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Appleby, Sir William (1732–1796), eccentric and municipal reformer, was born at Durham on 15 September 1732, the third surviving son of Edward Appleby (1702–1736), a grocer, who was said to have introduced the bleaching of linen cloth from Ireland to Durham, and his wife, ...

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Cuffe [Cuff], Henry (1562/3–1601), classical scholar and secretary to the earl of Essex, is believed to have been the youngest son of Robert Cuffe, of Donyatt, Somerset. The senior branch of the family were modest landowners at Creech St Michael, near Taunton. A ...

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Gower, Sir George Granville Leveson- (1858–1951), autobiographer, politician, and private secretary, was born in London on 19 May 1858, the only child of (Edward) Frederick Leveson-Gower (1819–1907) and his wife, Lady Margaret Mary Frances Elizabeth, née Compton. Granville George Leveson-Gower, second Earl Granville...

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Greville, Algernon Frederick (1798–1864), army officer and private secretary, was born on 29 January 1798, the second son of Charles Greville (1762–1832), fifth son of Fulke Greville of Wilbury, Wiltshire, and his wife, Lady Charlotte (d. 28 July 1862), eldest daughter of ...

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Morice, Ralph (fl. 1522–1570), principal secretary to Thomas Cranmer, was a younger son of James Morice (d. 1557) of Roydon, Essex, clerk of works to Lady Margaret Beaufort, and his wife, the daughter and heir of a man named Buckbeard. James's eldest son, ...

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Smith, Sir Thomas (c. 1556–1609), secretary to Robert Devereux, second earl of Essex, was the son of Thomas Smith, a burgess of Abingdon, Berkshire (who served as mayor in 1583–4), and Joan Jennings. He attended Abingdon School before entering Christ Church, Oxford, perhaps at the suggestion of ...

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Spence [alias Butler], William (1650/51–1699), conspirator and private secretary, was 'born of mean parents' (CSP dom., 1683, 370) at Sandreford in Fife, the son of Margaret Millar, though Spence is an Orcadian name and local tradition has it that his family hailed from the ...

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Sylvester, Albert James (1889–1989), political and private secretary, was born on 24 November 1889 in Harlaston, Staffordshire, the eldest of three children and only son of Albert Sylvester, a tenant farmer reduced to the role of farmworker by the agricultural depression, and his wife, ...

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Vere, John de, sixteenth earl of Oxford (1516–1562), magnate and rake, was the eldest of four sons (there were also four daughters) of John de Vere fifteenth earl of Oxford (1482–1540), and his second wife, Elizabeth Trussell (b. 1496, d...