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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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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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George Calvert, first Baron Baltimore (1579/8080–1632) by Daniel Mytens, 1627 © reserved

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Calvert, George, first Baron Baltimore (1579/80–1632), courtier and colonist in America, was born in Kiplin in Catterick parish, Yorkshire, the son of Leonard Calvert (b. c.1550) and Alica Crosland (d. early 1580s). He was descended from a Roman Catholic family that had been in ...

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See Carey, Henry, first Baron Hunsdon

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Maker: Marcus Gheeraerts the younger

Henry Carey, first Baron Hunsdon (1526–1596) attrib. Marcus Gheeraerts the younger, 1591 The Berkeley Castle Will Trust. Photograph: Photographic Survey, Courtauld Institute of Art, London

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Carey, Henry, first Baron Hunsdon (1526–1596), courtier and administrator, was born on 4 March 1526, the only son of William Carey (c. 1496–1528), courtier, of Aldenham, Hertfordshire, and his wife, Mary [see Stafford, Mary (c. 1499-1543)], royal mistress, daughter of Thomas Boleyn, ...

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Robert Cecil, first earl of Salisbury (1563–1612) by John de Critz the elder The Marquess of Salisbury. Photograph: Photographic Survey, Courtauld Institute of Art, London

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Cecil, Robert, first earl of Salisbury (1563–1612), politician and courtier, was born on 1 June 1563 at Cecil House, Strand, Westminster, the second surviving child and only son of William Cecil, first Baron Burghley (1520/21–1598), statesman, then secretary of state and from 1572 lord treasurer, and his second wife, ...

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Thomas Cecil, first earl of Exeter (1542–1623) by unknown artist, c. 1610 The Burghley House Collection. Photograph: Photographic Survey, Courtauld Institute of Art, London

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Cecil, Thomas, first earl of Exeter (1542–1623), courtier and soldier, was born in Cambridge on 5 May 1542, the eldest son of William Cecil, first Baron Burghley (1520/21–1598), and his first wife, Mary (c.1520–1544), sister of John Cheke. His mother died when he was less than two years old and he never seems to have aroused any affection in his puritanical stepmother, ...

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William Cecil, first Baron Burghley (1520/2121–1598) by unknown artist © Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

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Cecil, William, first Baron Burghley (1520/21–1598), royal minister, son of Richard Cecil (d. 1553) and Jane, daughter of William Heckington of Bourne, Lincolnshire, and grandson of David Cecil, was born on 18 September 1520 or 1521. David Cecil, a member of a minor gentry family on the Welsh border, joined ...

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Sarah Churchill, duchess of Marlborough (1660–1744) by Sir Godfrey Kneller, 1705 National Trust Photographic Library / Tim Stephens / The Egremont Collection / Petworth

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Churchill [née Jenyns], Sarah, duchess of Marlborough (1660–1744), politician and courtier, was born on 5 June 1660, probably at Holywell, St Albans, Hertfordshire, the fourth and youngest daughter of Richard Jenyns (c.1618–1668), whose name is often spelt Jennings by later writers, and his wife, ...

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Conway, Francis Seymour-, first marquess of Hertford (1718–1794), courtier and politician, was born on 5 July 1718 in Lindsey House, Chelsea, Middlesex, the son and heir of Francis Seymour-Conway, first Baron Conway of Ragley (1679–1732), politician, and his third wife, Charlotte (d...

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Gower, Susanna Leveson- [née Lady Susan Stewart], marchioness of Stafford (1742/3–1805), politician, was the third daughter of Alexander Stewart, sixth earl of Galloway (1694–1773), and his second wife, Lady Catherine Cochrane (d. 1786), daughter of John Cochrane, fourth earl of Dundonald...

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Grahme, James (1650–1730), courtier and politician, was born at Norton Conyers, Yorkshire, in March 1650 and baptized on 3 April, the second son of Sir George Grahme, baronet (c.1624–1658), of Netherby, Cumberland, and his wife, Lady Mary Johnston, second daughter of ...

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Sir Christopher Hatton (c. 1540–1591) by Nicholas Hilliard, c. 1588–91 V&A Images, The Victoria and Albert Museum