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Prince Alfred, duke of Edinburgh (1844–1900) by Abel Lewis, c. 1875–80 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Alfred, Prince, duke of Edinburgh (1844–1900), duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, naval officer, and son of Queen Victoria, was born Alfred Ernest Albert at Windsor Castle on 6 August 1844, the second son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. An extroverted child, his capacity for learning delighted his parents. They feared that the comparative academic weakness of his elder brother ...

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Armorer, Sir Nicholas (c. 1620–1686), royalist army officer, conspirator, and courtier, was born at Belford, Northumberland, a younger son of Thomas Armorer (d. 1642), of Belford, and his wife, Margaret, daughter of Robert Clavering of Callaly in the same county. Like his brother ...

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Beauclerk, Charles, first duke of St Albans (1670–1726), army officer, the illegitimate son of Charles II and Nell Gwyn, was born at his mother's house in Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, on 8 May 1670. It is said that one day when the king was with ...

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Berkeley, John, first Baron Berkeley of Stratton (bap. 1607, d. 1678), royalist army officer and courtier, was baptized on 1 February 1607 at Hanworth, Middlesex, the fifth son of Sir Maurice Berkeley (1576/7–1617) of Bruton, Somerset, a well-connected but penurious gentleman who died when ...

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Bertie, Montague, second earl of Lindsey (1607/8–1666), royalist nobleman and army officer, was the eldest son of Robert Bertie, first earl of Lindsey (1582–1642), and Elizabeth Montagu (bap. 1586, d. 1654). He was educated briefly at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, where he was admitted as a fellow-commoner on 1 February 1623. He served as MP for ...

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Bertie, Peregrine, thirteenth Baron Willoughby of Willoughby, Beck, and Eresby (1555–1601), nobleman and soldier, was born on 12 October 1555 in Wesel, Cleves, the only son of Richard Bertie (1517–1582), landowner and religious evangelical, and his wife, Katherine [see Bertie, Katherine, duchess of Suffolk (1519–1580)...

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Biddulph, Sir Thomas Myddleton (1809–1878), courtier and army officer, born on 29 July 1809, was the second son of Robert Biddulph of Ledbury and Charlotte, the daughter and coheir of Richard Myddleton MP, of Chirk Castle, of the old Welsh family of Myddleton...

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Sir Thomas Myddleton Biddulph (1809–1878) by Heinrich von Angeli, 1878 The Royal Collection © 2004 HM Queen Elizabeth II

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H. M. Chichester

revised by K. D. Reynolds

Bowles, Sir George (1787–1876), army officer and courtier, was born at Heale House, Wiltshire, the second son of William Bowles of Heale House, and Dinah Frankland, daughter of Admiral Sir Thomas Frankland, bt. William Bowles was his elder brother. He entered the army...

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Bright, Sir John, baronet (bap. 1619, d. 1688), parliamentarian officer and landowner, was baptized on 14 October 1619, the third but only surviving son of Stephen Bright (1583–1642), of Carbrook, Yorkshire, and his first wife, Joan Westby (d. 1633), daughter of George Westby...

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Brooke, Sir Charles Anthoni Johnson (1829–1917), naval officer and second raja of Sarawak, was born at Berrow vicarage, near Burnham, Somerset, on 3 June 1829, the second son of Francis Charles Johnson (1797–1874), from 1825 vicar of White Lackington, and his wife, Emma Frances Brooke (1802–1870)...

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Sir Frederick Arthur Montague Browning (1896–1965) by Sir Gerald Kelly, 1923 © reserved; private collection; © reserved in the photograph

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Browning, Sir Frederick Arthur Montague (1896–1965), army officer and courtier, often known as Boy Browning, or as Tommy to intimates, was born on 20 December 1896, at 31 Hans Road, Brompton, London, the second child and only son of Frederick Henry Browning and his wife, ...

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Cambridge, Alexander Augustus Frederick William Alfred George, earl of Athlone [formerly Prince Alexander of Teck] (1874–1957), army officer and governor-general of South Africa, was born at Kensington Palace on 14 April 1874, the third son of Princess Mary Adelaide Wilhelmina Elizabeth (1833–1897)...

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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, Thomas, first earl of Exeter (1542–1623), courtier and soldier, was born in Cambridge on 5 May 1542, the eldest son of William Cecil, first Baron Burghley (1520/21–1598), and his first wife, Mary (c.1520–1544), sister of John Cheke. His mother died when he was less than two years old and he never seems to have aroused any affection in his puritanical stepmother, ...

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Thomas Cecil, first earl of Exeter (1542–1623) by unknown artist, c. 1610 The Burghley House Collection. Photograph: Photographic Survey, Courtauld Institute of Art, London

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Clifford, Sir Augustus William James, first baronet (1788–1877), naval officer and court official, was born abroad on 26 May 1788, the illegitimate son of William Cavendish, fifth duke of Devonshire (1748–1811), and Lady Elizabeth Foster (1757–1824) [see Cavendish], daughter of the ...

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Clifford, George, third earl of Cumberland (1558–1605), courtier and privateer, was born on 8 August 1558 in Brougham Castle, Westmorland, the eldest son of Henry Clifford, second earl of Cumberland (1517–1570), and his second wife, Anne (c.1538–1581), daughter of William, third Baron Dacre...