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Batchelor, Thomas (1775–1838), farmer and writer on language, was born on 25 September 1775 at Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, the fifth child of Joseph Batchelor (1741–1804) and Ann Brandon (d. 1792), farmers. He was baptized in 1785 at Ampthill where, from the age of ten to thirteen, he went to school. At this time, spelling book fables were the only texts he could read with any real sense of enjoyment, his particular favourite being ...

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Bathe, William (1564–1614), Jesuit and linguistic scholar, was born on Easter Sunday, 2 April 1564, the eldest son of John Bathe (or Bath, d. 1586), of Drumcondra on the outskirts of Dublin, and his wife, Eleanor (d. c.1575), daughter of Jenico Preston, ...

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Beck, Cave (bap. 1622, d. 1706), writer on universal language and Church of England clergyman, second son of John Beck, 'pandoxator' or brewer, and Anne Flecher (probably née Cave, and widow of Adam Flecher), was born in the parish of St James's, Clerkenwell...

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Butler, Edward Dundas (1842–1919), linguist and librarian, was born on 15 October 1842 at 6 Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, London, the son of Thomas Butler and his wife, Jane Isabella, née North. Having been educated at Blue Coat School, London, he joined the department of printed books of the ...

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Chamberlain [Chamberlen], Nathaniel (bap. 1612), linguist and physician, was the third son of the barber–surgeon Peter Chamberlen the younger (1572–1626) [see under Chamberlen family] and his wife, Sara, daughter of William Delaune (c. 1530–1611). He was baptized at the French church in ...

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Cheeke, William (fl. 1592–1615?), anagrammatist, is of obscure origin. In his only printed work he identifies himself as ‘Gulielmo Checo Durotrige’ and ‘Guil. Cheeke. Austro-Britannus’, suggesting a connection with southern England, perhaps Dorset. He entered Magdalen Hall, Oxford, at the beginning of 1592 and graduated BA from there on 14 February 1596....

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Corder, Stephen Pit (1918–1990), linguistic scholar, was born on 6 October 1918, at 4 Bootham Terrace, York, the second of the two sons of Philip Corder (b. 1885), schoolmaster, and his wife, Johanna Adriana van der Mersch (b. 1887). His father was English and his mother Dutch. ...

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Sir James Handyside Marshall- Cornwall (1887–1985) by Walter Stoneman, 1936 ? National Portrait Gallery, London

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Cornwall, Sir James Handyside Marshall- (1887–1985), army officer and linguist, was born in India on 27 May 1887, the only son and elder child of James Cornwall, postmaster-general of the United Provinces, India, and his wife, Agnes Hunter. He was educated at Rugby School...

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Crowther, Samuel Ajayi (c. 1807–1891), bishop of western Africa and linguistic scholar, was born of Yoruba parents at Oshogun, in the south-west of Nigeria. Captured in war in 1821 he was sold on 7 April 1822 to a Portuguese slave ship in Lagos...

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Dalgarno, George (c. 1616–1687), writer on language, was 'borne at Old Aberdeen, and bred in the university at New Aberdeen', according to Wood (Wood, Ath. Oxon., 506). No primary documentary evidence has survived concerning his family background. His date of birth, usually given as about 1626 on the basis of ...

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Gordon Goodwin

revised by S. J. Skedd

Dyche, Thomas (d. 1722x7), schoolmaster and writer on language, is of unknown origins. He was educated at Ashbourne Free School, Derbyshire, under the Revd William Hardestee, and subsequently took holy orders. He moved to London and in 1708 was keeping a school in ...

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Fenton, Alexander [Sandy] (1929–2012), ethnologist and linguist, was born on 26 June 1929 at 15 Milford Avenue, Shotts, Lanarkshire, the eldest child in the family of three sons and a daughter of Alexander Fenton, crofter and shoemaker, and his wife, Annie Stirling, née...

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Firth, John Rupert (1890–1960), linguistic scholar, was born on 17 June 1890 at Keighley, Yorkshire, the elder son of William Firth, bookkeeper, and his wife, Frances Elizabeth Waller.

John Rupert Firth was educated at Keighley grammar school and the University of Leeds, where he obtained first-class honours in history (1911) and took his MA degree in 1913. He married ...

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Gardiner, Sir Alan Henderson (1879–1963), Egyptologist and linguistic scholar, was born on 29 March 1879 in Eltham, Kent, the younger son of Henry John Gardiner (1843–1940), director (later chairman) of the textile company Bradbury, Greatorex & Co., and his wife, Clara Elizabeth, née...

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Gwynn, (John) Peter Lucius (1916–1999), administrator in India and linguist, was born on 22 June 1916 at 37 Hyde Park Mansions, Marylebone, London, the eldest child and only son of John Tudor Gwynn (1881–1956), a member of the Indian Civil Service, and his wife, ...

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Harrison, Robert (1714/15–1802), natural philosopher and linguist, son of Robert Harrison, was born in Durham, where he was baptized on 1 March 1715 at St Nicholas's Church. He was a king's scholar at Durham School, practised law in Yarm, and married Anne Hett (1716/17–1799)...

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Eugénie Jane Andrina Henderson (1914–1989) by unknown photographer photograph reproduced by courtesy of The British Academy

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Henderson [married name Meier], Eugénie Jane Andrina (1914–1989), phonetician and linguistic scholar, was born on 2 October 1914 at Rose Villa, Archbold Terrace, Newcastle upon Tyne, the daughter of William Alexander Cruikshank Henderson, civil engineer, and his wife, Pansy Viola, née Schurer...

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Hennessy, William Maunsell [Uilliam Ua hAonghusa] (1828/9–1889), linguistic scholar, was born at Castlegregory, co. Kerry, and was educated privately, passing his early youth with a maternal uncle, Dr Finn. A native speaker of Irish and English, he received a grounding in the classics, and later exhibited knowledge of German and French. He spent some years in the ...