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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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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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Robert Curzon, fourteenth Baron Zouche of Harringworth (1810–1873) by William Holl (after George Richmond, 1859) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Curzon, Robert, fourteenth Baron Zouche of Harringworth (1810–1873), traveller and collector of manuscripts, elder son of Harriet Anne Bishopp, suo jure Baroness Zouche of Harringworth (1787–1870), and the Hon. Robert Curzon (1774–1863), son of Assheton, first Viscount Curzon, was born at 58 Welbeck Street, London...

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Egerton, Francis Henry, eighth earl of Bridgewater (1756–1829), collector of manuscripts and patron of learning, was born on 11 November 1756, probably in London, the youngest of the three surviving children of John Egerton (1721–1787), bishop of Durham, and his first wife, Lady Anna Sophia de Grey (...

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Getty, Sir (John) Paul (1932–2003), philanthropist and book collector, was born on 7 September 1932, aboard ship off Genoa, the third son of John Paul Getty (1892–1976), oil tycoon, and his fourth wife, Ann, daughter of Sam Rork, the Hollywood producer of such stars as ...

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Hamilton, Charles, styled count of Arran (1691–1754), collector of manuscripts, was born on 30 March 1691 at Cleveland House, Westminster, the illegitimate son of Lady Barbara Fitzroy (1672–1737) and James Hamilton, then earl of Arran but later fourth duke of Hamilton and first duke of Brandon...

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Madden, John (bap. 1649, d. 1703/4), physician and manuscript collector, was born at Enfield, Middlesex, and baptized at St Andrew, Enfield, on 29 March 1649, a younger son of John Madden (1598–1661) and his wife, Elizabeth (d. 1671), daughter of Charles Waterhouse...

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Moore, William (bap. 1590, d. 1659), librarian and collector of manuscripts, was baptized on 29 November 1590 at Gissing, Norfolk, the son of William Moore; his mother's name is unknown. He was educated at Moulton School under Mr Machet and was admitted to the scholars' table of ...

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Sir William Musgrave, sixth baronet (1735–1800) by John Raphael Smith © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Musgrave, Sir William, sixth baronet (1735–1800), administrator, print collector, and antiquary, was born on 8 October 1735 at Hayton Castle, Cumberland, the sixth of the seven children of Sir Richard Musgrave, fourth baronet (c. 1701–1739), and his wife, Anne, née Hylton (1697–1766)...

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Phillipps, Sir Thomas, baronet (1792–1872), collector of books and manuscripts, was born on 2 July 1792 at 32 Cannon Street, Manchester. He was illegitimate, the only child of Thomas Phillipps (1742–1818), the prosperous senior partner of Phillipps, Lowe & Co., calico manufacturers and printers of ...

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Sir Thomas Phillipps, baronet (1792–1872) by unknown photographer, c. 1860 photograph by courtesy Sotheby's Picture Library, London

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Polier, Antoine Louis Henri (bap. 1741, d. 1795), military engineer and collector of oriental manuscripts, was baptized on 28 February 1741 at Lausanne, Switzerland, the younger son of Jacques Henri Polier (bap. 1700, d. 1781), of a French protestant family which had settled in ...

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Rich, Claudius James (1786/7–1821), traveller and collector of manuscripts and antiquities, was born on 28 March 1786 or 1787 at Dijon in Burgundy. He was probably the illegitimate son of Colonel Sir James Cockburn, fifth baronet (1723–1809), whose mother's maiden name was Rich...

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Savile, Henry, of Banke (1568–1617), collector of manuscripts, was born on 20 October 1568 at Blaithroyd (sometimes known as the Banke, or Southowram Bank), Halifax, Yorkshire, the second (but oldest surviving) son of Henry Savile (d. 1607) and Frances Moyser. There are hints that some of his family were Catholics, but ...

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Stokes, Ethel (1870–1944), record agent and preserver of local archives, was born on 17 January 1870 at 89 Churchill Road, Holloway, London, the eldest child of Edwin James Stokes (1844–1916), accountant, and Fanny Augusta, née Baker (1846–1933), music teacher. Ethel's brother, Durham (1872–1957)...

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Ethel Stokes (1870–1944) by unknown photographer, c.1934 © reserved

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Tewkesbury, Alan of (b. before 1150, d. 1202), abbot of Tewkesbury and compiler of a manuscript collection, was successively canon of Benevento (1171?–1174); monk (1174–9), then prior (6 August 1179 – early June 1186) of the Benedictine monastery of Christ Church, Canterbury; and abbot (from June 1186) of the Benedictine abbey of ...