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Bentinck, Hans Willem [William], first earl of Portland (1649–1709), diplomat and politician, was born on 20 July 1649 ns at Diepenheim in the eastern Netherlands, the fifth of nine children of Berent Bentinck (1597–1668), lord of Diepenheim and drost (sheriff) of Deventer, and his wife, ...

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Hans Willem Bentinck, first earl of Portland (1649–1709) studio of Hyacinthe Rigaud [original, 1698–9] © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bernstorff, Andreas Gottlieb von, Baron Bernstorff in the nobility of the Holy Roman empire (1649–1726), politician and diplomat, was born on 2 March 1649 ns in Ratzeburg, then in the duchy of Saxe-Lauenburg, in northern Germany, the second son of Andreas von Bernstorff (1604–1655)...

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Dorislaus, Isaac (1595–1649), scholar and diplomat, was born at Alkmaar in Holland, the son of Lieven Dorislaer (1555–1652), burgher and later Calvinist minister of Hensbrock (1627), then Enkhuizen (1628). The second of three sons (tellingly named Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob), he was educated from 1610 at ...

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Duras, Louis, second earl of Feversham (1641–1709), soldier and diplomat, was born at Duras, Guyenne, France, the sixth and youngest son of Guy Aldonce de Durfort, marquis de Duras, and his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Henri de la Tour d'Auvergne, duc de Bouillon...

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Le Maçon, Robert [Robert La Fontaine] (1534/5–1611), Reformed minister and diplomat, was born at Illiers, near Chartres, in the Orléanais, France; his parents' names are unknown. In 1557 he was one of the founding ministers of the important Reformed church in Orléans, which became the capital of the Huguenot movement during the first war of religion in ...

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Henri de Massue de Ruvigny, earl of Galway, and marquess of Ruvigny in the French nobility (1648–1720) by John Simon, pubd c. 1704 (after Philip de Graves) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Massue de Ruvigny, Henri de, earl of Galway, and marquess of Ruvigny in the French nobility (1648–1720), Huguenot leader, army officer, and diplomat, was born in Paris, probably in the Faubourg St Germain, on 9 April 1648, the eldest son of five surviving children of ...

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Nassau van Zuylestein, William Frederick [Willem Frederik] van, first earl of Rochford (1649–1708), soldier and diplomat, was born at Zuylestein near Utrecht and baptized on 7 October 1649 at The Hague, the elder son of Frederik van Nassau van Zuylestein and his wife, ...

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William Frederick van Nassau van Zuylestein, first earl of Rochford (1649–1708) by unknown artist private collection

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Pesme de Saint-Saphorin, François Louis de (1668–1737), diplomat and army officer, was born in the family castle of St Saphorin-sur-Morges, Vaud, Switzerland, in 1668, the third son of Isaac de Pesme de Saint-Saphorin (d. 1685) and his wife, Elisabeth, née Rolaz. The family had been feudal lords (...

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Reede van Renswouden, Johan van [John de Reede], Baron Reede (1593–1682), diplomat and politician, was born in Utrecht, Netherlands, the third son of Gerard van Reede (c.1562–1612) and Mechteld Peunis (c.1560–1615). On 16 June 1616, against the wishes of her parents, he married ...

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Robethon, John (d. 1722), diplomatist, was probably born at Authon in Perche, France. His parents were Jean Robethon, an advocate at the parlement of Paris, and his wife, Anne Groteste de La Buffière. The family was Calvinist, but following the revocation of the edict of Nantes ...

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Scrimgeour [Scrymgeour], Henry (1505?–1572), diplomat and book collector, was born in Dundee, most likely in 1505 but possibly in 1508 or 1509, since Andrew Melville gives Scrimgeour's age at death as sixty-three. His parents were James Scrimgeour, burgess, who had died by 23 May 1525, and his wife, ...

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Spens, James, of Wormiston, Baron Spens in the Swedish nobility (d. 1632), diplomat and army officer in the Swedish service, was the eldest son of three known children of David Spens, laird of Wormiston (d. 1571), and his wife, Margaret Lermonth (...

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Vaus [Vans], Sir Patrick, Lord Barnbarroch (d. 1597), diplomat and judge, was the second son of Sir John Vaus of Barnbarroch, Wigtownshire, and his wife, Janet, only child of Sir Samuel MacCulloch of Myreton, keeper of the palace of Linlithgow. Vaus was intended for the church and became rector of ...