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Alban Butler

1711-1773. Hagiographer. Educated at the Roman seminary at Douai from the age of eight (both his parents had died), he became professor first of philosophy and then of divinity, being ordained priest in 1735. For a time chaplain to the duke of Norfolk, he then went with Edward Howard, the duke's nephew, to Paris, where he completed his four-volumed Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and other principal Saints...-a monumental and wide-ranging collection of material involving some 1,600 lives. Its weakness lies in the lack of clear differentiation between history and legend. After all the travels to collect material and some time as a mission priest in England, he spent the last seven years of his life as president of the English College at St. Omer in France.