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J. Hector St John de Crèvecoeur (1735–1813) by L. Massard, after 1786 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Crèvecoeur, J. Hector St John de (1735–1813), writer on America and farmer, was born on 31 January 1735 in Caen, Normandy, and baptized Michel-Guillaume Jean de Crèvecoeur. The son of Guillaume-Augustin Jean de Crèvecoeur, a substantial landowner and member of the provincial nobility, and ...

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Sir Robert Dudley (1574–1649) by Nicholas Hilliard, c. 1591–3 National Museum of Fine Arts, Sweden

Article

Dudley, Sir Robert (1574–1649), mariner and landowner, was born at Sheen House, Richmond, Surrey, on 7 August 1574, the son of Robert Dudley, earl of Leicester (1532/3–1588), and Douglas Sheffield (née Howard), Lady Sheffield (1542/3–1608). The status of his birth, which was to become the leading obsession of his life, is still debated, as are the circumstances of his early life, due in part to his own deliberate exaggerations and falsifications. Despite his mother's later claim that she refused to surrender him to ...

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Sir Thomas Gascoigne, eighth baronet (1745–1810) by Pompeo Girolamo Batoni, 1779 © Leeds Museums and Galleries (Lotherton Hall), U.K. / The Bridgeman Art Library

Article

Gascoigne, Sir Thomas, eighth baronet (1745–1810), traveller and politician, was born on 7 March 1745 at the English Benedictine convent at Cambrai, France. He was the sixth child and third son of Sir Edward Gascoigne, sixth baronet (1697–1750), of Parlington, west Yorkshire, and his wife, ...