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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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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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Bussy, Sir John (d. 1399), speaker of the House of Commons and courtier, was the son and heir of Sir William Bussy of Hougham, Lincolnshire, and Thistleton, Rutland, and Isabel, daughter of John Paynell of Boothby. Bussy first appears in the records in 1378, when he served overseas under the command of ...

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Campbell, John, second marquess of Breadalbane (1796–1862), politician and courtier, known in his younger days as Lord Glenorchy, and, after his father's elevation to the marquessate in 1831, as earl of Ormelie, was born at Dundee on 26 October 1796. He was the son of ...

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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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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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Charles Douglas, third duke of Queensberry and second duke of Dover (1698–1778) attrib. Thomas Hudson private collection; photograph National Galleries of Scotland

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Douglas, Charles, third duke of Queensberry and second duke of Dover (1698–1778), courtier and politician, the son of James Douglas, second duke of Queensberry and first duke of Dover (1662–1711), and his wife, Mary Boyle (1670/71–1709), daughter of Charles, Lord Clifford, was born at ...

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Erskine, John, eighteenth or second earl of Mar (c. 1562–1634), courtier and politician, was the eldest son of John Erskine, seventeenth or first earl of Mar (d. 1572), and his wife, Annabella Murray (d. 1603). His extensive estates were mainly in Stirlingshire...

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John Erskine, eighteenth or second earl of Mar (c. 1562–1634) attrib. Adam de Colone, 1626 Scottish National Portrait Gallery

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FitzRoy, Charles, second duke of Grafton (1683–1757), courtier and politician, was born at Arlington House, London, on 25 October 1683 and was baptized there on 30 October, the only child of Henry FitzRoy, first duke of Grafton (1663–1690), and his wife, Isabella (1667/8–1723)...

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Foulis, Sir David, first baronet (d. 1642), court official and politician, was the son of Henry Foulis (d. 1571) of Colinton, an advocate, and Margaret Haldane (fl. 1545–1560). Between 1594 and 1602 he was sent by James VI to London six times, primarily to secure payment of the king's English pension but also, in 1601, to offer assistance against the Irish rebels. In October 1598 he was appointed keeper of the king's secret papers. He accompanied ...

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G. B. Smith

revised by H. C. G. Matthew

Fremantle, Sir William Henry (1766–1850), politician and courtier, the youngest son of John Fremantle (d. 1784) of Aston Abbots, Buckinghamshire, and his wife, Frances, daughter of John Edwards of Bristol, was born on 28 December 1766. The naval officer Sir Thomas Francis Fremantle...

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Sir William Henry Fremantle (1766–1850) by Edward Scriven, pubd 1822 (after Abraham Wivell, c. 1820) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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See Gates, Sir John

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Grahme, James (1650–1730), courtier and politician, was born at Norton Conyers, Yorkshire, in March 1650 and baptized on 3 April, the second son of Sir George Grahme, baronet (c.1624–1658), of Netherby, Cumberland, and his wife, Lady Mary Johnston, second daughter of ...