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Benson, William (bap. 1682, d. 1754), politician, architect, and literary critic, was baptized on 17 March 1682 at St Leonard's Church, Bromley by Bow, Middlesex; he was the eldest of fourteen children of William Benson (1640/41–1712), a wealthy iron merchant of Bromley by Bow...

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Bernal, Ralph (1783–1854), politician and art collector, was born at Colchester, Essex, on 2 October 1783, into a Sephardic Jewish family of Spanish descent, though he was not brought up in the Jewish faith, and was baptized at St Olave's, Hart Street, London...

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Bruce, Sir William, first baronet (c. 1625–1710), architect and politician, was born into minor Perthshire gentry, the second son of Robert Bruce, Lord Bruce of Blairhall, and Catherine (or Jean), daughter of Sir John Preston of Valleyfield. His early life is obscure but if he is identified with the ...

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Cavendish, William, second duke of Devonshire (1670/71–1729), politician and art collector, was the second but first surviving son of William Cavendish, first duke of Devonshire (1641–1707), and Mary (1646–1710), second daughter of James Butler, first duke of Ormond. Following his father's accession to the ...

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William George Spencer Cavendish, sixth duke of Devonshire (1790–1858) by Sir Edwin Landseer, exh. RA 1832 Devonshire Collection, Chatsworth. By permission of the Duke of Devonshire and the Chatsworth Settlement Trustees

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Cavendish, William George Spencer, sixth duke of Devonshire (1790–1858), whig grandee and connoisseur of the arts, only son and youngest of three children of William Cavendish, fifth duke of Devonshire (1748–1811), and Georgiana Cavendish (1757–1806), elder daughter of John Spencer, first Earl Spencer...

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George Clarke (1661–1736) by Sir Godfrey Kneller, 1705 [[Left to right] George, prince of Denmark and duke of Cumberland (1653-1708) and ] All Souls College, Oxford

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Clarke, George (1661–1736), politician and architect, was born on 7 May 1661 in the old Pall Mall, London, the only surviving child of Sir William Clarke (1623/4–1666), secretary at war to the Commonwealth and Charles II, and his wife, Dorothy (d. 1695)...

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Thomas Coke, earl of Leicester (1697–1759) by Francesco Trevisani, 1717 © Collection of the Earl of Leicester, Holkham Hall, Norfolk / The Bridgeman Art Library

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Coke, Thomas, earl of Leicester (1697–1759), politician, architect, and art collector, was born on 17 June 1697, the eldest of the five children of Edward Coke (1676/8–1707), landowner, and his wife, Carey (1680–1707), the daughter of Sir John Newton, third baronet, of Barr's Court, Gloucestershire...

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Conyngham, William Burton (1733–1796), politician and improver, was born William Burton in 1733, the second son of Francis Burton (1696–1743), politician and landowner, of Buncraggy, co. Clare, Ireland, and Mary Conyngham (d. 1737), the only surviving daughter of Major-General Henry Conyngham and the sister of ...

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Elford, Sir William, baronet (1749–1837), politician and artist, was born in August 1749 at Kingsbridge, Devon, the elder son of the Revd Lancelot Elford (c.1719–1782) of Bickham, near Plymouth, and his wife, Grace, daughter of Alexander Wills of Kingsbridge.

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Ellis, George James Welbore Agar-, first Baron Dover (1797–1833), politician and patron of art, was the only son of Henry Welbore Agar-Ellis, second Viscount Clifden, and his wife, Lady Caroline Spencer, eldest daughter of George Spencer, fourth duke of Marlborough. He was born in ...

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John Erskine, styled twenty-second or sixth earl of Mar and Jacobite duke of Mar (bap. 1675, d. 1732) by Sir Godfrey Kneller, c. 1715 [right, with his son, Thomas Erskine, Lord Erskine] in the collection of the Earl of Mar and Kellie at Alloa Tower; photograph courtesy the Scottish National Portrait Gallery

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Erskine, John, styled twenty-second or sixth earl of Mar and Jacobite duke of Mar (bap. 1675, d. 1732), Jacobite army officer, politician, and architect, was born on the lowland family estate at Alloa, Clackmannanshire, and baptized at Alloa parish church on 21 January 1675. He was the first of four surviving children of ...

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Fawkes, Walter Ramsden Hawkesworth (1769–1825), politician and art collector, was born Walter Ramsden Hawkesworth at Hawkesworth Hall, near Guiseley, Yorkshire, on 2 March 1769, the eldest son of Walter Ramsden Beaumont Hawkesworth (1746–1792) and his wife, Amelia Farrer. His father assumed the additional surname ...

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Sir (William) Alfred Gelder (1855–1941) by John Henry Frederick Bacon, 1904 Hull and East Riding Museum / Bridgeman Art Library

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Gelder, Sir (William) Alfred (1855–1941), architect and politician, was born on 12 May 1855 at North Cave, East Riding of Yorkshire, the son of William Gelder (1820–1892), joiner, builder, and timber merchant, and his wife, Mary Jane, née Jackson (1816/17–1895). He was educated at a private school at ...

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Harris, (Frederick) Leverton (1864–1926), politician and art collector, the eldest son of Frederick William Harris (1833–1917), shipowner of Norwood, London, and his wife, Elizabeth Rachel, daughter of Peter Macleod Wylie, was born at Norwood on 17 December 1864. His family were of Quaker background. The traveller ...

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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)...