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Abbott, George (1604–1649), writer and politician, was born in 1604 and baptized on 13 March at St Mary Bishophill Junior, York, the son of George Abbott (d. 1607) of York and Joan, the daughter of Aleyn Penkeston. Both Abbott's father and grandfather ...

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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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William Maxwell Aitken, first Baron Beaverbrook (1879–1964) by Walter Sickert, 1935 © The Beaverbrook Foundation; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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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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William Alexander, first earl of Stirling (1577–1640) by unknown artist Scottish National Portrait Gallery

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Amery, Leopold Charles Maurice Stennett (1873–1955), politician and journalist, was born on 22 November 1873 at Gorakhpur in the North-Western Provinces of India, the eldest of the three sons of Charles Frederick Amery (1833–1901), of Lustleigh in Devon, an official in the Indian ...

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Leopold Charles Maurice Stennett Amery (1873–1955) by Sir James Gunn, 1942 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Andrews, Miles Peter (1742–1814), playwright and politician, the second son of William John Andrews, a drysalter in Watling Street, London, and his wife, Kerthrine, was baptized at St Antholin, London, on 5 October 1742. He was educated in Utrecht in the Netherlands, and intended for foreign business at ...

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(Anthony) Evelyn Melbourne Ashley (1836–1907) by Spy (Sir Leslie Ward), pubd 1883 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Ashley, (Anthony) Evelyn Melbourne (1836–1907), politician and biographer, born in London on 24 July 1836, was the fourth son of Anthony Ashley Cooper, seventh earl of Shaftesbury (1801–1885), politician and social reformer, and his wife, Emily (1810–1872), daughter of Peter Leopold Cowper, fifth Earl Cowper...

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Astor, Waldorf, second Viscount Astor (1879–1952), politician and newspaper proprietor, was born in New York city on 19 May 1879, the elder son in the family of two sons and one daughter of William Waldorf Astor (1848–1919) and his wife, Mary (Mamie) Dahlgren Paul (...

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Waldorf Astor, second Viscount Astor (1879–1952) by Philip A. de Laszlo The de László Foundation / Witt Library, Courtauld Institute of Art, London

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Baines, Edward (1774–1848), newspaper proprietor, politician, and historian, was born at Walton-le-Dale, near Preston, Lancashire, on 5 February 1774, the second son of Richard Baines (d. 1811) and his wife, Jane (née Chew). Richard Baines, who was born near Ripon and came from a farming family, had moved to ...

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Baines, Sir Edward (1800–1890), journalist, politician, and educationist, was born in Leeds on 28 May 1800, the second son of Edward Baines (1774–1848), editor of the Leeds Mercury, and his wife, Charlotte, daughter of Matthew Talbot, a Leeds currier. Matthew Talbot Baines and ...

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Edward Baines (1774–1848) by John Cochran, pubd 1834 (after Thomas Hargreaves) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bankes, Henry (1757–1834), politician and parliamentary diarist, was born on 19 December 1757; he was the second but only surviving son of Henry Bankes (bap. 1700, d. 1776), commissioner of customs, a member of the parliamentary dynasty descended from the royalist chief justice ...

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Benn, Anthony Neil Wedgwood [Tony], second Viscount Stansgate (disclaimed for life) (1925–2014), politician, was born on 3 April 1925 at 40 Grosvenor Road, Westminster, the second of three surviving sons of William Wedgwood Benn (1877–1960), politician, and his wife, ...

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Benn, Sir John Williams, first baronet (1850–1922), publisher and politician, was born at Hyde, Cheshire, on 13 November 1850, the eldest child of the Revd Julius Benn (1826–1883), Congregational minister, and his wife, Ann Taylor (d. 1890). The family settled in Stepney...

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Sir John Williams Benn, first baronet (1850–1922) by Sir George Clausen, 1906 Guildhall Art Gallery, Corporation of London