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Backhouse, Janet Moira (1938–2004), scholar and curator of manuscripts, was born on 8 February 1938 at Marley, 90 Pickwick Road, Corsham, Wiltshire, the daughter of Joseph Holme Backhouse, cattle-food salesman, and his wife, Jessie, née Chivers; they also had a son, the sculptor ...

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Bell, Thomas (1785–1860), land surveyor and book collector, was born on 16 December 1785 in Newcastle upon Tyne, the second son of John Bell (1755–1816), a land surveyor and bookseller, and his wife, Margaret, the daughter of John Gray, of Combfield House, co. Durham...

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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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Richard Dalton (c. 1715–1791) by Johan Zoffany, c. 1765–8 [with his wife, Esther de Heulle, and their niece Mary de Heulle] © Tate, London, 2004

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Dalton, Richard (c. 1715–1791), art dealer and librarian, was the son of the Revd John Dalton of Darlington, co. Durham, and younger brother of the Revd John Dalton, rector of St Mary-at-Hill, London. Dalton was apparently apprenticed to a coach-painter at Clerkenwell, London...

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Evans [née Lander], (Caroline) Mary Forbes (1936–2010), picture librarian and author, was born on 5 May 1936 at 8 Cotswold Gardens, Hendon, London, the youngest daughter of Digby Forbes Lander (1891–1969), an accounts clerk at an aircraft works, later an employee of the ...

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See Evans [née Lander], (Caroline) Mary Forbes

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Francis, Sir Frank Chalton (1901–1988), museum director and librarian, was born on 5 October 1901 in Liverpool, the only child of Frank William Francis, provision broker, who died in 1914, and his wife, Elizabeth Chalton, furrier; both parents were from Liverpool. He was educated at the ...

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Gulston, Joseph (1744/5–1786), book and art collector and connoisseur, was the eldest son of Joseph Gulston (1693/4–1766), a successful loan contractor with mercantile interests in Lisbon, and his wife, Mericas Sylva (1714/15–1799), the daughter of a Portuguese merchant. His father became MP in turn for ...

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Edward Harley, second earl of Oxford and Mortimer (1689–1741) by Michael Dahl © Copyright The British Museum

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Harley, Edward, second earl of Oxford and Mortimer (1689–1741), book collector and patron of the arts, was born on 2 June 1689, the only son of Robert Harley, first earl of Oxford and Mortimer (1661–1724), politician, and his first wife, Elizabeth (d...

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William Herbert (1718–1795) by William Say, pubd 1809 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Herbert, William (1718–1795), bibliographer and printseller, was born on 29 November 1718, the second of five children of Thomas Herbert (c.1691–1721), a dyer and hosier of Gravel Lane, Southwark, and his wife, Sarah (d. 1748). His parents were Londoners and Presbyterians. What is known of his first thirty years derives from ...

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Kenyon, Lloyd Tyrell-, fifth Baron Kenyon (1917–1993), museum administrator and book collector, was born on 13 September 1917 at 17 Manchester Street, Marylebone, London, the only son of Lloyd Tyrell-Kenyon, fourth Baron Kenyon (1864–1927), a lord-in-waiting to Queen Victoria, Edward VII, and George V...

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Alexander William Crawford Lindsay, twenty-fifth earl of Crawford and eighth earl of Balcarres (1812–1880) by Camille Silvy, 1863 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Lindsay, Alexander William Crawford, twenty-fifth earl of Crawford and eighth earl of Balcarres (1812–1880), book collector and writer on art, was born at Muncaster Castle, Cumberland, on 16 October 1812. He was the eldest son of James Lindsay, twenty-fourth earl of Crawford and seventh earl of Balcarres...

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Maxwell, Sir William Stirling, ninth baronet (1818–1878), art historian, historian, and book collector, was born William Stirling on 8 March 1818 at Kenmure House, Kirkintilloch, near Glasgow, the only son of Archibald Stirling of Keir and Cawder (1769–1847) and Elizabeth Maxwell (1793–1822), daughter of ...

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Sir William Stirling Maxwell, ninth baronet (1818–1878) by George Richmond, c. 1856 private collection; photograph © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Richard Mead (1673–1754) by Allan Ramsay, 1747 Coram Foundation, Foundling Museum, London; photograph National Portrait Gallery, London