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Acland, Sir John (c. 1552–1620), politician and benefactor, was the younger son of John Acland (d. 1553) of Acland Barton in the parish of Landkey, north Devon, and Margaret, daughter and coheir of Hugh Radcliff of Stepney and the Middle Temple. He was born into an established gentry family which already bore heraldic arms and owned lands in five other ...

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Sir Richard Thomas Dyke Acland, fifteenth baronet (1906–1990) by Howard Coster, 1939 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Acland, Sir Richard Thomas Dyke, fifteenth baronet (1906–1990), politician and benefactor, was born on 26 November 1906 at Broadclyst, Devon, his ancestral home, the eldest in the family of three sons and one daughter of Sir Francis Dyke Acland, fourteenth baronet (1874–1939), landowner and liberal politician, and his wife, ...

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Acland, Sir Thomas Dyke, tenth baronet (1787–1871), politician and philanthropist, the eldest son of Sir Thomas Dyke Acland, ninth baronet (d. 1794), and Henrietta Anne (d. 1841), the only daughter of Sir Richard Hoare, was born in London on 29 March 1787. He became heir to the family estates when his father died on 17 May 1794. He was educated at ...

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Addenbrooke, John (bap. 1681, d. 1719), physician and benefactor, was born at Kingswinford in Staffordshire, and baptized on 13 June 1681 at the parish church in West Bromwich, the only son of Samuel Addenbrooke, vicar of West Bromwich, and Matilda Porry of Wolverhampton...

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Akroyd, Edward (1810–1887), industrialist and philanthropist, was born on 28 November 1810 at Brockholes, near Brookhouse, Ovenden, Halifax, the eldest of the ten children of Jonathan Akroyd (1782–1847) and his wife, Sarah, daughter of David Wright of Ovenden. Educated locally by an Anglican clergyman and at the ...

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Allen, Ralph (bap. 1693, d. 1764), postal entrepreneur and philanthropist, was baptized on 24 July 1693 in the parish church of St Columb Major in Cornwall, one of four children of Philip Allen (d. 1728). Much remains obscure about his early life, but his father is reputed to have kept an inn in nearby ...

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Edward Alleyn (1566–1626) by unknown artist by permission of the Trustees of Dulwich Picture Gallery

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Alleyn, Edward (1566–1626), actor, theatre entrepreneur, and founder of Dulwich College, was born on 1 September 1566 in the London parish of St Botolph without Bishopsgate, 'near Devonshire House, where now is the sign of the Pye'. He was baptized the following day in the parish church, the son of ...

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Mary Louisa Armitt (1851–1911) by Sophia Armitt The Armitt Trust Collection

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Armitt, Mary Louisa (1851–1911), author and founder of the Armitt Library, Ambleside, was born at 19 Melbourne Terrace, Salford, Lancashire, on 24 September 1851. She was the youngest of three daughters of William Armitt (1815–1867), an impecunious assistant overseer who valued learning, and his wife, ...

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Aske, Robert (1619–1689), silk merchant and benefactor, was born on 24 February 1619, the son of Robert Aske of the parish of St Mary Woolchurch, London, and his second wife, Margery Middleton, the widowed daughter of John Hill of Wendover, whom he married in 1611. The two ...

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Atherton, Eleanora (1782–1870), philanthropist, was born on 14 February 1782, the elder of the two surviving daughters of the four children of Henry Atherton, (1740–1816) of Lincoln's Inn, barrister, and his wife, Ann (1751–1826), daughter of Edward Byrom (1724–1773) of Manchester and his wife, ...

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Thomas Babington (1758–1837) by Charles E. Wagstaff (after John Hoppner) © Copyright The British Museum

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Babington, Thomas (1758–1837), philanthropist and politician, was born on 18 December 1758, the eldest son and heir of Thomas Babington (1715–1776), of Rothley Temple, Rothley, Leicestershire, and his wife, Lydia (1726/7–1791), daughter of Joseph Cardale, vicar of Hinckley. After education at Rugby School...

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Bampton, John (1689–1751), benefactor, was born in 1689; details of his place of birth, parentage, and upbringing are unknown. He was educated at Trinity College, Oxford, where he graduated BA (1709) and MA (1712). Having taken orders he was installed as a prebendary at ...

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Bancroft, Francis (1667–1728), financial agent and benefactor, was born in Spitalfields, London, on 26 October 1667, the second son of John Bancroft (bap. 1614, d. 1705), a City financier who became serjeant-carver to the lord mayor, and his second wife, Rebecka Cole (...

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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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Thomas John Barnardo (1845–1905) by Stepney Causeway Studios, in or before 1905 © National Portrait Gallery, London