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Alnwick, Martin (d. 1336), Franciscan friar, theologian, and philosopher, doubtless came from Northumberland. Possibly the Martinus occasionally recorded as participating in Oxford disputations in the last years of the thirteenth century, he was certainly at Oxford by 1300, when he was among the friars presented to the bishop of ...

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Bacon [Bakun], Roger (c. 1214–1292?), philosopher and Franciscan friar, is by inference from his later career usually assigned a birth date about 1214, and from early traditions it seems that he came from the south-west of England, perhaps near Ilchester in Somerset.

Bacon...

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Beconsall, Thomas (1663/4–1709), philosopher and Church of England clergyman, was the son of John Beconsall of Lemster, Cheshire. He matriculated, aged sixteen, on 30 March 1680, at Brasenose College, Oxford. He graduated BA in 1683, MA in 1686 (in which year he became a fellow), and BD in 1697. He was vicar of ...

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Benson, Margaret (1865–1916), Egyptologist and religious philosopher, was born on 16 June 1865 at Wellington College, Berkshire, the fourth of the six children of Edward White Benson (1829–1896), archbishop of Canterbury (1882–96), and his wife, Mary (1841–1918), daughter of the Revd William Sidgwick...

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Berkeley, George (1685–1753), Church of Ireland bishop of Cloyne and philosopher, was born at or near Kilkenny on 12 March 1685. His father, William Berkeley (d. in or after 1734), who later held a military commission, was a gentleman farmer descended from a ...

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George Berkeley (1685–1753) by John Smibert, 1730 ? National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bethune, John (1725–1774), Church of Scotland minister and philosopher, was born on 6 September 1725 and baptized John Beton six days later, the son of Ferchard or Farquhar Beton or Bethune (1694–1746), minister of Croy, Nairnshire, of the Bethunes of Skye, and Margaret Rose (...

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Binning, Hugh (1627–1653), philosopher and Church of Scotland minister, was born at Dalvenan, Ayrshire, the son of John Binning, the proprietor of Dalvenan, and Margaret M'Kell, daughter of Matthew M'Kell (or M'Kail), the parish clergyman of Bothwell, Lanarkshire. Margaret M'Kell's brother Hugh M'Kail...

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Brinkley, Richard (fl. 1355–1375), Franciscan friar, theologian, and philosopher, was for a long time mistakenly referred to as Walter Brinkley. Nothing is known of his early life, except that he joined his order in Oxford. Brinkley's philosophical and theological ideas circulated at the ...

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Carpenter, Nathanael (1589–1628), Church of England clergyman and philosopher, was born on 7 February 1589 at Northleigh, Devon, son of John Carpenter (d. 1621), the rector there, who was a Cornishman. After matriculating at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, on 7 June 1605, he was elected fellow of ...

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Chatton [Catton], Walter (d. 1343/4), Franciscan friar, philosopher, and theologian, probably derived his name from Catton in Northumberland, a few miles south-west of Hexham. He entered the Franciscan order as a ‘boy’, that is, under the age of fourteen, and since he was ordained subdeacon in 1307 by ...

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Clarke, Samuel (1675–1729), theologian and philosopher, was born on 11 October 1675 at Norwich, the son of Edward Clarke, cloth manufacturer and MP, and Hannah, daughter of Samuel Parmenter, a merchant of Norwich.

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Samuel Clarke (1675–1729) by unknown artist, c. 1720 ? National Portrait Gallery, London

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Collins, Anthony (1676–1729), philosopher and freethinker, was born on 21 June 1676 at Isleworth, Middlesex, the eldest child of Henry Collins (1646/7–1705), lawyer, and Mary Dineley. He was educated at Eton College and then at King's College, Cambridge, from 1693 to 1696, but did not take a degree. At ...

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Copleston, Frederick Charles (1907–1994), philosopher and Jesuit, was born on 10 April 1907 at Claremont, Trull, near Taunton, Somerset, the elder son of Frederick Selwyn Copleston (1850–1935), civil servant in India and high court judge in Rangoon, and his second wife, Norah Margaret...

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Frederick Charles Copleston (1907–1994) by unknown photographer photograph reproduced by courtesy of The British Academy

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Cranston, David (c. 1480–1512), philosopher and theologian, was born in Scotland, probably in the diocese of Glasgow. Nothing is known of his parentage or of his education before he matriculated at the University of Paris in 1495. His bursa at the Collège de Montaigu...

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Crosse, Robert (1604/5–1683), writer on philosophy and Church of England clergyman, was the son of William Crosse of Dunster, Somerset. He matriculated from Lincoln College, Oxford, as a commoner on 13 December 1622 aged seventeen. He graduated BA on 6 July 1625, was elected a fellow of his college in 1627, proceeded MA on 10 May 1628 and was ordained that year, and in 1637 became BD. ...

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Ralph Cudworth (1617–1688) by unknown artist by permission of the Master, Fellows, and Scholars of Emmanuel College in the University of Cambridge

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Cudworth, Ralph (1617–1688), philosopher and theologian, was born in Aller, Somerset, and baptized there on 13 July 1617. His father, Dr Ralph Cudworth (d. 1624), a fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, who had been lecturer of St Andrew's Church there, was rector of a college living at ...