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William Cavendish, first duke of Newcastle upon Tyne (bap. 1593, d. 1676) by Abraham van Diepenbeck [with Bolsover Castle in the background] © Copyright The British Museum

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Cavendish, William, first duke of Newcastle upon Tyne (bap. 1593, d. 1676), writer, patron, and royalist army officer, was born at Handsworth Manor, Yorkshire, and was baptized in the parish on 16 December 1593. He was the second of three children, the first having died in infancy, of ...

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Spencer Joshua Alwyne Compton, second marquess of Northampton (1790–1851) by David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson, 1844 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Compton, Spencer Joshua Alwyne, second marquess of Northampton (1790–1851), patron of science and the arts, was born on 2 January 1790 at Erlestoke Park, Wiltshire, the second son of Charles Compton, ninth earl and first marquess of Northampton, and Mary, only daughter of ...

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Edward Harley, second earl of Oxford and Mortimer (1689–1741) by Michael Dahl © Copyright The British Museum

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Harley, Edward, second earl of Oxford and Mortimer (1689–1741), book collector and patron of the arts, was born on 2 June 1689, the only son of Robert Harley, first earl of Oxford and Mortimer (1661–1724), politician, and his first wife, Elizabeth (d...

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William Herbert, third earl of Pembroke (1580–1630) by Sir Anthony Van Dyck Collection of the Earl of Pembroke and Trustees of Wilton House Trust, Wilton House, Salisbury, UK

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Herbert, William, third earl of Pembroke (1580–1630), courtier and patron of the arts, was the son of Henry Herbert, second earl of Pembroke (b. in or after 1538, d. 1601), and his third wife, Mary Sidney (1561–1621) [see Herbert, Mary, countess of Pembroke...

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Hope, Henry Thomas (1808–1862), patron of the arts and politician, was born in London, probably in Duchess Street, on 30 April 1808, eldest of the three sons of Thomas Hope (1769–1831), of the Amsterdam banking family, and his wife, Louisa (d. 1851)...

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Charles Jennens (1700/0101–1773) by Thomas Hudson, 1747 private collection

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Jennens, Charles (1700/01–1773), patron of the arts and librettist, was born probably at Gopsall Hall, Leicestershire, the son of Charles Jennens (bap. 1662, d. 1747), gentleman and JP, son of the Birmingham ironmaster Humphrey Jennens, and his second wife, Elizabeth Burdett (1667–1707/8)...

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William Roscoe (1753–1831) by Sir Martin Archer Shee, 1822 Board of Trustees of the National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside (Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool)

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Roscoe, William (1753–1831), historian and patron of the arts, was born on 8 March 1753 at the Old Bowling Green House, Mount Pleasant, Liverpool, the only son of William Roscoe (bap. 1714, d. 1793), innkeeper, and his wife, Elizabeth (1719–1771), daughter of ...

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Schiff, Sydney Alfred [pseud. Stephen Hudson] (1868–1944), novelist, translator, and patron of the arts, was born in London, the illegitimate child of Alfred George Schiff (c.1840–1908), a stockbroker, and Caroline Mary Ann Eliza Cavell, née Scates (1842–c.1896). Caroline...

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Tooke, William (1777–1863), lawyer and promoter of arts and literature, was born in St Petersburg, Russia, on 22 November 1777. He was the younger son of William Tooke (bap. 1744, d. 1820), historian of Russia and chaplain to the factory of the Russia Company...

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Horatio Walpole, fourth earl of Orford (1717–1797) by Sir Joshua Reynolds, c. 1756–7 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Walpole, Horatio [Horace], fourth earl of Orford (1717–1797), author, politician, and patron of the arts, was born on 24 September 1717 at his father's house in Arlington Street, Piccadilly, Westminster. The father was Robert Walpole, first earl of Orford (1676–1745), already a leading whig politician and on his way to becoming ...