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Abraham, Roy Clive (1890–1963), scholar of African languages and colonial administrator, was born on 16 December 1890 in Melbourne, Australia, the second son of Isaac Abraham (1849-1918) and his wife Amy nee Soloman (b. 1861). From a Jewish background, he studied at ...

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Abramsky, Yehezkel (1886–1976), rabbinic scholar and Orthodox Jewish leader, was born on or about 7 February 1886 in Dashkovtsy, near Most and Grodno, Lithuania, the third child and eldest son of Mordecai Zalman Abramsky, a local timber merchant, and his wife, Freydel Goldin...

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Anslay, Brian (d. 1536), administrator and translator, about whose parentage and origins little is known, participated, as yeoman of the wine cellar, in Henry VII's funeral procession and in Henry VIII's coronation ceremonies in 1509. In 1521 his translation of Christine de Pisan's...

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Ashley, Sir Anthony, baronet (1551/2–1628), politician and translator of The Mariners Mirrour, was the eldest son of Sir Anthony Ashley of Damerham in Hampshire, a cadet of the long-established Ashleys of Wimborne St Giles (Dorset), and Dorothy, daughter of John Lyte of Lytes Cary (Somerset)...

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Aston, William George (1841–1911), diplomatist and Japanese and Korean scholar, was born on 9 April 1841 near Londonderry, one of the five children of George Robert Aston, minister of the Unitarian Church of Ireland and schoolmaster. He was educated at Saintfield national school...

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William George Aston (1841–1911) by Minnie Agnes Cohen, 1911 ? National Portrait Gallery, London

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Aylesbury, William (bap. 1612, d. 1656), translator and government official, was baptized at St Margaret, Lothbury, London, on 13 July 1612, the eldest son of Sir Thomas Aylesbury, baronet (1579/80–1658), and his wife, Anne Darell, née Denman (1589–1661). On 18 July 1628 he matriculated from ...

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Barker, William (fl. 1540–1576), translator and member of parliament, was humbly born but through the patronage of Anne Boleyn was educated at St John's College, Cambridge, graduating MA in 1540. A Roman Catholic, Barker left for Italy, probably in 1549, and travelled widely throughout the peninsula collecting Latin epitaphs (his ...

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Barker, Sir William (1909–1992), diplomatist and Russian scholar, was born on 19 July 1909 at 3 Plank Lane, Leigh, Lancashire, the eldest of the three children of Alfred Barker, master baker and later licensed victualler, and his wife, Annie, formerly Arden (née...

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Bell, Sir Charles Alfred (1870–1945), administrator in India and Tibetologist, was born in Fort William, Calcutta, on 31 October 1870, the third son of Henry Bell, of the Indian Civil Service, and his wife, Anne, daughter of George Dumbell, of Douglas, Isle of Man...

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See Biggs, Matilda Ashurst

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John Bourchier, second Baron Berners (c. 1467–1533) attrib. Ambrosius Benson, c. 1521–6 Galerie Jan der Maere

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Bourchier, John, second Baron Berners (c. 1467–1533), soldier, diplomat, and translator, was the son of Sir Humphrey Bourchier (d. 1471) and Elizabeth (d. 1497), daughter and sole heir of Frederick Tilney of Boston, Lincolnshire. His father, a Yorkist, was killed at the battle of ...

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Crankshaw, Edward (1909–1984), writer and commentator on Soviet affairs, was born on 3 January 1909 in London, the elder son (there were no daughters) of Arthur Crankshaw, later chief clerk to Old Street magistrates' court, and of his wife, Amy Bishop. He was small in stature and suffered from a weak chest, and the family soon moved out to ...

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Crawfurd, John (1783–1868), orientalist and colonial administrator, was born on 13 August 1783 on the island of Islay, Inner Hebrides, the son of Samuel Crawfurd, a medical doctor from Ayrshire, and his wife, Margaret, née Campbell, whose family owned a small estate on the island. At the village school in ...

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Cust, Robert Needham (1821–1909), East India Company servant and orientalist, was born at Cockayne Hatley, Bedfordshire, on 24 February 1821, the second son of Henry Cockayne Cust (1780–1861), canon of Windsor, and his wife, Lady Anna Maria Elizabeth (d. 1866), eldest daughter of ...

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Davis, Sir John Francis, first baronet (1795–1890), colonial governor and Chinese scholar, born in London on 16 July 1795, was the eldest son in the family of four sons and seven daughters of Samuel Davis (1760–1819), magistrate of Benares and a director of the ...

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Davis, Samuel (1760–1819), East India Company servant and orientalist, was born in the West Indies, the younger son of John Davis, who held the post there of commissary-general, and his Welsh wife (née Phillips). He went to England with his mother and two sisters after the death of his father. Despite the evident poverty of the family, ...

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Eastwick, Edward Backhouse (1814–1883), orientalist and diplomatist, was born on 13 March 1814 at Warfield, Berkshire, one of three sons of Captain Robert William Eastwick of Brompton, Middlesex, and his wife, Lucy, daughter of John King. His family had a long history of service with the ...

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Eaton, (Horace Charles Le) Gai [names in religion Hasan ‘Abd al-Hakim, Sidi Hasan] (1921–2010), diplomatist and Muslim scholar, was born on 1 January 1921 in Lausanne, Switzerland, the son of Francis Henry Launcelot Errington (1854–1942), barrister, and Ruth Frances Muddock (1881–1973)...