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Margaret Cavendish Bentinck [Lady Margaret Cavendish Harley], duchess of Portland (1715–1785) by Joseph Brown, pubd 1861 (after Christian Friedrich Zincke, 1738) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bentinck, Margaret Cavendish [née Lady Margaret Cavendish Harley], duchess of Portland (1715–1785), collector of art and natural history specimens and patron of arts and sciences, was born on 11 February 1715 in London, the only surviving child of Edward Harley, later second earl of Oxford...

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Elizabeth Christiana Cavendish, duchess of Devonshire (1757–1824) by Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1787 Chatsworth House. Photograph: Photographic Survey, Courtauld Institute of Art, London

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Cavendish [née Hervey; other married name Foster], Elizabeth Christiana, duchess of Devonshire (1757–1824), society hostess and patron of the arts, was the middle daughter of Frederick Augustus Hervey, fourth earl of Bristol (1730–1803), and his wife, Elizabeth Davers (1730–1800), and was known for most her life as ...

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Dorothy Payne Elmhirst (1887–1968) by unknown photographer, 1930s The Dartington Hall Trust Archive

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Elmhirst [née Whitney], Dorothy Payne (1887–1968), patron of education and the arts, was born at 1731 I Street, in Washington, DC, United States of America, on 23 January 1887, the fifth and youngest child of William Collins Whitney (1841–1904), statesman and company promoter, and his first wife, ...

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O'Neill [née Boyle], Henrietta (1757/8–1793), poet and patron of the arts, was the only child of Charles Boyle, Lord Dungarvan (1728/9–1759), son of John Boyle, fifth earl of Cork and Orrery, and Susanna (1732–1783), daughter of Henry Hoare (1705–1785), a banker who created the gardens at ...

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Lucy Russell, countess of Bedford (bap. 1581, d. 1627) attrib. William Larkin, c. 1615 National Museum of Fine Arts, Sweden

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Russell [née Harington], Lucy, countess of Bedford (bap. 1581, d. 1627), courtier and patron of the arts, was baptized on 25 January 1581 at St Dunstan and All Saints, Stepney, Middlesex, the elder daughter of John Harington, first Baron Harington of Exton...

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Smedley [married name Armfield], (Annie) Constance (1876–1941), author and founder of the International Lyceum Clubs, was born in Trinity Road, Handsworth, Birmingham, on 20 June 1876, the elder daughter and first among the three children of William Thomas Smedley (1851–1934), a chartered accountant, and his wife, ...