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Ashburnham, John (1602/3–1671), courtier and politician, was the eldest son of Sir John Ashburnham (1570/71–1620) and Elizabeth (1577–1651), daughter of Sir Thomas Beaumont. William Ashburnham, army officer and politician, was his younger brother. He was educated at Gray's Inn and Peterhouse, Cambridge. His father died in 1620, having wasted his estate and leaving his family in penury. But within two years his heir had so far repaired their broken fortune, that (says the epitaph in ...

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Francis Basset, Baron de Dunstanville and first Baron Basset (1757–1835) by Thomas Gainsborough, c. 1786 in the collection of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, William A. Clark

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Basset, Francis, Baron de Dunstanville and first Baron Basset (1757–1835), politician and landowner, was born at Walcot, Oxfordshire, on 9 August 1757, first-born of two sons and five daughters of Francis Basset (1715–1769), MP and landowner, of Tehidy, Cornwall, and his wife, Margaret...

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Blount, Mountjoy, first earl of Newport (c. 1597–1666), courtier and politician, was the eldest of three illegitimate sons of Charles Blount, earl of Devonshire (1563–1606), and Lady Penelope Rich (1563–1607), daughter of Walter Devereux, first earl of Essex; his parents were eventually to marry, contrary to canon law, in 1605. He was the half-brother of ...

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Mountjoy Blount, first earl of Newport (c. 1597–1666) by Sir Anthony Van Dyck, c. 1637–8 Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection

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Boscawen, Hugh, first Viscount Falmouth (c. 1680–1734), politician and courtier, was the eldest surviving son of Edward Boscawen (1628–1685), a wealthy Turkey merchant and MP, and his wife, Jael (d. 1730), the daughter of Sir Francis Godolphin. Both parents were of prominent Cornish landed families, and their connections at the very heart of politics ensured the future path of ...

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Bysshe, Sir Edward (c. 1610–1679), herald and politician, was one of the seven children of Edward Bysshe MP (d. 1655), of Burstow, Surrey, and his wife, Mary, daughter of John Turner of Ham, Bletchingley, Surrey. The family had been at Burstow since the fifteenth century, and there his father, a successful lawyer in the ...

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Carington, Charles Robert Wynn- [formerly Charles Robert Carrington], marquess of Lincolnshire (1843–1928), politician and landowner, was born in Whitehall, London, on 16 May 1843, the elder son of Robert John Carrington (formerly Smith), second Baron Carrington, and his second wife, Charlotte, younger daughter of ...

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Charles Robert Wynn- Carington, marquess of Lincolnshire (1843–1928) by Harold Speed, 1909 © reserved; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

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Caulfeild, Toby, first Baron Caulfeild of Charlemont (bap. 1565, d. 1627), soldier, politician, and landowner, was baptized on 2 December 1565 at Great Milton, Oxfordshire, a younger son of Alexander Caulfeild. Nothing is known of his early years or education, but from 1590 he pursued a military career, sailing on ...

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Cecil, Robert, first earl of Salisbury (1563–1612), politician and courtier, was born on 1 June 1563 at Cecil House, Strand, Westminster, the second surviving child and only son of William Cecil, first Baron Burghley (1520/21–1598), statesman, then secretary of state and from 1572 lord treasurer, and his second wife, ...

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Robert Cecil, first earl of Salisbury (1563–1612) by John de Critz the elder The Marquess of Salisbury. Photograph: Photographic Survey, Courtauld Institute of Art, London

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Clinton, Henry Pelham Fiennes Pelham-, fourth duke of Newcastle under Lyme (1785–1851), landowner and politician, was the elder son of Thomas Pelham-Clinton, third duke of Newcastle under Lyme (1752–1795), and his wife, Lady Anna Maria Stanhope (1760–1834), fifth daughter of William Stanhope, second earl of Harrington...

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Henry Pelham Fiennes Pelham- Clinton, fourth duke of Newcastle under Lyme (1785–1851) by Henry William Pickersgill, exh. 1835 Palace of Westminster Collection

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Coke, Thomas (bap. 1674, d. 1727), politician and court official, was baptized on 19 February 1674 at Melbourne, Derbyshire, the great-grandson of Sir John Coke (1563–1644), politician, and the eldest son of John Coke (c.1653–1692) of Melbourne Hall and his wife, ...

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Conway, Francis Seymour-, first marquess of Hertford (1718–1794), courtier and politician, was born on 5 July 1718 in Lindsey House, Chelsea, Middlesex, the son and heir of Francis Seymour-Conway, first Baron Conway of Ragley (1679–1732), politician, and his third wife, Charlotte (d...

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See Cotton, Sir Robert Bruce, first baronet

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Francis Thomas de Grey Cowper, seventh Earl Cowper (1834–1905) by unknown lithographer (after Violet Manners, duchess of Rutland, 1894) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Cowper, Francis Thomas de Grey, seventh Earl Cowper (1834–1905), politician and landowner, was born on 11 June 1834 in Berkeley Square, London. Styled Viscount Fordwich until he succeeded to his father's title, he was the eldest in the family of two sons and four daughters of ...