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Sir John Francis Edward Acton, sixth baronet (1736–1811) by Peter Eduard Ströhling, c. 1793 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Acton, Sir John Francis Edward, sixth baronet (1736–1811), naval officer and administrator in the Neapolitan service, descended from the Actons of Aldenham Hall, Shropshire, was born in Besançon, Franche Comté, France, in 1736 (baptized 3 June). His father, Dr Edward Acton (1709–1775), had settled there and married a local girl, ...

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Brygandyne [Brickenden], Robert (c. 1465–c. 1525), naval administrator, was born into a substantial yeoman family at Smallhithe near Cranbrook in Kent. Nothing is known about his parents, but the name (usually spelt Brickenden) was common in the region at that time. Exactly how or when he entered the king's service is not known, but he was sufficiently well regarded by 1490 to be granted an annuity of ...

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Hopton, John (d. in or before 1526), naval administrator, is of obscure origins. His father's name was William, his mother's Margaret, and his brother's Edward, but nothing else is known about them. He was in the king's service by April 1501, when he was described as '...

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(William) John Christopher Vassall (1924–1996) by F. Shepherd, 1975 © News International Newspapers Ltd

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Vassall [later Phillips], (William) John Christopher (1924–1996), Admiralty official and spy, was born on 20 September 1924 at St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, where his father, William Vassall, was a long-serving chaplain and his mother, Mabel Andrea Sellicks, was a nurse. Educated at a boarding-school at ...