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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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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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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 ...