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Elizabeth Christiana Cavendish, duchess of Devonshire (1757–1824) by Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1787 Chatsworth House. Photograph: Photographic Survey, Courtauld Institute of Art, London

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Cavendish [née Hervey; other married name Foster], Elizabeth Christiana, duchess of Devonshire (1757–1824), society hostess and patron of the arts, was the middle daughter of Frederick Augustus Hervey, fourth earl of Bristol (1730–1803), and his wife, Elizabeth Davers (1730–1800), and was known for most her life as ...

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Dorothy Payne Elmhirst (1887–1968) by unknown photographer, 1930s The Dartington Hall Trust Archive

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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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Falcke, Isaac (1819–1909), art collector and benefactor, was born in Great Yarmouth, one of some twenty children of Jacob Falcke. His father moved to London soon after Isaac's birth and started a business as an art dealer in Oxford Street; in due course he was joined by his sons ...

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Richard Fitzwilliam, seventh Viscount Fitzwilliam of Merrion (1745–1816) by Joseph Wright of Derby, 1764 Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge, UK; photograph Bridgeman Art Library

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Fitzwilliam, Richard, seventh Viscount Fitzwilliam of Merrion (1745–1816), benefactor and musical antiquary, was born on 1 August 1745 at Richmond, Surrey, the eldest son of Richard Fitzwilliam, sixth Viscount Fitzwilliam of Merrion (d. 1776), and Catherine (c.1710–1786), eldest daughter and coheir of the Dutch-born merchant and political economist ...

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Hope, Henry Thomas (1808–1862), patron of the arts and politician, was born in London, probably in Duchess Street, on 30 April 1808, eldest of the three sons of Thomas Hope (1769–1831), of the Amsterdam banking family, and his wife, Louisa (d. 1851)...

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Lucy Russell, countess of Bedford (bap. 1581, d. 1627) attrib. William Larkin, c. 1615 National Museum of Fine Arts, Sweden

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Russell [née Harington], Lucy, countess of Bedford (bap. 1581, d. 1627), courtier and patron of the arts, was baptized on 25 January 1581 at St Dunstan and All Saints, Stepney, Middlesex, the elder daughter of John Harington, first Baron Harington of Exton...

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Saxl, Friedrich [Fritz] (1890–1948), art historian and a founder of the Warburg Institute, London, was born in Vienna, on 8 January 1890, the son of Ignaz Saxl, a distinguished lawyer who collaborated in the formation of the new Austrian civil code, and his wife, ...

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Slade, Felix (1788–1868), art collector and benefactor, was born on 6 August 1788 at Lambeth (and baptized Felix Joseph at St Mary's, Lambeth, on 30 August 1788), the fourth and youngest son of Robert Slade (d. 1835), proctor in Doctors' Commons and deputy lieutenant for ...

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Smith, David (d. 1587), embroiderer and benefactor, is of unknown origins. Having been presumably apprenticed in the Broderers' Company of London, of which he became a prominent member, he joined the Elizabethan wardrobe establishment at Elizabeth's accession, sharing work with William Middleton: whereas ...

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James Lewis Smithson (1764–1829) by Henri-Joseph Johns, 1816 National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

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Smithson [formerly Macie], James Lewis (1764–1829), mineralogist and benefactor, was born Jacques Louis Macie in Paris in early 1764, the illegitimate son of a long-term liaison between Hugh Percy (formerly Smithson), second earl and later first duke of Northumberland (bap. 1712, d. 1786)...