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Anderson, John, first Viscount Waverley (1882–1958), civil service administrator and politician, was born at 1 Livingstone Place, Edinburgh, on 8 July 1882, the only surviving son of David Alexander Pearson Anderson (1855–1948), a fancy stationer who later became a director of a well-known firm of printers and publishers, ...

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John Anderson, first Viscount Waverley (1882–1958) by Howard Coster, 1953 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Barrett, Edward, Lord Barrett of Newburgh (1581–1644/5), politician and government official, born at Aveley, Essex, on 21 June 1581, was the elder son of Charles Barrett (1555/6–1584) and Christian Mildmay (1557–1627). The main estate at Belhus in Aveley had been held by the family since 1397, but there were also considerable properties in ...

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Bowyer, Robert (c. 1560–1621), parliamentary official and politician, was the younger son of William Bowyer (d. 1569/70) of Wimbledon, Surrey, bailiff of Westminster and keeper of the records in the Tower, and his wife, Agnes, daughter of Sir John Harcourt of Stanton Harcourt, Oxfordshire...

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Burley, William (d. 1458), administrator and speaker of the House of Commons, was the eldest son of John Burley of Broncroft, Shropshire, and his wife, Juliana. John Burley had been six times member of parliament for Shropshire between 1399 and 1411. Apparently of age (and legally qualified) on ...

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Capel, Henry, Baron Capel of Tewkesbury (bap. 1638, d. 1696), politician and government official, was baptized on 6 March 1638 at Hadham Parva, Hertfordshire. He was the second son of Arthur Capel, first Baron Capel of Hadham (1604–1649), politician and royalist leader, and his wife, ...

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Carter, Mark Raymond Bonham, Baron Bonham-Carter (1922–1994), public servant and politician, was born in London on 11 February 1922, the elder son and the third of four children of Sir Maurice Bonham Carter (1880–1960), private secretary to the prime minister from 1910 to 1916, and his wife, ...

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Chaucer, Thomas (c. 1367–1434), administrator and speaker of the House of Commons, of Ewelme, Oxfordshire, was the elder son of the poet Geoffrey Chaucer and his wife, Philippa (d. 1387?), daughter and coheir of Sir Payn Roelt. Although a remarkable combination of qualities, including personal charisma, a talent for leadership, and outstanding powers of judgement, would alone have assured him a central place in English political life, there can be little doubt that ...

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Cheyne, Charles, first Viscount Newhaven (1625–1698), politician and government official, was born at Chesham Bois, Buckinghamshire, on 23 October 1625 and baptized on 25 October, the third but eldest surviving son of Francis Cheyne (d. 1644) and his second wife, Anne (...

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Chicheley, Sir Thomas (1614–1699), politician and administrator, was born on 25 March 1614 and baptized on 26 April following at Wimpole, Cambridgeshire, the eldest son of Sir Thomas Chicheley (1578–1616), politician, and his wife, Dorothy (d. 1644), daughter of Sir Thomas Kempe...

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James Craggs the elder (bap. 1657, d. 1721) attrib. John Closterman, c. 1710 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Craggs, James, the elder (bap. 1657, d. 1721), politician and government official, was the eldest son of Anthony Craggs (d. 1680?) of Holbeck, in Wolsingham parish, Durham, and Anne (1628–1672), daughter of the Revd Ferdinando Morecroft, rector of Stanhope in Wardell, Durham...

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Craig, Sir William Gibson, second baronet (1797–1878), politician and civil servant, was born on 2 August 1797. He was the eldest son in the family of two sons and seven daughters of Sir James Gibson, afterwards Craig, first baronet (1765–1850), of Riccarton, Edinburgh...

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Cromwell, Henry (1628–1674), soldier, politician, and lord lieutenant of Ireland, was born on 20 January 1628 at Huntingdon and baptized there at All Saints' Church on 29 January, the fifth of nine children and fourth among the five sons of Oliver Cromwell (1599–1658)...

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Henry Cromwell (1628–1674) by Christiaan Janszoon Dusart unknown collection; photograph Sotheby's Picture Library, London / National Portrait Gallery, London

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Dalton [née Hamilton Fox], (Florence) Ruth, Lady Dalton (1890–1966), politician and public servant, was born on 9 March 1890 at Oak House, Farnborough, the only child of Thomas Hamilton Fox, a brewer, and his wife, Elizabeth Valentine (d. 1931), daughter of ...

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Desborough [Disbrowe], Samuel (1619–1690), politician and administrator, was born in November 1619 at Eltisley, Cambridgeshire, probably at the Old House, built in 1612 on the site of the rectory for his father, James Desborough, or Disbrowe (1582–1638), landowner and lord of the manor of ...

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Duncombe, Sir John (bap. 1622, d. 1687), politician and government official, was baptized on 20 July 1622 in Battlesden, Bedfordshire, the second but eldest surviving son of William Duncombe (d. 1655) of Battlesden, landowner, and his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Poyntz...

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Dyson, Jeremiah (1722?–1776), clerk of the House of Commons and politician, was the eldest son of Jeremiah Dyson of Bartholomew Close, London, from whom in 1730 he inherited extensive estates in Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, and Bedfordshire. Horace Walpole's description of his father as 'a tailor' therefore smacks of snobbery. The diarist also recalled that young ...

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Egerton, John, third earl of Bridgewater (1646–1701), politician and government official, was born on 9 November 1646, the eldest surviving son of John Egerton, second earl of Bridgewater (1623–1686), and his wife, Elizabeth Egerton (1626–1663), second daughter of William Cavendish, first duke of Newcastle upon Tyne...