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Louisa Caroline Baring, Lady Ashburton (1827–1903) by Carlo, Baron Marochetti, 1861 property of the Marquess of Northampton; Beedle & Cooper

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Baring [née Stewart-Mackenzie], Louisa Caroline, Lady Ashburton (1827–1903), art collector and philanthropist, was born at Seaforth Lodge, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides, on 5 March 1827, the third daughter and sixth child of James Alexander Stewart-Mackenzie (d. 1843)...

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Richard Fitzwilliam, seventh Viscount Fitzwilliam of Merrion (1745–1816) by Joseph Wright of Derby, 1764 Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge, UK; photograph Bridgeman Art Library

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Fitzwilliam, Richard, seventh Viscount Fitzwilliam of Merrion (1745–1816), benefactor and musical antiquary, was born on 1 August 1745 at Richmond, Surrey, the eldest son of Richard Fitzwilliam, sixth Viscount Fitzwilliam of Merrion (d. 1776), and Catherine (c.1710–1786), eldest daughter and coheir of the Dutch-born merchant and political economist ...

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Heaton, Ellen (1816–1894), art collector and philanthropist, was born on 18 November 1816 at 7 Briggate, Leeds, the elder of the two children of John Heaton (1769–1852), bookseller and printer, and his wife, Ann Deakin (1774–1841), who came from a family of West Riding...

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Manton, Sir Edwin Alfred Grenville (1909–2005), insurance underwriter, art collector, and philanthropist, was born on 22 January 1909 at Burrows Road, Earls Colne, Essex, the eldest of three children of John Horace Manton, bank clerk, later bank manager, and his wife, Emily Clara, ...

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Mellon, Paul (1907–1999), philanthropist and art collector, was born on 11 June 1907 at 5052 Forbes Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, the only son and second of the two children of Andrew William Mellon (1855–1937), banker and statesman, and his wife, Nora (1879–1973), daughter of Mr and Mrs ...

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Paul Mellon (1907–1999) by John Ward, 1980s? © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Parry, Thomas Gambier (1816–1888), benefactor and art collector, was born on 22 February 1816 in Cadogan Place, Belgravia, London, the only child of Richard Parry (1776–1817) and Mary Gambier (d. 1821), daughter of Samuel Gambier and niece of James, Admiral Lord Gambier...

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Thomas Gambier Parry (1816–1888) by Margaret Sarah Carpenter, 1833–5 in the collection of T. Fenton

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Pretty [née Dempster], Edith May (1883–1942), landowner and benefactor, was born on 1 August 1883 at Elland, near Halifax, Yorkshire, the second daughter of Robert Dempster (d. 1925), then a gas engineer employed in his father's company, and his wife, Elizabeth, ...

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Edith May Pretty (1883–1942) by unknown photographer, c.1939 © National Trust Images / Sutton Hoo

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Slade, Felix (1790–1868), art collector and benefactor, was born in August 1790 at Lambeth, the second son of Robert Slade (d. 1835), proctor in Doctors' Commons and deputy lieutenant for Surrey, and his wife, Eliza, daughter and heir of Edward Foxcroft of ...

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James Lewis Smithson (1764–1829) by Henri-Joseph Johns, 1816 National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

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Smithson [formerly Macie], James Lewis (1764–1829), mineralogist and benefactor, was born Jacques Louis Macie in Paris in early 1764, the illegitimate son of a long-term liaison between Hugh Percy (formerly Smithson), second earl and later first duke of Northumberland (bap. 1712, d. 1786)...

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Wallace [formerly Jackson], Sir Richard, baronet (1818–1890), philanthropist and art collector, was the illegitimate son of Richard Seymour-Conway, Viscount Beauchamp, later fourth marquess of Hertford (1800–1870). His mother, Mrs Agnes Jackson, née Wallace, was very probably Eliza Agnes Wallace (1789–1864), daughter of ...

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Sir Richard Wallace, baronet (1818–1890) by J. J. Thomson, 1888 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Wyndham, George O'Brien, third earl of Egremont (1751–1837), art patron, agriculturist, and philanthropist, was born on 18 December 1751 and baptized on 9 January 1752 at St Margaret's, Westminster. He was the eldest son of Charles Wyndham, second earl of Egremont (1710–1763), statesman, patron, and collector, and his wife, ...

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George O'Brien Wyndham, third earl of Egremont (1751–1837) by Thomas Phillips National Trust Photographic Library / A. C. Cooper