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Aigueblanche, Peter d' [Peter de Aqua Blanca] (d. 1268), bishop of Hereford and royal councillor, was descended from the family of Brian?on, holders of the lordship of Aigueblanche (Savoie) in the Tarentaise or valley of the upper Isère, dependants of the counts of Savoy...

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Peter d' Aigueblanche (d. 1268) tomb effigy by permission of the Dean and Chapter of Hereford Cathedral

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Aubigny, Philip d' [Philip Daubeney] (d. 1236), knight and royal councillor, was a member of a junior branch of the family of d'Aubigny, native to St Aubin-d'Aubigné (Ille-et-Vilaine), north of Rennes in Brittany, whose senior branch had acquired the English honour of Belvoir...

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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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Bezill, Sir Mathias [Maci] (d. 1268), courtier and soldier, was by birth a native of Touraine, France. His parents are unknown, but he was a kinsman of Girard d’Athée and of the other members of the Chanceaux clan whose expulsion from ...

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Bradeston, Thomas, Lord Bradeston (d. 1360), soldier and royal councillor, was probably the son of Robert de Bradeston, a minor landowner of Breadstone, Gloucestershire. The Bradestons were close allies of the Berkeleys of Berkeley Castle, their near neighbours, and Thomas probably began his career in the ...

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William Catesby (b. in or before 1446, d. 1485) memorial brass, c. 1506 [with his wife, Margaret] reproduced by courtesy of H. M. Stutchfield, F.S.A., Hon. Secretary of the Monumental Brass Society

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Catesby, William (b. in or before 1446, d. 1485), royal councillor and speaker of the House of Commons, was the son of Sir William Catesby (d. 1478/9) of Ashby St Ledgers [see under Catesby family] and his first wife, Philippa Bishopestone...

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Cecil, William, first Baron Burghley (1520/21–1598), royal minister, son of Richard Cecil (d. 1553) and Jane, daughter of William Heckington of Bourne, Lincolnshire, and grandson of David Cecil, was born on 18 September 1520 or 1521. David Cecil, a member of a minor gentry family on the Welsh border, joined ...

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William Cecil, first Baron Burghley (1520/2121–1598) by unknown artist ? Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

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Cromwell, Thomas, earl of Essex (b. in or before 1485, d. 1540), royal minister, was the son of Walter Cromwell of Putney, Surrey, who made his name there as a blacksmith, fuller, and cloth merchant, as well as the owner of both a hostelry and a brewery. All that is known of his mother is that she was the aunt of ...

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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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Devereux, John, Baron Devereux (d. 1393), soldier and royal councillor, of Dinton, Buckinghamshire, was reputedly a younger son of William Devereux of Bodenham, Herefordshire, but his background remains obscure. The foundations of his reputation for military prowess were already laid before 1366 (by when he was certainly a knight), the year he was recruited by the great Breton commander ...

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Doreward, John (d. 1420), speaker of the House of Commons and royal councillor, inherited estates from his parents, William Doreward and Joan, daughter and heir of John Oliver of Stanway. Situated mainly in eastern Essex and focused on Bocking, they were estimated in 1412 to be worth ...

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Englefield, Sir Thomas (1455–1514), royal councillor and speaker of the House of Commons, was almost certainly born in Englefield, Berkshire, which his family had held since the twelfth century. He was apparently the only son of John Englefield (d. 1465) and Jane...

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Fitzalan, Richard, third earl of Arundel and eighth earl of Surrey (c. 1313–1376), soldier, diplomat, and royal councillor, known as ‘Copped Hat’, was the son of Edmund Fitzalan, second earl of Arundel (1285–1326), and Alice, sister of John de Warenne, seventh earl of Surrey...

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Grey [Gray], Sir John de (d. 1266), royal councillor, was a younger son of Henry de Grey (d. 1219) and Isolde Bardolph (d. 1246), a Kentish heiress. From his father Grey inherited the manor of Shirland in Derbyshire, but most of his lands came to him later, from the crown and by marriage, in particular from his wife, ...

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Ingham, Oliver, Lord Ingham (c. 1287–1344), soldier and seneschal of Aquitaine, was son and heir of Sir John Ingham (1260–1309), of Ingham, Norfolk, and his wife, Margery. His father served in Edward I's Scottish wars and he was himself summoned for military service in ...

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Lovel, Philip (d. 1258), administrator and royal counsellor, was a kinsman of the Lovels of Minster Lovell in Oxfordshire, perhaps a younger son of William Lovel (d. 1213); the kinship is proved by the fact that the manor of Snorscomb, Northamptonshire, in ...