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Ashburnham, John (1602/3–1671), courtier and politician, was the eldest son of Sir John Ashburnham (1570/71–1620) and Elizabeth (1577–1651), daughter of Sir Thomas Beaumont. William Ashburnham, army officer and politician, was his younger brother. He was educated at Gray's Inn and Peterhouse, Cambridge. His father died in 1620, having wasted his estate and leaving his family in penury. But within two years his heir had so far repaired their broken fortune, that (says the epitaph in ...

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Ashton, John (c. 1653–1691), official in the royal household and Jacobite conspirator, was the son of Andrew Ashton (d. 1679), of Liverpool, and his wife, Alice. His father was apparently a parliamentarian army officer, though from the royalist family of Ashton of ...

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Aucher, Sir Anthony (d. 1558), administrator and landowner, was the only surviving son and heir of James Aucher (d. 1509), gentleman, of Otterden, Kent, and his wife, Alice Hill. The father, a son and heir of John and Margaret Aucher, was the successful head of a minor gentry family who bequeathed much of his estate to the church. In his will of 1 January 1509 he entrusted his son to ...

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Bankes [née Hawtrey], Mary, Lady Bankes (d. 1661), royalist landholder, was the only daughter and an heir of Ralph Hawtrey (1570–1638) and his wife, Mary Altham (1578–1647). The Hawtreys claimed Norman descent and established themselves in Ruislip, Middlesex, in the sixteenth century. In 1618 she married ...

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Baring, Rowland Thomas, second earl of Cromer (1877–1953), courtier, was born on 29 November 1877 at Cairo. He was the elder son of Evelyn Baring, later first earl of Cromer (1841–1917), diplomat, and his first wife, Ethel Stanley (d. 1898), second daughter of ...

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Barnham, Sir Francis (bap. 1576, d. 1646?), local politician and landowner, was baptized at Hollingbourne, Kent, on 20 October 1576, the eldest son of Martin Barnham of Hollingbourne (bap. 1548, d. 1610) and his first wife, Ursula (d. 1579), daughter of ...

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Francis Basset, Baron de Dunstanville and first Baron Basset (1757–1835) by Thomas Gainsborough, c. 1786 in the collection of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, William A. Clark

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Basset, Francis, Baron de Dunstanville and first Baron Basset (1757–1835), politician and landowner, was born at Walcot, Oxfordshire, on 9 August 1757, first-born of two sons and five daughters of Francis Basset (1715–1769), MP and landowner, of Tehidy, Cornwall, and his wife, Margaret...

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Mountjoy Blount, first earl of Newport (c. 1597–1666) by Sir Anthony Van Dyck, c. 1637–8 Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection

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Blount, Mountjoy, first earl of Newport (c. 1597–1666), courtier and politician, was the eldest of three illegitimate sons of Charles Blount, earl of Devonshire (1563–1606), and Lady Penelope Rich (1563–1607), daughter of Walter Devereux, first earl of Essex; his parents were eventually to marry, contrary to canon law, in 1605. He was the half-brother of ...

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Boscawen, Hugh, first Viscount Falmouth (c. 1680–1734), politician and courtier, was the eldest surviving son of Edward Boscawen (1628–1685), a wealthy Turkey merchant and MP, and his wife, Jael (d. 1730), the daughter of Sir Francis Godolphin. Both parents were of prominent Cornish landed families, and their connections at the very heart of politics ensured the future path of ...

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Richard Boyle, first earl of Cork (1566–1643) by Isaac Oliver, c. 1610–15 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Boyle, Richard, first earl of Cork (1566–1643), landowner and administrator, was born at Preston, near Faversham in Kent, on 13 October 1566, the second son of Roger Boyle (d. 1576), landowner, and his wife, Joan, daughter of Robert Naylor. Roger Boyle, a cadet of a ...

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Reginald Baliol Brett, second Viscount Esher (1852–1930) by Glyn Philpot, 1922 © Estate of Glyn Philpot

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Brett, Reginald Baliol, second Viscount Esher (1852–1930), courtier, was born on 30 June 1852 at 19 Prince's Terrace, Kensington, London, the eldest of three children of William Baliol Brett, first Viscount Esher (1815–1899), barrister and later master of the rolls, and his wife, ...

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William Brooke, tenth Baron Cobham (1527–1597) attrib. the Master of the Countess of Warwick, 1567 [with his second wife, Frances Newton (right), six of their children, and Frances's sister Johanna (left)] reproduced by permission of the Marquess of Bath, Longleat House, Warminster, Wiltshire, Great Britain

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Brooke, William, tenth Baron Cobham (1527–1597), nobleman and diplomat, was born on 1 November 1527, the eldest of seven surviving sons (there were also four daughters) of George Brooke, ninth Baron Cobham (c. 1497–1558), soldier and landowner, and his wife, Anne (c...

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See Brydges, Edmund, second Baron Chandos

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Brydges, Thomas (d. 1559), landowner and administrator, was the second son of Sir Giles Brydges (d. 1511) of Coberley, Gloucestershire, and his wife, Isabel Baynham. His elder brother was John Brydges, first Baron Chandos. He married first Jane, daughter and coheir of ...

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Bysshe, Sir Edward (c. 1610–1679), herald and politician, was one of the seven children of Edward Bysshe MP (d. 1655), of Burstow, Surrey, and his wife, Mary, daughter of John Turner of Ham, Bletchingley, Surrey. The family had been at Burstow since the fifteenth century, and there his father, a successful lawyer in the ...