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William Pitt Amherst, first Earl Amherst of Arracan (1773–1857) by Sir Thomas Lawrence, 1821 Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio; photograph National Portrait Gallery, London

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Amherst, William Pitt, first Earl Amherst of Arracan (1773–1857), diplomatist and governor-general of Bengal, was born on 14 January 1773 in Bath, the first of three children of Lieutenant-General William Amherst (1732–1781), aide-de-camp to the king, governor of St John's, Newfoundland, and adjutant-general of the army, and his wife, ...

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Bagot, Sir Charles (1781–1843), diplomatist and governor-in-chief of British North America, was born on 23 September 1781 at Blithfield Hall, Staffordshire, the second surviving son of William, first Baron Bagot (1728–1798), and Elizabeth Louisa (d. 1820), the eldest daughter of John St John, ...

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Baring, (Charles) Evelyn, first Baron Howick of Glendale (1903–1973), colonial governor and Commonwealth diplomat, was born in Manchester Square, London, on 29 September 1903, the third son of Evelyn Baring, first earl of Cromer (1841–1917), and his second wife, Lady Katherine Georgiana Louisa Thynne (1865–1933)...

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Bell, Sir Gawain Westray (1909–1995), colonial administrator and diplomatist, was born on 21 January 1909 in Cape Town, the only son of William Westray Bell (d. 1946), shipping executive and later a stockbroker, and his wife, Emily Helen, née Kisch (1880–1971), daughter of an Anglo-Austrian mining engineer in ...

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Lord William Henry Cavendish- Bentinck (1774–1839) by Sir Thomas Lawrence, 1804 private collection

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Bentinck, Lord William Henry Cavendish- [known as Lord William Bentinck] (1774–1839), army officer, diplomatist, and governor-general of India, was born on 14 September 1774 at Burlington House in London, the second son of William Henry Cavendish Cavendish-Bentinck, third duke of Portland (1738–1809)...

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Carter, Sir John Gregorio (1919–2005), lawyer and diplomatist, was born on 27 January 1919 in Cane Grove, East Coast Demerara, British Guiana, the only son and youngest of five children of Kemp R. Carter, pharmacist, and his wife, Gertrude, née Humphrys. His parents were both from ...

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Chapman, Charles (1752–1809), East India Company servant and emissary to Vietnam, was born on 23 November 1752, son of Charles Chapman (d. c.1796), army officer. After the obligatory attendance at a commercial academy, in his case at Hoxton, Chapman was appointed a writer in the ...

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Sir Percy Zachariah Cox (1864–1937) by Vandyk, 1918 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Cox, Sir Percy Zachariah (1864–1937), diplomatist and colonial administrator, was born on 20 November 1864 at Herongate, Essex, the youngest of the three sons of Arthur Zachariah Cox, formerly Button (d. 1870), of Harwood Hall, Essex, deputy lieutenant of the county, and his wife ...

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Sir (Henry) Mortimer Durand (1850–1924) by George Charles Beresford, c. 1902 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Durand, Sir (Henry) Mortimer (1850–1924), administrator in India and diplomatist, was born at Sehore, Bhopal state, India, on 14 February 1850, the second son of General Sir Henry Marion Durand (1812–1871) and his first wife, Anne, daughter of Major-General Sir John McCaskill. After being educated at ...

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Hugh Mackintosh Foot, Baron Caradon (1907–1990) by Elliott & Fry, 1957 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Foot, Hugh Mackintosh, Baron Caradon (1907–1990), colonial administrator and diplomatist, was born on 8 October 1907 in Plymouth, the second son and second child in the family of five sons and two daughters of Isaac Foot (1880–1960), solicitor and Liberal MP for Bodmin, Cornwall...

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Sir (John) Eldon Gorst (1861–1911) by Lafayette, c. 1907 courtesy of Peter Mellini

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Gorst, Sir (John) Eldon [formerly John Lowndes Gorst] (1861–1911), diplomatist and colonial administrator, was born on 25 June 1861 in Auckland, New Zealand, the eldest of seven children of Sir John Eldon Gorst (1835–1916), politician, and his wife, Mary Elizabeth, née Moore (1835–1914)...

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Charles Hardinge, first Baron Hardinge of Penshurst (1858–1944) by Sir William Orpen, 1919 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Hardinge, Charles, first Baron Hardinge of Penshurst (1858–1944), diplomatist and viceroy of India, was born at Dufferin Lodge, Highgate, Middlesex, on 20 June 1858, the second son of Charles Stewart Hardinge, second Viscount Hardinge (1822–1894) of South Park, Penshurst, Kent, and his wife, ...

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Howe, Sir Robert George (1893–1981), diplomatist and colonial governor, was born at 96 Carrington Street, Derby, on 19 September 1893, the son of Herbert Harry Howe, a railway fireman, and his wife, Minnie. He was educated at Derby School, and at St Catharine's College, Cambridge...