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Ashton, Hugh (d. 1522), Catholic ecclesiastic and university benefactor, apparently never himself had a formal university education, his main expertise lying in administration and estate management. He probably first encountered Lady Margaret Beaufort, countess of Richmond and Derby, in Lancashire, his native county, and rose to prominence through this association. On 7 January 1496 he was admitted to the rectory of ...

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Baxter, Mary Ann (1801–1884), benefactor, was born on 4 May 1801 at Dundee, the seventh child of eight surviving children of William Baxter (1767–1854), linen merchant and manufacturer, and his wife, Betty or Elisabeth Gorell (d. 1804), daughter of Edward Gorell of ...

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Downing, Sir George, third baronet (1685–1749), benefactor of Downing College, Cambridge, was born at East Hatley, Cambridgeshire, the only son of Sir George Downing, second baronet (d. 1711), and Catherine (d. 1688), eldest daughter of James, third earl of Salisbury. His grandfather was ...

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Elmhirst [née Whitney], Dorothy Payne (1887–1968), patron of education and the arts, was born at 1731 I Street, in Washington, DC, United States of America, on 23 January 1887, the fifth and youngest child of William Collins Whitney (1841–1904), statesman and company promoter, and his first wife, ...

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Jebb [née Reynolds; other married name Slemmer], Caroline Lane, Lady Jebb (1840–1930), academic hostess, was born in Milford, Delaware, USA, on 26 December 1840, the youngest of the three daughters and one son who survived to adulthood of John Reynolds, a clergyman in the ...

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Mansbridge, Albert (1876–1952), founder of the Workers' Educational Association, was born in Albert Cottages, India House Lane, Gloucester, on 10 January 1876, the youngest of the four sons of Thomas Mansbridge (d. 1911) and his wife, Frances Thomas (d. 1902). The family, active co-operators and Congregationalists, moved to ...

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Mellers, Agnes (d. 1513/14), benefactor, is of unknown origins. She is first recorded in a property deed of 1488, by when she had been married for several years to the Nottingham bell-founder Richard Mellers (d. 1507), whose origins are likewise unknown. As his surname does not feature in earlier surviving borough records it seems likely he was an outsider who attained burgess status in ...

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Newall, Hugh Frank (1857–1944), astrophysicist and educational benefactor, was born at Ferndene, near Gateshead, on 21 June 1857, the youngest of six children of Robert Stirling Newall (1812–1889), engineer, and his wife, Mary, daughter of Hugh Lee Pattinson FRS (1796–1858), metallurgical chemist and astronomer. At the ...

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Parkinson, Frank (1887–1946), electrical engineer and philanthropist, was born at Springfield, Guiseley, Wharfedale, Yorkshire, on 7 February 1887, the eldest of three children of Joseph Parkinson (1862–1902), stone mason and quarry-owner, and his wife, Ann Elizabeth, née Yeadon (b. 1861). Educated at ...

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Radcliffe [née Sidney], Frances, countess of Sussex (1531?–1589), benefactor of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, was reputedly born in 1531, the fourth daughter of Sir William Sidney (c. 1482–1554) [see under Sidney, Sir Henry (1529-1586)] and his wife, Anne (...

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Rustat, Tobias (bap. 1608, d. 1694), courtier and benefactor, was baptized on 17 September 1608 in Barrow-on-Soar, Leicestershire, the last of seven children of the Revd Robert Rustat (1567–1637) and Alice Snoden (d. 1660?), sister of Robert Snoden, bishop of Carlisle. Heraldic evidence suggests the name ...

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Yale, Elihu (1649–1721), merchant and administrator in India and benefactor, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on 5 April 1649, the second son of David Yale (1614–1690) of Denbighshire, merchant, and Ursula Yale (b. c.1624). In 1652 Elihu's family returned to Britain...