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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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Gashry, Francis (1702–1762), naval administrator and politician, was born on 14 November 1702, the son of Francis Gascherie, a perfumer in Lamb's Street, Stepney, Middlesex, and his wife, Susanna. His parents were Huguenots from La Rochelle, and Francis was baptized on 13 December at the French Huguenot church of ...

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Germain, Sir John, first baronet (1650–1718), army officer and politician, was born in May 1650, probably at The Hague, the son of John Germain and his wife, Mary Moll. His father was a private officer in the Dutch army and his mother reputedly a mistress of ...

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Papillon, Thomas (1623–1702), merchant and politician, was born on 6 September 1623, the fifth son of David Papillon (1581–1659) of Roehampton, Surrey, and Lubenham, Leicestershire, and his second wife, Anna-Maria (1591–1675), daughter of Jean Calandrini of Sedan, France, and Putney, Surrey. Papillon boasted a tempestuous Huguenot ancestry, his great-grandfather having fallen victim to the St Bartholomew's day massacre of 1572. Brought to ...

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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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Witsen, Nicholaes Corneliszoon (1641–1717), politician and collector, was born in Amsterdam on 8 May 1641, the third of five sons of Dr Cornelis Janszoon Witsen (1605–1669), statesman and merchant, and Catharina Claesdochter Gaeff, or Lambertsdochter Opsy (1619–1698). Both his parents were from leading political and mercantile families with ties to the ...