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John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, first Baron Acton (1834–1902) by Eveleen Myers, 1890s © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Acton, John Emerich Edward Dalberg, first Baron Acton (1834–1902), historian and moralist, was born at Naples on 10 January 1834, the only child of Sir Ferdinand Richard Edward Acton, seventh baronet (1801–1837), and Marie Louise Pelline de Dalberg (1812–1860), the French-bred heir of ...

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Allanson, Peter [name in religion Athanasius] (1804–1876), historian and abbot of Glastonbury, was born on 11 June 1804 in Castle Street, Holborn, London, the second son of William Walter Allanson and his wife, Mary Ann Barber, from Lambeth. The family was Roman Catholic and ...

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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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Bower, Archibald (1686x8–1766), religious controversialist and historical writer, was born either on 17 January 1686 or on 17 January 1687 or in September 1688, at or near Dundee. His parents' names are unknown. According to his own account he was descended from an ancient family that had for several hundred years been possessed of an estate in ...

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Bridgett, Thomas Edward (1829–1899), Roman Catholic priest and historian, was born at Derby on 20 January 1829, in a house attached to the mill owned by his father, a silk manufacturer. He was the third son of the seven children of Joseph Bridgett...

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Brockie, Donald Andrew [name in religion Marianus] (1687–1755), Benedictine monk and historian, was born at Edinburgh on 2 December 1687, the son of George Brockie, a protestant, and Isabel (née Farquharson), a Catholic. The family moved to Arbroath, where George, a lawyer, was notary public and clerk of regality, and became a Catholic before his death in 1708. ...

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Burke, Thomas (1709/10–1776), historian and Roman Catholic bishop of Ossory, was born in Dublin of gentry stock from near Loughrea, co. Galway. The names of his father and mother have not been preserved.

No account of Burke's early education has survived. In these years the penal code was rigorously enforced, although even then the Dominicans in ...

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Carew [Carve], Thomas (b. c. 1590, d. in or after 1672), Roman Catholic priest and historian, was born in Mobernan, co. Tipperary. His father's name is unknown, but his mother was a member of the Butlers of Ormond and he enjoyed the patronage of this powerful aristocratic clan. He spoke Irish, and regardless of his anxiety to stress his Anglo-Norman ancestry, he appears to have come from a Gaelicized background. He became a priest in the diocese of ...

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Carruthers, James (1759–1832), historian and Roman Catholic priest, was born at New Abbey, Kirkcudbrightshire, the son of Andrew Carruthers and Lucy Rigg. His brother was Andrew Carruthers, vicar apostolic of the eastern district. He was educated for six years at the Scots College...

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Curry, John (1702/3–1780), historian and religious activist, was born in Dublin. According to the short memoir prepared by Charles O'Conor, which is the only source of information on Curry's background and early life, he was descended from the O'Corra family, most of whose properties in ...

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Dodd, Charles [formerly Hugh Tootel] (1672–1743), Roman Catholic priest and historian, was born Hugh Tootel at Durton in Broughton, near Preston, Lancashire. He was confirmed in the Roman Catholic church at Euxton Burgh Chapel, the property of the Dalton family, on 13 September 1687, by ...

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Francis Neil Gasquet (1846–1929) by James Russell & Sons © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Gasquet, Francis Neil [name in religion Aidan] (1846–1929), cardinal and historian, was born on 5 October 1846 in Somers Town, north London, the third son of the six children of Raymond Gasquet, a physician whose family had emigrated from Toulon during the French Revolution, and his wife, ...

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Harold, Francis (c. 1617–1685), Franciscan priest and historian, was born in Limerick, the nephew and cousin respectively of prominent Franciscans Luke Wadding and Bonaventure Baron. Thomas Harold, a leading disciple of Peter Walsh, was also a cousin, and two other Franciscans shared his name, one a nephew. After education in ...

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Harpsfield, Nicholas (1519–1575), religious controversialist and historian, was born in the parish of St Mary Magdalen, Old Fish Street, in the city of London. His father, John Harpsfield, was a mercer, while his uncle Nicholas, who had been educated at Winchester College, New College, Oxford...

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Innes, Thomas (1662–1744), Roman Catholic priest and historian, was born at Drumgask in the parish of Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, the third of eight children (of whom five became priests) of James Innes (c.1617–1686), wad-setter, and his wife, Jane Robertson (c.1619–1704)...

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Keating [Keting], Geoffrey [Seathrún Céitinn] (b. c. 1580, d. in or before 1644), Roman Catholic priest and historian, was born in the vicinity of Cahir, co. Tipperary, of parents whose names are not certain, but who were 'of good reputation and in warm circumstances...

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W. A. J. Archbold

revised by Patrick J. Corish

Kelly, Matthew (1814–1858), historian and Roman Catholic priest, born in Maudlin-Street, Kilkenny, on 21 September 1814, was the eldest son of James Kelly and Margaret Sauphy. An uncle, Patrick Kelly, was bishop of Waterford. Kelly was taught in very early years by M. S. Brennan...

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Lanigan, John (1758–1828), biblical scholar and historian, was born at Cashel, co. Tipperary, the eldest child of Thomas Lanigan, a schoolmaster, and his wife, Mary Ann Dorkan. He was educated at his father's school and at a classical school kept by a protestant clergyman at ...