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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, ...

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Sir Henry Campbell- Bannerman (1836–1908) by George Charles Beresford, 1902 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bannerman, Sir Henry Campbell- (1836–1908), prime minister, was born at Kelvinside, Glasgow, on 7 September 1836, the second son and the youngest of the six children of Sir James Campbell (1790–1876) and his wife, Janet, née Bannerman (d. 1873). His extra surname was acquired as a condition of inheriting his maternal uncle's estate in 1871. He did not like his '...

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James Craig, first Viscount Craigavon (1871–1940) by Olive Edis, c. 1921 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Craig, James, first Viscount Craigavon (1871–1940), prime minister of Northern Ireland, was born on 8 January 1871 at The Hill, Sydenham, Belfast, one of the sons of James Craig (1828–1900), a whiskey distilling millionaire of Scottish origin. His father was a self-made man who had worked his way up from lowly positions in flour-mills, the linen bleaching business, and ...

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(Arthur) Brian Deane Faulkner, Baron Faulkner of Downpatrick (1921–1977) by unknown photographer © Belfast Telegraph

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George Hamilton- Gordon, fourth earl of Aberdeen (1784–1860) by Sir Thomas Lawrence, 1829–30 private collection

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Gordon, George Hamilton-, fourth earl of Aberdeen (1784–1860), prime minister and scholar, first child of six sons and a daughter of George Gordon, Lord Haddo (1764–1791), and his wife, Charlotte (or Charles; d. 1795), the youngest daughter of William Baird of Newbyth, Haddingtonshire...

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Alexander Frederick Douglas- Home, fourteenth earl of Home and Baron Home of the Hirsel (1903–1995) by Vivienne, 1950s © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Home, Alexander Frederick [Alec] Douglas-, fourteenth earl of Home (disclaimed for life) and Baron Home of the Hirsel (1903–1995), prime minister, was born in London on 2 July 1903, the first child in a family of five sons and two daughters of Charles Cospatrick Archibald Douglas-Home, ...

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Maker: Sir James Guthrie

Andrew Bonar Law (1858–1923) by Sir James Guthrie, c. 1919–21 Scottish National Portrait Gallery

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Law, Andrew Bonar (1858–1923), businessman and prime minister, was born on 16 September 1858 in Kingston, New Brunswick, Canada. His father, the Revd James Law (1822–1882), was an Ulsterman of Scottish descent who served as Presbyterian minister of the Free Church of Scotland...