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Addenbrooke, John (bap. 1681, d. 1719), physician and benefactor, was born at Kingswinford in Staffordshire, and baptized on 13 June 1681 at the parish church in West Bromwich, the only son of Samuel Addenbrooke, vicar of West Bromwich, and Matilda Porry of Wolverhampton...

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Sir Henry Charles Burdett (1847–1920) by Bassano, 1897 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Burdett, Sir Henry Charles (1847–1920), philanthropist and hospital reformer, was born on 18 March 1847 at Broughton, Northamptonshire, the son of Halford Robert Burdett (1813–1864), a clergyman in the parish of Gilmorton, Leicestershire, and his wife, Alsina, née Brailsford, from Lincolnshire. The Burdett...

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Carnegie [née Scott], Susan (1743–1821), writer and benefactor, was born on 7 August 1743 in Edinburgh, the daughter of David Scott of Benholm (1700–1768), director and treasurer of the Bank of Scotland, and Mary Brown (1712–1794). She was tutored at home and gained a wide and deep knowledge of French and Italian literature and of philosophy, a proficiency in drawing (which she was taught by a relative ...

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Chetham, Humphrey (bap. 1580, d. 1653), financier and philanthropist, the sixth child of Henry Chetham (c.1540–1603) of Crumpsall Hall, near Manchester, and his wife, Jane (c.1542–1616), the daughter of Robert Wroe of Heaton, was born at Crumpsall Hall, and baptized at ...

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Cox, William Sands (1802–1875), surgeon and a founder of Queen's College, Birmingham, was the eldest son of Edward Townsend Cox (1769–1863), a well-known Birmingham surgeon. After being educated locally at the King Edward VI Grammar School, he was articled to his father and began to study medicine at ...

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Donaldson, James (1751–1830), newspaper editor and philanthropist, was born on 3 December 1751 at 7 West Bow, Edinburgh, and baptized the same day. He was the eldest son of Alexander Donaldson (bap. 1727, d. 1794), an Edinburgh bookseller, and his wife, Ann, née...

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Gillespie, James, of Spylaw (1726–1797), tobacconist and benefactor, was born in 1726, probably at Roslin, near Edinburgh. He had one sister and a younger brother. His family were members of the Cameronians, or reformed Presbyterians, a strict nonconformist sect. Gillespie began his career as a tobacconist and, in partnership with his brother, ...

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Gordon, Robert (bap. 1668, d. 1731), benefactor, the eldest son of Arthur Gordon (1625–1680), advocate, and his wife, Isobel Menzies, was baptized on 18 August 1668 in Aberdeen. Gordon was left an inheritance of around £1100 at his father's death, which he seems to have spent in travelling in ...

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Guy, Thomas (1644/5?–1724), philanthropist and founder of Guy's Hospital, the eldest of three children of Thomas Guy (d. 1652×4), lighterman, coalmonger, and carpenter, and his wife, Anne Vaughton of Tamworth, Staffordshire, was born in London in Pritchard's Alley, Fair Street, Horsleydown, Southwark...

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George Heriot (1563–1624) by David Scougall (after Paul van Somer) courtesy of George Heriot Trust, Edinburgh

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Heriot, George (1563–1624), jeweller and philanthropist, was born in Edinburgh on 15 June 1563, the eldest son of George Heriot (1539/40–1610), goldsmith and MP, of Edinburgh and his first wife, Elizabeth Balderstone. Heriot was apprenticed to his father's trade, and on 14 January 1586 he was contracted to marry ...

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Hutcheson, George (1550x60–1639), philanthropist, was the son of Thomas Hutcheson (c.1520–c.1595) of Lambhill and his wife, Helen Herbertsone. He became a public writer and notary in Glasgow. He was judge-depute in the commissary courts of Glasgow and Hamilton, and branched out into banking and moneylending, which in turn led to extensive landed estates in addition to the inheritance in ...

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Hutcheson, Thomas (1589/90–1641), philanthropist, was the son of Thomas Hutcheson (c.1520–c.1595) and his wife, Helen Herbertstone, and the younger brother of George Hutcheson, and with him the joint founder of Hutcheson's Hospital in Glasgow. His brother, who was much older, looked after ...

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King [née Gore-Browne], Dame Ethel Locke (1864–1956), motor-racing promoter and hospital patron, was born on 3 June 1864 at Government House, Hobart, Tasmania, the younger daughter of Colonel Sir Thomas Gore-Browne (1807–1887), governor of Tasmania, and his wife, Harriet Louisa, daughter of ...

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Bartholomew Mosse (1712–1759) by unknown artist, c. 1745 Rotunda Hospital, Dublin; photograph National Portrait Gallery, London

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Mosse, Bartholomew (1712–1759), man-midwife and philanthropist, was born in Wexford, Ireland, one of seven children of the Revd Thomas Mosse (1662?–1731), rector of Maryborough, and his wife, Martha, daughter of the Revd Andrew Nisbet, rector of Timogue. Mosse was apprenticed at approximately age seventeen to ...

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Oliver, Percy Lane (1878–1944), founder of the first voluntary blood donor service, was born on 11 April 1878 at the home of his maternal grandparents in Fish Street, St Ives, Cornwall, the son of Edward Lane Oliver and his wife, Jane Hosking Curnow...

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Philip, Sir Robert William (1857–1939), physician and founder of tuberculosis dispensaries, was born at Govan, Glasgow, on 29 December 1857, the youngest son of George Philip, a minister of the Free Church of Scotland, whose charge was Union Church, Govan, and his wife, ...

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Rahere [Rayer] (d. 1143x5), founder of St Bartholomew's Hospital and priory, London, was of unknown origins. The one authoritative source for his life, Liber fundacionis ecclesiae Sancti Bartholomei Londoniensis written some forty years after his death but existing only in a fifteenth-century text, describes '...