Wilfrid Michail Voynich (31 October 1865 (Old Style - in use in the Russian Empire at the time of his birth - and the birthdate he normally gave)/12 November (New Style) Telsze (since 1918 Telšiai and now Lithuania) a town in then Kovno Governorate, Russia – 19 March 1930, New York), born Michał Habdank-Wojnicz, was trained as a pharmacist, and became a Polish-Lithuanian revolutionary against the Russian Empire. After being sent to Siberia he escaped and eventually ended up in London. With Sergey Stepniak, a fellow revolutionary, he founded the Society of Friends of Russian Freedom. After Stepniak's death he became a successful antiquarian and bibliophile, eventually moving to the US. Married to Ethel Lilian Voynich, author of The Gadfly and other works, daughter of George Boole the mathematician.

In 1912 he acquired what became known as the Voynich manuscript from the Villa Mondragone (though he was at times vague about where it had been acquired - sometimes referring to 'a castle in Europe'): this may have been part of his professional act, to keep his sources secure. Details of his acquisitions here [1] and here [2].

Useful websites:

  • A biography can be found on The History Files here [3].
  • The Wikipedia page [4]
  • Various documents can be found here [5].

Some information on his coat of arms and travels here [6]

  • Birth record and parents' info can be found here [7]