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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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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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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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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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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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Howard, George James, ninth earl of Carlisle (1843–1911), artist and politician, was born at 56 Park Street, London, on 12 August 1843, the only son of the Hon. Charles Wentworth George Howard (1814–1879), and his wife, Mary Priscilla Harriett Parke (1822–1843), second daughter of ...

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Thomas Howard, fourteenth earl of Arundel, fourth earl of Surrey, and first earl of Norfolk (1585–1646) by Sir Peter Paul Rubens, 1629 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Howard, Thomas, fourteenth earl of Arundel, fourth earl of Surrey, and first earl of Norfolk (1585–1646), art collector and politician, was born at Finchingfield, Essex, on 7 July 1585, the only son of Philip Howard, thirteenth earl of Arundel (1557–1595), and his wife, ...

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John Temple Leader (1810–1903) by William Henry Mote, pubd 1840 (after Bryan Edward Duppa) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Leader, John Temple (1810–1903), politician and connoisseur of the arts, born at his father's country house, Putney Hill Villa, sometimes called Lower House, on 7 May 1810, was the younger son (in a family of two sons and four daughters) of William Leader (1767–1828)...

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Lee, Arthur Hamilton, Viscount Lee of Fareham (1868–1947), politician and patron of the arts, was born on 8 November 1868 at the rectory, Bridport, Dorset, the youngest of the two sons and three daughters of the rector, the Revd Melville Lauriston Lee (1821–1870)...

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Lindsay, David Alexander Edward, twenty-seventh earl of Crawford and tenth earl of Balcarres (1871–1940), politician and art connoisseur, was born on 10 October 1871 at Dunecht House, Aberdeen, the eldest of the six sons of James Ludovic Lindsay, twenty-sixth earl of Crawford and ninth earl of Balcarres...