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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, ...

Article

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

Article

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...

Article

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

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Mead, Richard (1673–1754), physician and collector of books and art, was born at Worcester House, Stepney, Middlesex, on 11 August 1673, the eleventh child of thirteen of Matthew Meade (1628/9–1699), a nonconforming minister, and his wife, Elizabeth Walton (d. 1707). Matthew Meade...

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Perrins, (Charles William) Dyson (1864–1958), book and porcelain collector and benefactor, was born in the parish of Claines, near Worcester, on 25 May 1864, the only son of James Dyson Perrins (1823–1887) and his wife and cousin, Frances Sarah (d. 1918), daughter of ...

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(Charles William) Dyson Perrins (1864–1958) by unknown photographer © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Smith, Joseph (1673/4?–1770), book collector and patron of the arts, was probably born in 1673 or 1674 (at his death in Venice in 1770 he was said to be ninety-six). Nothing is known of his antecedents; he used a coat of arms of the family of ...

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Sotheby family (per. 1778–1861), auctioneers and book collectors, came to prominence in the book trade in the mid-eighteenth century with John Sotheby (1740–1807). The Sothebys stemmed from Pocklington in Yorkshire, where a nineteenth-century wall plaque in the local church of All Saints...

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Willett, Ralph (1719–1795), book collector and connoisseur, was born on 8 August 1719, probably on St Kitts in the West Indies, the elder child of Henry Willett (c.1680–1740), plantation owner on the island, and his wife, Elizabeth (c.1691–1724), daughter of ...