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Abercromby, James, first Baron Dunfermline (1776–1858), speaker of the House of Commons, the third son of General Sir Ralph Abercromby (1734–1801), and his wife, Mary Anne, née Menzies, was born on 7 November 1776. Sir John Abercromby and Alexander Abercromby, both army officers, were his brothers. ...

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William Patrick Adam (1823–1881) by John Moffat © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Adam, William Patrick (1823–1881), politician and administrator in India, was the elder son of Admiral Sir Charles Adam (1780–1853) of Blairadam, Kinross. His mother was Elizabeth (d. 1871), daughter of Patrick Brydone, FRS. Born at Ancrum, Roxburghshire, on 14 September 1823, Adam...

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Christopher Addison, first Viscount Addison (1869–1951) by Howard Coster, 1945 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Addison, Christopher, first Viscount Addison (1869–1951), politician, was born at the Willows Farm, Hogsthorpe, Lincolnshire, on 19 June 1869. His father, Robert Addison (1838–1899), who came from a long line of yeoman farmers, grazed cattle in Lindsey, east Lincolnshire. Later he moved to a much larger farm of ...

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William Maxwell Aitken, first Baron Beaverbrook (1879–1964) by Walter Sickert, 1935 © The Beaverbrook Foundation; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Aitken, William Maxwell, first Baron Beaverbrook (1879–1964), newspaper proprietor and politician, was born on 25 May 1879 at the manse, Vaughan, Maple, Ontario, Canada. He was the third son and fifth member of a family of ten children, whose father, William Cuthbert Aitken (1834–1913)...

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John Anderson, first Viscount Waverley (1882–1958) by Howard Coster, 1953 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Anderson, John, first Viscount Waverley (1882–1958), civil service administrator and politician, was born at 1 Livingstone Place, Edinburgh, on 8 July 1882, the only surviving son of David Alexander Pearson Anderson (1855–1948), a fancy stationer who later became a director of a well-known firm of printers and publishers, ...

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Anderson, William Crawford (1877–1919), politician, was born on 13 February 1877 at Findon, Banffshire, Scotland, the son of Francis Anderson, a blacksmith, and Barbara (née Cruikshank), who were married in 1868. His mother was an intelligent and widely read woman of strong, radical, Presbyterian views who encouraged ...

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Anstruther, Sir Robert (1578–1644/5?), diplomat and politician, was the second son of Sir James Anstruther (d. 1606), fiar of Anstruther, and Jean Scott of Abbotshall. His birth in Anstruther Wester, Fife, was recorded by his father on 23 April 1578. A graduate of ...

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Arbuthnott, Robert, first viscount of Arbuthnott (c. 1618–1655), politician, was the eldest of seven children of Sir Robert Arbuthnott (d. 1633) of Arbuthnott in Kincardineshire and his second wife, Margaret, daughter of Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat. He succeeded his father following his death on 15 March 1633, but as he was still under age, his affairs were initially administered by his uncle ...

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Arnott, Samuel (1852–1930), gardener and politician, was born above his father's baker's shop at the corner of Friar's Vennel, Dumfries, on 30 September 1852, the son of John Arnott (d. 1858) and his wife, Nicholas Richardson. His father, who was descended from a line of farmers and lead miners in the parish of ...

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G. W. T. Omond

revised by H. C. G. Matthew

Asher, Alexander (1834–1905), lawyer and politician, was born at Inveravon, Banffshire, on 27 January 1834, the third son and fifth child in the family of five sons and four daughters of William Asher DD (1791–1874), parish minister of Inveravon, and his wife, Katherine Forbes (...

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Ashurst, Sir Henry, first baronet (1645–1711), politician, was born in London, probably in Watling Street, on 8 September 1645, the eldest son of Henry Ashurst (1616?–1680) and his wife, Judith (d. c.1690), daughter of William Reresby of London. His father, a ...

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Baillie, Charles, Lord Jerviswoode (1804–1879), lawyer and politician, was born at Mellerstain, Berwickshire, on 3 November 1804, the second son of George Baillie of Mellerstain, Berwickshire, and of Jerviswoode, Lanarkshire, and his wife, Mary, the youngest daughter of Sir James Pringle, baronet, of ...

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George Baillie of Jerviswood (1664–1738) by William Aikman, 1717 in a private Scottish collection

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Baillie, George, of Jerviswood (1664–1738), landowner and politician, born on 16 March 1664 at Jerviswood Tower, Lanarkshire, was the eldest child of Robert Baillie (d. 1684) and of his wife and cousin Rachel Johnston (d. 1697), daughter of the Presbyterian martyr Sir Archibald Johnston, ...

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Arthur James Balfour, first earl of Balfour (1848–1930) by John Singer Sargent, 1908 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Balfour, Arthur James, first earl of Balfour (1848–1930), prime minister and philosopher, was born on 25 July 1848 at Whittingehame House, East Lothian, the third of eight children and eldest son of James Maitland Balfour (1820–1856), landowner (and MP, 1841–7), and his wife, ...