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Antonin Besse (1877–1951) by unknown photographer courtesy of St Antony's College, Oxford

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Besse, Antonin (1877–1951), entrepreneur and benefactor, was born on 26 June 1877 at Carcassonne in southern France, the third son and fourth child in the family of four boys and three girls of Pierre Besse, leather merchant, and his wife, Marie Bonnafous. In failing health ...

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Brame [née Law], Charlotte Mary (1836–1884), novelist and benefactor, was born on 1 November 1836, at Rosary House, 35 Castle Street, Hinckley, Leicestershire, the eldest of the nine children of Benjamin Law (1814–1859), superintendent registrar and clerk to the Poor Law Union...

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Cornwallis, Anne, countess of Argyll (d. 1635), Roman Catholic benefactor and supposed author, was the daughter of Sir William Cornwallis (c.1551–1611) of Brome, Suffolk, and his wife, Lucy, daughter of John Neville, fourth Baron Latimer (d. 1577); the essayist Sir William Cornwallis (c. 1579–1614)...

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Ellis, Thomas (d. 1562), merchant and benefactor, appears to have been a Yorkshireman by birth. His origins were assiduously investigated by several nineteenth-century genealogists, but with limited success, and the most that can be said is that the arms granted him in 1549 suggest kinship with the ...

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Hare, Robert (c. 1530–1611), antiquary and benefactor of Cambridge University, was the second of the three sons of Sir Nicholas Hare (d. 1557), master of the rolls, and Katherine, daughter of Sir John Bassingbourne. He matriculated as a fellow-commoner of Gonville Hall, Cambridge...

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See Holland, Francis James

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Menzies, John, of Pitfodels (1756–1843), benefactor, was born on 15 August 1756, the last member of a Roman Catholic family long resident at Pitfodels, Aberdeenshire. His father had died earlier in 1756, and Menzies was raised by his mother, a member of the house of ...

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See Petre family

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Sir Thomas Pope (c. 1507–1559) attrib. William Stretes, c. 1545 The President and Fellows of Trinity College, Oxford

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Pope, Sir Thomas (c. 1507–1559), founder of Trinity College, Oxford, was the elder son of William Pope, a yeoman of Deddington, Oxfordshire, and of his second wife, Margaret, daughter of Edmund Yates of Standlake, Oxfordshire. At his death in 1523, William Pope's estate was valued at ...

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Rylands [née Tennant], Enriqueta Augustina (1843–1908), founder of the John Rylands Library, Manchester, was born on 31 May 1843 in Havana, Cuba, one of the five children of Stephen Cattley Tennant (1800–1848), a partner in a Liverpool mercantile firm, and Juana Camila Dalcour (1818–1855)...

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Stuart, John Crichton-, sixth marquess of Bute (1933–1993), benefactor and patron of the arts, was born at 10 Charles Street, Mayfair, London, at 9.50 a.m. on 27 February 1933, fifteen minutes before his twin brother, David; they were the two eldest among the four children of ...

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John Patrick Crichton- Stuart, third marquess of Bute (1847–1900) by Thomas Rodger [in the robes of rector of St Andrews University] © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Stuart, John Patrick Crichton-, third marquess of Bute (1847–1900), civic benefactor and patron of architecture, was born at Mount Stuart, Isle of Bute, Scotland, on 12 September 1847. He was the only child of John Crichton-Stuart, second marquess (1793–1848), and his second wife, ...

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Nicholas Wadham (1531/22–1609) by unknown artist, 1595 The Lord Egremont. Photograph: Photographic Survey, Courtauld Institute of Art, London

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Wadham, Nicholas (1531/2–1609), benefactor of Wadham College, Oxford, was probably born at the family seat, Merrifield, near Ilton, Somerset, the only son of John Wadham (d. 1578) and his wife, Joan (d. 1583), daughter of John Tregarthin and widow of John Kellaway...

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Weld, Thomas (1750–1810), landowner and benefactor, was born on 24 August 1750 at Lulworth Castle, Dorset, the fourth son of Edward Weld (1705–1761) and Mary, née Vaughan (1713–1754). The Weld family originally came from Cheshire and bought the Lulworth estate, including the castle (built in 1610) from the ...

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White, Sir Thomas (1495?–1567), founder of St John's College, Oxford, was in all likelihood born in 1495 to William White (d. 1523), a clothier of Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, and his wife, Mary, daughter of John Kebblewhite of South Fawley, Buckinghamshire. His birthplace has been disputed, but was probably ...