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Abbot, Charles, first Baron Colchester (1757–1829), speaker of the House of Commons, was born on 14 October 1757 at Abingdon, Berkshire, the son of the Revd John Abbot (d. 1760), a fellow of Balliol College, Oxford, and rector of All Saints, Colchester...

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Abercromby, James (1706–1781), army officer and politician, was born in Glassaugh, Banffshire, the son of Alexander Abercromby (1677–1728), laird of Glassaugh, politician and army officer, and his wife, Helen Meldrum. With his father's assistance he became commissioner of supply and justice of the peace in ...

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Abraham, William [pseud. Mabon] (1842–1922), trade unionist and politician, was born at Cwmafan, near Port Talbot, Glamorgan, on 14 June 1842, the fourth son of Thomas and Mary Abraham. His father, a coalminer and copper smelter, soon died, leaving his mother to raise a large family. ...

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Abse, Leopold [Leo] (1917–2008), politician, was born at 5 Clare Street, Cardiff, on 22 April 1917, the second of three sons and third of four children of Rudolph Abse (1887–1964), a cinema manager then serving as a private in the Lancashire Fusiliers, and his wife, ...

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Acland, Sir Arthur Herbert Dyke, thirteenth baronet (1847–1926), politician and educational reformer, was born at Holnicote, near Porlock, Somerset, on 13 October 1847, the third son of Sir Thomas Dyke Acland, eleventh baronet (1809–1898), and his first wife, Mary (d. 1851), daughter of ...

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Acland, Sir Richard Thomas Dyke, fifteenth baronet (1906–1990), politician and benefactor, was born on 26 November 1906 at Broadclyst, Devon, his ancestral home, the eldest in the family of three sons and one daughter of Sir Francis Dyke Acland, fourteenth baronet (1874–1939), landowner and liberal politician, and his wife, ...

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Acland, Sir Thomas Dyke, eleventh baronet (1809–1898), politician and educational reformer, born at Killerton, Devon, on 25 May 1809, was the eldest son of Sir Thomas Dyke Acland (1787–1871), politician and philanthropist, and his wife, Lydia Elizabeth (d. 1856), only daughter of ...

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W. P. Courtney

revised by H. C. G. Matthew

Adair, Sir Robert (1763–1855), politician and diplomatist, was the son of Robert Adair, sergeant-surgeon to George III, and Lady Caroline Keppel. He was born on 24 May 1763, and was sent to Westminster School in 1773, and thence to the University of Göttingen...

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Adam, William (1751–1839), politician and advocate, was born on 2 August 1751, the son of John Adam (1721–1792), architect, of Blair Adam, Kinross-shire, and Jean (1721–1795), daughter of John Ramsay of Woodstone, Kincardineshire; he was the nephew of the architects Robert and James Adam...

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Adam, William Patrick (1823–1881), politician and administrator in India, was the elder son of Admiral Sir Charles Adam (1780–1853) of Blairadam, Kinross. His mother was Elizabeth (d. 1871), daughter of Patrick Brydone, FRS. Born at Ancrum, Roxburghshire, on 14 September 1823, Adam...

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Adamson, William [Willie] (1863–1936), politician and trade unionist, was born at Halbeath, near Dunfermline in Fife, on 2 April 1863, the son of James Armstrong Adamson, a coalminer, and Flora Cunningham. He attended a dame-school run by the wife of a mining engineer, and left at the age of eleven to work in the mining industry, where he was employed for the next twenty-seven years. He married, on 25 February 1887, ...

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J. E. G. de Montmorency

revised by H. C. G. Matthew

Adderley, Charles Bowyer, first Baron Norton (1814–1905), politician, born at Knighton House, Leicestershire, on 2 August 1814, was the eldest son of Charles Clement Adderley (1780–1818) and his wife, Anna Maria (d. 1827), daughter of Sir Edmund Burney Cradock-Hartopp, first baronet, a descendant of ...

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Addington, Henry, first Viscount Sidmouth (1757–1844), prime minister, was born on 30 May 1757, the fourth child and eldest son of Anthony Addington (1713–1790), physician, and his wife, Mary (d. 1778), daughter and heir of the Revd Haviland John Hiley, headmaster of ...

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Addison, Christopher, first Viscount Addison (1869–1951), politician, was born at the Willows Farm, Hogsthorpe, Lincolnshire, on 19 June 1869. His father, Robert Addison (1838–1899), who came from a long line of yeoman farmers, grazed cattle in Lindsey, east Lincolnshire. Later he moved to a much larger farm of ...

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Addison, Joseph (1672–1719), writer and politician, was born on 1 May 1672 at the rectory, Milston, a hamlet north of Amesbury in Wiltshire, the son of Lancelot Addison (1632–1703) and his wife, Jane, née Gulston (c.1635?–1684). His father was at that time vicar of ...

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Aitken, William Maxwell, first Baron Beaverbrook (1879–1964), newspaper proprietor and politician, was born on 25 May 1879 at the manse, Vaughan, Maple, Ontario, Canada. He was the third son and fifth member of a family of ten children, whose father, William Cuthbert Aitken (1834–1913)...

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Alexander, Albert Victor, Earl Alexander of Hillsborough (1885–1965), politician and co-operator, was born at 59 George Street, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, on 1 May 1885, the son of Albert Alexander (d. 1886), a blacksmith, and his wife, Eliza Jane, née Thatcher. On his father's death his mother moved back to her parents' house in ...

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Alexander, Du Pre, second earl of Caledon (1777–1839), politician and colonial administrator, was born on 14 December 1777, the only son of James Alexander (1730–1802), first earl of Caledon, of Caledon Castle, co. Tyrone, and his wife, Anne (d. 1777), daughter of ...

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Alexander, William, first earl of Stirling (1577–1640), poet and politician, was born probably at Menstrie Castle in Clackmannanshire, the only son (there were four daughters) of Alexander Alexander (d. 1581) and Marion, daughter of Gilbert Graham of Gartavertane. His descent has been traced from the lords of the ...

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Allen, (Reginald) Clifford, Baron Allen of Hurtwood (1889–1939), politician and peace campaigner, was born at St Olave's, Slow Park, Newport, Monmouthshire, on 9 May 1889. As an adult he was always known as Clifford Allen, or by close friends as CA. He had a brother, ...