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Sir John Stanhope Arkwright (1872–1954) by Sir Benjamin Stone, 1902 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Arkwright, Sir John Stanhope (1872–1954), politician and hymn writer, was born at 11 Lowndes Street, London, on 10 July 1872, the only son (there were three daughters) of John Hungerford Arkwright (1833–1905), landowner and lord lieutenant of Herefordshire, of Hampton Court, Leominster, Herefordshire...

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James Brydges, first duke of Chandos (1674–1744) by Michael Dahl James Brydges, 1st Duke of Chandos, n.d., Michael Dahl / The Berger Collection at the Denver Art Museum, TL-17970 / © Denver Art Museum 2004

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Brydges, James, first duke of Chandos (1674–1744), politician and patron of music, was born at Dewsall, Herefordshire, on 6 January 1674, the eldest son of James Brydges, eighth Baron Chandos (1642–1714), who held estates in Herefordshire and Radnorshire, and Elizabeth Barnard (1643–1719), who came from a successful merchant family. Having inherited the attributes of both the landed gentry and of merchant bankers, the young ...

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Sir Edward Richard George Heath (1916–2005) by Jane Bown, 1978 © Guardian News and Media Ltd 2005

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Heath, Sir Edward Richard George [Ted] (1916–2005), prime minister, was born at 1 Holmwood Villas, Albion Road, Broadstairs, Kent, on 9 July 1916, the elder son of William George Heath (1888–1976), carpenter and builder, and his wife, Edith Annie, née Pantony (d...

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John Montagu, fourth earl of Sandwich (1718–1792) by Thomas Gainsborough, 1783 © National Maritime Museum, London, Greenwich Hospital Collection

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Montagu, John, fourth earl of Sandwich (1718–1792), politician and musical patron, was born in London on 13 November 1718, the eldest son of Edward Richard Montagu, Viscount Hinchingbrooke (1692–1722), and his wife, Elizabeth Popham (d. 1761). His grandfather had been insane for some time before he died in 1729, leaving his ten-year-old grandson very little but the earldom. His widowed mother had already remarried and effectively abandoned her sons; ...

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Sackville, Charles, second duke of Dorset (1711–1769), politician and impresario, was born on 6 February 1711 and baptized at St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, on 25 February, the eldest son of the six children of Lionel Cranfield Sackville, first duke of Dorset (1688–1765), politician, and his wife, ...