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Ammonius, Andreas [Andrea della Rena] (bap. 1476, d. 1517), humanist scholar and poet, was the son of Elisabetta Vanni and her husband, Francesco della Rena (dell' Arena). Of a family long established as silk weavers at Lucca, he was baptized in the cathedral there on 13 October 1476. In preparation for an ecclesiastical career, he studied with ...

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Boyd, Mark Alexander (1563–1601), humanist scholar and writer, was born on 13 January 1563, possibly in Galloway, the son of Robert Boyd of Penkill Castle, Ayrshire. James Boyd, archbishop of Glasgow, was his uncle. His family was descended from the first Lord Boyd...

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Bullock, Henry (d. 1526), humanist scholar, entered the University of Cambridge about the year 1500. His family background is unknown. Fuller believed that he was 'most probably' born in Berkshire, 'where his ancient name appears in a worshipful estate' (Fuller, 95). The archives of ...

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Chaundler, Thomas (c. 1417–1490), university principal and humanist scholar, was born at Wells, in St Cuthbert's parish, the son probably of William Chaundler and possibly the brother of Geoffrey and John, clerks of Somerset parishes. John Chaundler, bishop of Salisbury (1417–26), may have been a kinsman, and the ...

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Cheke, Sir John (1514–1557), humanist, royal tutor, and administrator, was born on 16 June 1514 in a house on the corner of Market Hill and Petty Cury in Cambridge, the son of Peter Cheke (d. 1530), administrator, of Cambridge, and his wife, ...

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Sir John Cheke (1514–1557) attrib. Lodovico Leoni, c. 1555 ? Copyright The British Museum

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Claymond, John (1467/8–1536), humanist and college head, was born in Frampton in Lincolnshire, the son of John and Alice Claymond. Possibly educated at the school of Magdalen College in Oxford, he was admitted to the college itself as a demy in 1484 aged sixteen, became a fellow in July 1488, senior commoner in 1493, and president in 1507. In the same year he received his MA and lectured in the university on ...

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Cooke, Sir Anthony (1505/6–1576), educator and humanist, was the only son of John Coke or Cooke (1485–1516) of Gidea Hall, Essex, within the liberty of Havering-atte-Bower near Romford, and Alice Saunders (d. 1510), daughter of William Saunders of Banbury, Oxfordshire. He was the great-grandson of ...

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Doget [Doket], John (d. 1501), humanist scholar and college head, was the nephew of Cardinal Thomas Bourchier, archbishop of Canterbury (d. 1486), to whom Doget must have owed much of the considerable church patronage later bestowed on him. He was born in ...

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Elyot, Sir Thomas (c. 1490–1546), humanist and diplomat, was the only son of Sir Richard Elyot (d. 1522) and his first wife, Alice Delamere, a descendant of the Finderns of Derbyshire. Alice died about 1510 and Sir Richard subsequently married Elizabeth Besilles, whose father, ...

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Sir Thomas Elyot (c. 1490–1546) by Hans Holbein the younger The Royal Collection ? 2004 HM Queen Elizabeth II

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Enzinas, Francisco de [known as Francis Dryander] (1518?–1552), humanist scholar, was born in the parish of San Gil, Burgos, Spain, the son of Juan de Enzinas (d. 1556?), a prosperous wool merchant. According to one of his contemporaries he was born on 1 November 1518 (...

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Desiderius Erasmus (c. 1467–1536) by Hans Holbein the younger, 1523 private collection. Photograph: Photographic Survey, Courtauld Institute of Art, London

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Erasmus, Desiderius (c. 1467–1536), humanist scholar and reformer, was born in Rotterdam during the night of 27–28 October in the late 1460s—a year about 1467 seems plausible. He was illegitimate, a circumstance that doubtless contributed to the uncertainty attending all record of his origins, family name, and early life. The source of much information is the ...

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Ferrerio, Giovanni [Joannes Ferrerius] (1502–1579), historian and humanist writer, was born on 25 March 1502 in Riva di Chieri, near Turin, the son of Martino Ferrerio and Caterina Finelli. His father was distantly related to the episcopal family of Ivrea and Vercelli, but ...

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Flemming, Robert (1416–1483), ecclesiastic and humanist, was born in the diocese of York, probably the illegitimate son of Robert Flemming, esquire, of Wath, near Ripon (d. 1459); his uncle Richard Flemming (d. 1431) was bishop of Lincoln, while his aunt Cecily (Cecilia)...

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Free [Fre, Freas], John (c. 1430–1464/5), humanist scholar, spelled his name Fre or Free; it was Latinized in the fifteenth century to Frea(s), and in the early sixteenth to Phrea(s). His birthplace was Bristol according to William Worcester, who seems to have known him personally, or ...

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Hay, Archibald (d. 1547), humanist scholar and writer on education, whose parents are not known, was a nephew of James Beaton (archbishop of St Andrews, 1523–39), and a cousin of David Beaton (cardinal and archbishop of St Andrews, 1539–46). Like many Scots of his generation he studied for much of his career in ...

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Hegat, William (fl. 1598–1621), humanist and academic, was born at Glasgow, the son most probably of William Hegat (c.1522–1591/2), burgess of Glasgow and notary, and his wife, Janet Graham (d. 1608). The elder William Hegat certainly had a son William...

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Linacre, Thomas (c. 1460–1524), humanist scholar and physician, is of unknown origins. Of his early life nothing definite is known although a connection with Kent and Canterbury is possible. He was in Oxford by 1481, but the earliest certain record of him is his election in 1484 to a fellowship at ...