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Abbot, Charles, first Baron Colchester (1757–1829), speaker of the House of Commons, was born on 14 October 1757 at Abingdon, Berkshire, the son of the Revd John Abbot (d. 1760), a fellow of Balliol College, Oxford, and rector of All Saints, Colchester...

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Charles Abbot, first Baron Colchester (1757–1829) by Sir Thomas Lawrence, c. 1824 Palace of Westminster Collection

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Abercromby, James, first Baron Dunfermline (1776–1858), speaker of the House of Commons, the third son of General Sir Ralph Abercromby (1734–1801), and his wife, Mary Anne, née Menzies, was born on 7 November 1776. Sir John Abercromby and Alexander Abercromby, both army officers, were his brothers. ...

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Henry Addington, first Viscount Sidmouth (1757–1844) by Sir William Beechey, in or before 1803 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Addington, Henry, first Viscount Sidmouth (1757–1844), prime minister, was born on 30 May 1757, the fourth child and eldest son of Anthony Addington (1713–1790), physician, and his wife, Mary (d. 1778), daughter and heir of the Revd Haviland John Hiley, headmaster of ...

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Allington, William (d. 1446), administrator and speaker of the House of Commons, moved from Cornwall to Horseheath in Cambridgeshire in the 1390s. Probably the son of William Allington and Denise Malet, and a relation of Master Robert Allington, chancellor of Oxford University (1393–5), he first came to the court of ...

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Allington, Sir William (d. 1479), speaker of the House of Commons, was the younger son and second of three children of William Allington (d. 1459) of Horseheath in Cambridgeshire and his first wife, Elizabeth (1410/11–1445), elder daughter of John Argentine. His mother was granddaughter and eventual sole heir of ...

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Audley, Thomas, Baron Audley of Walden (1487/8–1544), lord chancellor, was born at Hay House, Earls Colne, Essex, the son of Geoffrey Audley, administrator, of Berechurch, Essex. At an unknown date he was sent to Buckingham College, Cambridge, which he re-established as Magdalene College...

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Baker, Sir John (c. 1489–1558), administrator and speaker of the House of Commons, was born c.1489, being about sixty-two in 1551, the eldest of four sons of Richard Baker (d. 1504), landowner, of Cranbrook, Kent, and his wife, Joan (d...

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Bampfield, Thomas (1622/3–1693), speaker of the House of Commons, was a younger son of John Bampfield (d. c.1650) and Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Drake. The Bampfields were one of Devon's leading gentry families, seated at Poltimore near Exeter. After attending Exeter College, Oxford...

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Baynard, Richard (1371–1434), lawyer and speaker of the House of Commons, was born on 2 February 1371, the fourth son of Thomas Baynard (d. 1375) of Messing, Essex, the family home since the twelfth century. He inherited Messing, Birch Hall, and Le Castle...

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Beauchamp, Sir Walter (d. 1430), soldier, administrator, and speaker of the House of Commons, was probably the second son of Sir John Beauchamp of Powick, Worcestershire, and his wife, Elizabeth. First recorded in 1392 as retained by Thomas of Woodstock, duke of Gloucester...

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Bell, Sir Robert (d. 1577), judge and speaker of the House of Commons, is of unknown parentage and origins, although he may have come from a Norfolk or Yorkshire family. He was possibly educated at Cambridge and certainly at the Middle Temple, where he was a bencher, autumn reader in 1565, and Lent reader in 1572. He was married three times: first, to ...

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Best, William Draper, first Baron Wynford (1767–1845), judge and deputy speaker, was born at Haselbury Plucknett, Somerset, on 13 December 1767, the third son of Thomas Best and his wife, Elizabeth Draper. He attended the grammar school at Crewkerne, and, being intended for the ...

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Bowes, John (c. 1383–1444), lawyer and speaker of the House of Commons, came from a minor gentry family established by 1200 at Costock in south Nottinghamshire. The son of John Bowes (d. in or before 1404) and an unknown mother, he was the first of the family to enjoy a career of any distinction, probably owing his early advancement to his neighbour ...

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Henry Boyle, first earl of Shannon (1681x77–1764) by John Brooks, pubd 1742 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Boyle, Henry, first earl of Shannon (1681x7–1764), speaker of the Irish House of Commons, was born in Castlemartyr, co. Cork, Ireland, the second son of Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Boyle (c.1650–1693) of Castlemartyr and Mary O'Brien, daughter of Murrough O'Brien, first earl of Inchiquin...

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Henry Bouverie William Brand, first Viscount Hampden (1814–1892) by Lombardi, 1860s © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Brand, Henry Bouverie William, first Viscount Hampden (1814–1892), politician and speaker of the House of Commons, born on 24 December 1814, was the second son of Henry Otway Brand, twenty-first Baron Dacre, and his wife, Pyne, second daughter of the Hon. and Very Revd Maurice Crosbie...

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Broke, Sir Robert (d. 1558), judge, legal writer, and speaker of the House of Commons, was probably born in the first decade of the sixteenth century. He was the eldest son of Thomas Broke of Claverley, Shropshire, and Margaret, daughter of Humphrey Grosvenor...