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Acland, Sir John (c. 1552–1620), politician and benefactor, was the younger son of John Acland (d. 1553) of Acland Barton in the parish of Landkey, north Devon, and Margaret, daughter and coheir of Hugh Radcliff of Stepney and the Middle Temple. He was born into an established gentry family which already bore heraldic arms and owned lands in five other ...

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Sir Richard Thomas Dyke Acland, fifteenth baronet (1906–1990) by Howard Coster, 1939 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Acland, Sir Richard Thomas Dyke, fifteenth baronet (1906–1990), politician and benefactor, was born on 26 November 1906 at Broadclyst, Devon, his ancestral home, the eldest in the family of three sons and one daughter of Sir Francis Dyke Acland, fourteenth baronet (1874–1939), landowner and liberal politician, and his wife, ...

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Addenbrooke, John (bap. 1681, d. 1719), physician and benefactor, was born at Kingswinford in Staffordshire, and baptized on 13 June 1681 at the parish church in West Bromwich, the only son of Samuel Addenbrooke, vicar of West Bromwich, and Matilda Porry of Wolverhampton...

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Edward Alleyn (1566–1626) by unknown artist by permission of the Trustees of Dulwich Picture Gallery

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Alleyn, Edward (1566–1626), actor, theatre entrepreneur, and founder of Dulwich College, was born on 1 September 1566 in the London parish of St Botolph without Bishopsgate, 'near Devonshire House, where now is the sign of the Pye'. He was baptized the following day in the parish church, the son of ...

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Alleyne [Allyn], Thomas (c. 1488–1558), clergyman and benefactor, was probably a native of Sudbury, Staffordshire, where he later made provision for the commemoration of his parents. A suggestion that he originated in the diocese of Salisbury and studied at Oxford seems to be without foundation. His father's name was most probably ...

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Armine [née Talbot; other married name Holcroft], Mary, Lady Armine (1594–1676), benefactor, was born at Overton, Huntingdonshire, the daughter of Elizabeth Reyner and Henry Talbot, fourth son of George Talbot, sixth earl of Shrewsbury. She married first Thomas Holcroft and second, on 28 August 1628, ...

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Mary Louisa Armitt (1851–1911) by Sophia Armitt The Armitt Trust Collection

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Armitt, Mary Louisa (1851–1911), author and founder of the Armitt Library, Ambleside, was born at 19 Melbourne Terrace, Salford, Lancashire, on 24 September 1851. She was the youngest of three daughters of William Armitt (1815–1867), an impecunious assistant overseer who valued learning, and his wife, ...

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Arthur [née Glen], Jane (1827–1907), advocate of women's rights and benefactor, was born at Broomlands, Paisley, Renfrewshire, on 18 November 1827, the third of five children of Thomas Glen (c.1798–1886), baker and grain merchant, and his wife, Janet. Throughout her adult life, ...

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Hugh Ashton (d. 1522) by unknown sculptor © Crown copyright. NMR

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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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Aske, Robert (1619–1689), silk merchant and benefactor, was born on 24 February 1619, the son of Robert Aske of the parish of St Mary Woolchurch, London, and his second wife, Margery Middleton, the widowed daughter of John Hill of Wendover, whom he married in 1611. The two ...

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Badew, Richard (d. 1361), university principal and founder of University Hall, Cambridge, was born, towards the close of the thirteenth century, into an established knightly family which took its name from Great Baddow, near Chelmsford, Essex, where it had estates dispersed among several neighbouring villages. According to ...

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Balliol, Dervorguilla de, lady of Galloway (d. 1290), noblewoman and benefactor, was a daughter of Alan, lord of Galloway (b. before 1199, d. 1234), and his second wife, Margaret, eldest daughter of David, earl of Huntingdon (d. 1219). Born some time after 1209, the date of her parents' marriage, her distinctive Gaelic name, ...

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Balliol [Baliol], John de (b. before 1208, d. 1268), magnate and benefactor, was the eldest son and heir of Hugh de Balliol (d. 1229), lord of Barnard Castle in co. Durham and of Bailleul-en-Vimeu in Picardy. Probably named after King John, to whom his father, exceptionally among the baronage of the north of ...

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Balsham, Hugh of (d. 1286), bishop of Ely and benefactor, took his name from Balsham, Cambridgeshire, one of Ely Priory's manors. Nothing is known of his background, except that during the controversy aroused by his election as bishop it was alleged that he was of servile origins. He became a monk at ...

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Bampton, John (1689–1751), benefactor, was born in 1689; details of his place of birth, parentage, and upbringing are unknown. He was educated at Trinity College, Oxford, where he graduated BA (1709) and MA (1712). Having taken orders he was installed as a prebendary at ...

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Bancroft, Francis (1667–1728), financial agent and benefactor, was born in Spitalfields, London, on 26 October 1667, the second son of John Bancroft (bap. 1614, d. 1705), a City financier who became serjeant-carver to the lord mayor, and his second wife, Rebecka Cole (...