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Alcuin [Albinus, Flaccus] (c. 740–804), abbot of St Martin's, Tours, and royal adviser, was a major figure in the revival of learning and letters under the Frankish king and emperor, Charlemagne (r. 768–814).

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Alcuin (c. 740–804) medallion drawing ? reserved

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Barking, Richard of (d. 1246), abbot of Westminster and royal counsellor, was presumably a native of Barking in Essex. His mother, Lucy, was commemorated by an obit celebration at Westminster, and can probably be identified as Lucy, widow of Richard of Barking, who gave the abbey land at ...

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Benedict [Benedict of Peterborough] (c. 1135–1193), abbot of Peterborough and royal councillor, is first recorded at the event that shaped his life, as an eyewitness to the murder of Thomas Becket in his cathedral church at Canterbury on 29 December 1170. A monk of ...

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Bolebec, Isabel de, countess of Oxford (c. 1164–1245), magnate and monastic patron, was the eldest daughter of Hugh de Bolebec (d. c.1165), lord of Whitchurch, Buckinghamshire, and a patron of the order of Friars Preacher in England. She appears first in the records as the widow of ...

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Bolton, William (d. 1532), prior of St Bartholomew's, West Smithfield, London, and royal administrator, was of unknown parentage. A canon of the Augustinian order, his talents permitted him to rise to a degree of prominence. Between 1501 and 1503 he attended the Augustinian foundation of ...

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Chauncy [Cancy], Joseph of (b. in or before 1213, d. in or after 1283), prior of the hospital of St John of Jerusalem in England and royal administrator, was probably a younger son, born by 1213 into a family of Norman origin holding lands in ...

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Croxley [Crokesley], Richard of (d. 1258), abbot of Westminster and royal councillor, was probably a native of Croxley in Hertfordshire. He first appears as a monk of Westminster in the late 1230s, as the abbey's proctor to the papal curia. In 1242 he escorted a relic of the Virgin's girdle to the king and queen in ...

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Cynethryth (fl. c. 770–798), queen of the Mercians and abbess of Cookham, was the wife of King Offa and the mother of his son and successor, Ecgfrith [see under Offa]. Her origins are unknown, as is the date of her marriage. She attested her husband's charters on a regular basis from ...

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Ela, suo jure countess of Salisbury (b. in or after 1190, d. 1261), magnate and abbess, was the daughter of William, earl of Salisbury, and his wife, Eleanor de Vitré. Her father died in 1196, leaving her as his heir, and Richard I...

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Eleanor of Brittany (1275–1342), abbess of Fontevrault, the sixth and youngest child of John (II), duke of Brittany (d. 1305), and Beatrice (d. 1275), daughter of Henry III, took the veil at Amesbury probably at the same time as her grandmother ...

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Mary [Mary of Blois], suo jure countess of Boulogne (d. 1182), princess and abbess of Romsey, was the youngest daughter of Stephen of Blois (c. 1092–1154), king of England, and Matilda (c. 1103–1152), countess of Boulogne and queen of England. Born in France...

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Thompson Cooper

revised by Edward Charles Metzger

Montagu, Walter (1604/5–1677), courtier and abbot of St Martin, was born in the parish of St Botolph Aldgate, London, the second of four sons of Henry Montagu, first earl of Manchester (c. 1564–1642), and his first wife, Catherine (d. 1612), second daughter of ...

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Seaxburh [St Seaxburh, Sexburga] (b. in or before 655, d. c. 700), queen of Kent, consort of King Eorcenberht, and abbess of Ely, is described by Bede in his Historia ecclesiastica as the eldest daughter of Anna, king of the East Angles (d. 654?)...

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Tresham, Sir Thomas (c. 1500–1559), landowner and prior of the hospital of St John of Jerusalem in England, was the only son of John Tresham (d. 1521) of Rushton Hall, Northamptonshire. Following the death of Thomas's mother, his father married Isabel (...

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Wulfthryth [St Wulfthryth] (d. c. 1000), abbess of Wilton, was queen of England, the second consort of King Edgar, for a brief period before her appointment as abbess. Details of Wulfthryth's parentage are not known, but she must have been of noble birth like her cousin ...