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Louisa Caroline Baring, Lady Ashburton (1827–1903) by Carlo, Baron Marochetti, 1861 property of the Marquess of Northampton; Beedle & Cooper

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Baring [née Stewart-Mackenzie], Louisa Caroline, Lady Ashburton (1827–1903), art collector and philanthropist, was born at Seaforth Lodge, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides, on 5 March 1827, the third daughter and sixth child of James Alexander Stewart-Mackenzie (d. 1843)...

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William Thomas Beckford (1760–1844) by George Romney, 1781–2 National Trust Photographic Library / John Hammond

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Beckford, William Thomas (1760–1844), writer and art collector, was born on 29 September 1760 at one of his father's houses, in Westminster or Fonthill, Wiltshire, and baptized at Fonthill on 6 January 1761, the only legitimate son of William Beckford (bap. 1709, d. 1770)...

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Beit, Sir Otto John, first baronet (1865–1930), financier, philanthropist, and art connoisseur, was born on 7 December 1865 in Hamburg, Germany, twelve years after his brother Alfred Beit. He was the third son of Siegfried Beit (1818–1881), silk merchant, and his wife, Laura Caroline Hahn (...

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Sir Otto John Beit, first baronet (1865–1930) by H. Walter Barnett © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Benson, Robert Henry [Robin] (1850–1929), merchant banker and art collector, was born on 24 September 1850 at Fairfield House, Fairfield, near Manchester, the eldest of three children of Robert Benson (1814–1875), merchant banker, and his wife, Eleanor (1824–1883), daughter of Vice-Admiral Constantine Moorsom...

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Bernal, Ralph (d. 1854), politician and art collector, was of Jewish descent and came from a family of Spanish origin. He was the only son of Jacob Bernal (d. 1811) of 7 Fitzroy Square, London, was born at Colchester, Essex, and was educated at ...

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Bevan [née Ackenhausen], Natalie Alice (1909–2007), artist, muse, and collector, was born on 22 May 1909 at 2 Pembroke Cottages, Edwardes Square, London, the elder daughter and eldest of three children of Kurt Bernhard Heinrich Carl Ackenhausen (1878/9–1954) and his wife, Alice Katherine Inchbold, ...

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Natalie Alice Bevan (1909–2007) by Mark Gertler, 1928 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Blundell, Henry (1724–1810), art collector, was born at Ince Blundell, Lancashire, the son of Robert Blundell (d. 1773) and his wife, Katharine, daughter of Sir Stanley Rowland, bt, of Hooton, Chester. Like many Catholics he received his education abroad, first at the college of the English Jesuits at ...

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Bowes, John (1811–1885), coal industrialist and art collector, was born at 13 South Street, Chelsea, London, on 19 June 1811, the illegitimate son of John Bowes, tenth earl of Strathmore (1769–1820), and Mary (1787–1860), the daughter of George and Ann Milner of Stainton, co. Durham...

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Boyle, Richard, third earl of Burlington and fourth earl of Cork (1694–1753), architect, collector, and patron of the arts, was born on 25 April 1694 at Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, the only son of Charles Boyle, second earl of Burlington and third earl of Cork...

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Richard Boyle, third earl of Burlington and fourth earl of Cork (1694–1753) by Jonathan Richardson the elder, c. 1717–19 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Brett, John Watkins (1805–1863), art collector and telegraph engineer, was born in Bristol, one of at least seven children of William Brett, cabinet-maker. By the age of twelve his enthusiasm for the fine arts was so great that his parents put him under the tuition of ...

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Thomas David Gibson Carmichael, Baron Carmichael (1859–1926) by Sir Benjamin Stone, 1897 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Carmichael, Thomas David Gibson, Baron Carmichael (1859–1926), administrator in India and art collector, was born at Castlecraig, near Edinburgh, on 18 March 1859, the eldest son of the Revd Sir William Henry Gibson Carmichael, tenth baronet (1827–1891), and his wife, Eleanora Anne (...

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William Cartwright (1606–1686) by John Greenhill, mid-1660s by permission of the Trustees of Dulwich Picture Gallery

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Cartwright, William (1606–1686), actor and art collector, was born at the end of December 1606, the son of William Cartwright, actor, and was baptized at St Mary Magdalen, Old Fish Street, London, on 1 January 1607. The elder Cartwright was playing for the ...

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Cavendish, William, second duke of Devonshire (1670/71–1729), politician and art collector, was the second but first surviving son of William Cavendish, first duke of Devonshire (1641–1707), and Mary (1646–1710), second daughter of James Butler, first duke of Ormond. Following his father's accession to the ...