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Astor [née Langhorne], Nancy Witcher, Viscountess Astor (1879–1964), society hostess and politician, was born at Danville, Virginia, on 19 May 1879, the eighth child in a family of eleven. Her father, Chiswell Dabney Langhorne (1843–1919), a veteran of the American Civil War, had made his fortune in railway construction and bought an estate at ...

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Dashwood, Francis, eleventh Baron Le Despencer (1708–1781), politician and rake, born in Great Marlborough Street, London, in December 1708, and baptized at St Botolph without Bishopsgate on 23 December 1708, was the only son of Sir Francis Dashwood, first baronet (c. 1658–1724), merchant and MP, of ...

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Grenville, Richard Plantagenet Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-, second duke of Buckingham and Chandos (1797–1861), politician and bankrupt aristocrat, was born at Stowe, Buckinghamshire, on 11 February 1797, the only child of Richard Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville, first duke of Buckingham and Chandos (1776–1839), and his wife, Anna Eliza (1779–1836)...

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Hare, James (bap. 1747, d. 1804), social celebrity and politician, was baptized on 9 April 1747 at Somerton, Somerset, the second son of Joseph Hare, an apothecary at Wells, and his wife, Frances. For many years he was wrongly identified as the son of one ...

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Harriman [née Digby; other married names Churchill, Hayward], Pamela Beryl (1920–1997), adventurer and diplomatist, was born on 20 March 1920 at Farnborough, Kent, the eldest of three daughters and oldest of the four children of Edward Kenelm Digby, eleventh Baron Digby...

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Houston, Dame Fanny Lucy (1857–1936), adventuress, was born on 8 April 1857 at Kennington, fourth daughter of Thomas Radmall, box-maker, and his wife, Maria Isabella Clarke. A juvenile actress known as Poppy Radmall, she eloped at the age of sixteen to Paris with the brewer ...

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Manners [née Somerset], Mary Isabella, duchess of Rutland (1756–1831), politician and society hostess, was born on 1 August 1756, the fifth and youngest daughter of Charles Noel Somerset, fourth duke of Beaufort (1709–1756) [see under Somerset, Henry, second duke of Beaufort...

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Profumo, John Dennis [Jack] (1915–2006), politician and social worker, was born on 30 January 1915 at 28 Basil Street, Kensington, the second son (the elder had died in infancy) and fourth of five children of Albert Peter Anthony Profumo (1879–1940), barrister, and fourth Baron Profumo of the kingdom of Italy...

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Stanley [married name Montagu], (Beatrice) Venetia (1887–1948), prime minister's confidante, was born at Easthorpe, Malton, North Riding of Yorkshire, on 22 August 1887, the youngest of the seven children to survive to adulthood of Edward Lyulph Stanley (1839–1925), educationist, who succeeded as ...

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Stanley [née Sackville-West], Mary Catherine, countess of Derby [other married name Mary Catherine Gascoyne-Cecil, marchioness of Salisbury] (1824–1900), grande dame and politician manqué, was born, probably at Bourn, Cambridgeshire, on 23 July 1824, sixth of the nine children of George Sackville-West, ...

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Villiers, George, second duke of Buckingham (1628–1687), politician and wit, was born on 30 January 1628 at Wallingford House, Westminster, the third child of George Villiers, first duke of Buckingham (1592–1628), courtier and royal favourite, and Lady Katherine Manners (later Katherine MacDonnell; 1603?–1649), eldest daughter of the ...

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Wharton, Philip James, duke of Wharton and Jacobite duke of Northumberland (1698–1731), rake and politician, was born Philip Wharton at either Adderbury or Ditchley, Oxfordshire, probably on 21 December 1698, the only son and heir of Thomas Wharton, fifth Baron Wharton and later first marquess of Wharton and Malmesbury and first marquess of Catherlough...