 1305), patriot and guardian of Scotland, is a man whose origins, once thought secure, have now become uncertain.

The name Wallace originally meant a Welshman, and William's descent has been confidently traced from a Ricardus Wallensis, or Richard Wallace...

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Worcester Pilgrim (fl. 1450s?), archaeological discovery is the name given to the skeleton of a man, largely intact and partially clothed, which was discovered in 1987 during excavations at the base of the south-east pier of the crossing tower of Worcester Cathedral. The absence of a skull and of the right shoulder was caused by disturbances to the grave by building works in the cathedral in the centuries after the burial. An analysis of the remains and their associated grave goods has suggested that they constitute a rare example of a burial identifiable from its clothing as that of a pilgrim—the only other English one known being a twelfth- or thirteenth-century find in ...