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Armstrong, Sir Walter (1849–1918), museum director and art historian, was born at Hawick, Roxburghshire, on 7 February 1849, the elder of the two sons and three daughters of Walter Armstrong, a merchant described as 'a man of handsome fortune' (Spielmann), and his wife, ...

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Atkinson, Frank (1924–2014), museum founder and director, was born on 13 April 1924 at Pindar Oaks Maternity Home, Barnsley, the son of Ernest Atkinson (b. 1885), plumber and cycle dealer, and his wife, Elfrida, née Bedford (b. 1891), schoolteacher. At the time of his birth registration his parents lived at ...

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Bodkin, Thomas Patrick (1887–1961), museum director and art critic, was born in Dublin on 21 July 1887, the eldest of the family of two sons and four daughters of Matthias McDonnell Bodkin, a journalist who was later county court judge of Clare and MP for ...

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Sir William Boxall (1800–1879) by Michel Angelo Pittatore, 1870 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Boxall, Sir William (1800–1879), portrait painter and museum director, was born on 29 June 1800 in or near Oxford, the son of Thomas Boxall, clerk to the collector of excise, and the brother of Anne (d. 1846), later wife of the Revd Charles Boxall Longland...

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Callender, Sir Geoffrey Arthur Romaine (1875–1946), naval historian and museum director, was born at Didsbury, Manchester, on 25 November 1875, the elder son of Arthur William Callender, cotton mill owner, and his wife, Agnes Louisa, daughter of the Revd George Stephen Woodgate, vicar of ...

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Caw, Sir James Lewis (1864–1950), museum director and art historian, was born on 25 September 1864 at Craigie Terrace, St Quivox, Ayr, the son of James Caw, draper, and his wife, Eliza Murray, née Greenfield. Educated at Ayr Academy, he undertook an apprenticeship in engineering at the ...

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Clarke, Sir Caspar Purdon (1846–1911), museum director and architect, was born at Richmond, co. Dublin, on 21 December 1846, the second son of Edward Marmaduke Clarke, of an old Somerset family, who married Mary Agnes, daughter of James Close of Armagh. Clarke was educated at ...

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Clarke, Louis Colville Gray (1881–1960), art connoisseur and museum director, was born in Croydon on 2 May 1881, tenth son and youngest of the fourteen children of Stephenson Clarke, coal factor, and his wife, Agnes Maria Bridger. He was schooled privately. He went up to ...

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Sir Sydney Carlyle Cockerell (1867–1962) by Dorothy Webster Hawksley, 1951 © Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge

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Cockerell, Sir Sydney Carlyle (1867–1962), museum director and book collector, was born at Brighton on 16 July 1867, the second child (and second son) of the family of four sons and two daughters of Sydney John Cockerell (1842–1877), coal merchant, of London, and his wife, ...

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Cox, Sir (George) Trenchard (1905–1995), museum director, was born on 31 July 1905 at 19 Craven Hill, London, the son of William Pallett Cox, barrister, and his wife, Marion, née Beverley. He was educated at Eton College and at King's College, Cambridge, where he was a prizeman; in 1926 he took a third in part one of the modern and medieval languages tripos, and in 1928 a first in part two of the modern languages certificate of competent knowledge. Away from his studies ...

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Cursiter, Stanley (1887–1976), painter, museum director, and cartographer, was born on 29 April 1887 at Kirkwall, Orkney, the fourth of four children of John Scott Cursiter (1850–1896), baker and spirit merchant, and his wife, Mary Johan, daughter of John Thomson of Newark in ...

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Doyle, Henry Edward (1827–1892), painter and museum director, was born in Dublin, the third of seven children of John Doyle (1797–1868) and his wife, Marianna Conan (d. 1832). John Doyle, also born in Dublin, had trained initially as a miniature painter with ...

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Farr, Dennis Larry Ashwell (1929–2006), art historian and museum director, was born on 3 April 1929 at 30 Leagrave Road, Luton, Bedfordshire, the youngest of three children of Arthur William Farr, who sold, and later manufactured, hats, and his wife, Helen Eva, née...

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Finlay, (William) Ian Robertson (1906–1995), museum director and art historian, was born at Auckland, New Zealand, on 2 December 1906, the son of William Walker Robertson Finlay (1875–1961), stationer and artist, and his wife, Annie Margaret, née Somerville (1875–1951). Within six weeks of his birth, his parents, who were Scottish, returned to ...

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Fletcher, Sir Lazarus (1854–1921), museum director and mineralogist, was born at 11 Williamson Street, Salford, on 3 March 1854, the eldest child of six sons and two daughters of Stewart Fletcher of Salford and his wife, Betty, née Gregory. He was educated at ...

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Forsdyke, Sir (Edgar) John (1883–1979), museum director, was born at 63 Upper Grange Road, Bermondsey, on 12 September 1883, the second son of Frederick Palmer Forsdyke, commercial traveller, of Hasketon, Suffolk, and his wife, Mary Eliza Sainsbury. The family moved to Bushey, Hertfordshire...

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Foster, Sir Richard Anthony (1941–2001), museum director, was born on 3 October 1941 at 44 St Luke's Road, Bournemouth, the son of Eric Kenneth Foster, an accountant then serving as a corporal in the RAF, and his wife, Sylvia Renée, née France. He was educated at ...

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Fox, Sir Cyril Fred (1882–1967), archaeologist and museum director, was born at Chippenham, Wiltshire, on 16 December 1882, the first son of Charles Frederick Fox FSA, a bank official, and his wife, Henrietta Maria Paul, of Saffron Walden in Essex. His sister married ...