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Abbey, John Roland (1894–1969), book collector, was born in Brighton on 23 November 1894, the eldest of three sons of William Henry Abbey, brewer, of Sedgwick Park, Horsham, and his wife, Florence, daughter of Henry Belcher, of Hove, Sussex. He was named John Rowland...

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Abendana, Isaac (d. 1699), Hebraist and book collector, was born in Spain and was taken at an early age to Hamburg, Germany. By 1660 he had completed rabbinical studies and by his own account sought the 'wisdom of medicine' (Katz, The Abendana brothers, 36...

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Amherst, William Amhurst Tyssen-, first Baron Amherst of Hackney (1835–1909), book collector, was born at Narford Hall, Swaffham, Norfolk, on 25 April 1835, the eldest son of William George Daniel-Tyssen (1801–1855), who had added Tyssen to his surname in 1814 on his marriage to ...

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Ashbee, Henry Spencer [pseud. Pisanus Fraxi] (1834–1900), book collector and bibliographer, was born on 21 April 1834 at 24 Blackfriars Road, Southwark, London, the only child of Robert Ashbee (1804–1867), manager of the Curtis and Harvey gunpowder mills, and his wife, Frances Elizabeth, ...

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Henry Spencer Ashbee (1834–1900) by H. T. Reed, 1889 private collection; photograph National Portrait Gallery, London

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Ashley, Robert (1565–1641), translator and book collector, was born on 2 July 1565, second son of Anthony Ashley, of Damerham, Wiltshire, and Dorothy Lyte; he was the brother of Sir Anthony Ashley and Sir Francis Ashley. At an early age he acquired fluent French under ...

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Askew, Anthony (bap. 1722, d. 1774), physician and book collector, was born in Kendal, Westmorland, where he was baptized on 7 May 1722, the son of Adam Askew, physician, and his wife, Anne Crackenthorp. In 1725 his family moved to Newcastle, where his father established a well-respected practice. ...

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Astle, Thomas (1735–1803), archivist and collector of books and manuscripts, was born on 22 December 1735 at Yoxall, on the edge of Needwood Forest, Staffordshire, the eldest son of Daniel Astle (d. 1775), keeper of the forest, who was of a family long established at ...

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Thomas Astle (1735–1803) by William Skelton, pubd 1803 (after Henry Howard) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Topham Beauclerk (1739–1780) by Samuel Bellin (after George Perfect Harding?) © National Portrait Gallery, London