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William Adam (1751–1839) by Sir Henry Raeburn photograph by courtesy Sotheby's Picture Library, London

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Adam, William (1751–1839), politician and advocate, was born on 2 August 1751, the son of John Adam (1721–1792), architect, of Blair Adam, Kinross-shire, and Jean (1721–1795), daughter of John Ramsay of Woodstone, Kincardineshire; he was the nephew of the architects Robert and James Adam...

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Alexander, James (1691–1756), lawyer and politician, was born on 27 May 1691 at Muthill, Perthshire, Scotland, the son of David Alexander. His mother's name is unknown. His grandfather was a descendant of the first earl of Stirling, but his father had no claim to be counted among the nobility. ...

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Alford, Francis (c. 1530–1592), civil lawyer and member of parliament, was the second son of Robert Alford (d. 1546) and his wife, Anne Brydges. He gained a BA degree at Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1549 and was admitted to Christ Church, Oxford...

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Sidney Lee

revised by K. D. Reynolds

Anstey, Thomas Chisholm (1816–1873), lawyer and politician, was the second son of Thomas Anstey (1777–1851), one of the earliest settlers in Van Diemen's Land, and his wife, Mary Turnbull (d. 1862), and was born in Kentish Town, London. He received his early education in ...

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Archer, Peter Kingsley, Baron Archer of Sandwell (1926–2012), barrister and politician, was born on 20 November 1926 in Great Western Street, Wednesbury, Staffordshire, the only child of Cyril Kingsley Archer (1897–1974), tool setter, and his wife, May, née Baker (1896–1976). His parents encouraged him to spend time in the library, instilling a lifelong love of books. He also became committed to Methodism and was later a lifelong Methodist lay preacher. At the age of sixteen he completed his schooling at ...

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G. W. T. Omond

revised by H. C. G. Matthew

Asher, Alexander (1834–1905), lawyer and politician, was born at Inveravon, Banffshire, on 27 January 1834, the third son and fifth child in the family of five sons and four daughters of William Asher DD (1791–1874), parish minister of Inveravon, and his wife, Katherine Forbes (...

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Thompson Cooper

revised by H. J. Spencer

Atherton, Sir William (1806–1864), lawyer and politician, was born at Glasgow in October 1806, the son of the Revd William Atherton (1775–1850), a Wesleyan minister, and Margaret, daughter of Walter Morison, a minister of the established Church of Scotland. He was educated in ...

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See Bacon, Sir Nathaniel

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Baillie, Charles, Lord Jerviswoode (1804–1879), lawyer and politician, was born at Mellerstain, Berwickshire, on 3 November 1804, the second son of George Baillie of Mellerstain, Berwickshire, and of Jerviswoode, Lanarkshire, and his wife, Mary, the youngest daughter of Sir James Pringle, baronet, of ...

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Balfour, John Blair, first Baron Kinross (1837–1905), advocate and politician, born at Clackmannan on 11 July 1837, was the second son (in a family of two sons and a daughter) of Peter Balfour (1794–1862), parish minister of that place, and his wife, Jane Ramsay (...

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G. V. Benson

revised by H. C. G. Matthew

Bankes, George (1787–1856), politician and lawyer, was born on 1 December 1787, the third son of Henry Bankes (1757–1834) of Kingston Lacy, Dorset, who represented Corfe Castle for nearly fifty years, and of Frances (1760/61–1823), daughter of William Woodley, governor of the Leeward Islands...

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See Barlow, William Hagger

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Beale family (per. c. 1836–1912), lawyers, businessmen, and politicians, were already a well-established merchant family in Birmingham by the late eighteenth century.

William John Beale (1807–1883), the founder of Beale & Co., solicitors, of Birmingham and London, was the younger son of ...

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See Beale family

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Beck, Gabriel (d. 1662?), lawyer and politician, was the son of Job Beck (b. 1564/5, d. in or before 1619) of Woodstanway, Gloucestershire. He was admitted to Lincoln's Inn on 5 May 1632, with the help of Richard Barnard and Hugh Wyndham...

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Sir Mancherjee Merwanjee Bhownaggree (1851–1933) by Sir Benjamin Stone, 1897 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bhownaggree, Sir Mancherjee Merwanjee (1851–1933), lawyer and politician, was born at Bombay on 15 August 1851, the son of Merwanjee N. Bhownaggree (d. c.1872), a Parsi merchant in Bombay of Persian origin, and his wife Cooverbai (d. 1896). Bhownaggree's father had risen from obscurity as a small-town postmaster to become head of the ...

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Geoffrey Henry Cecil Bing (1909–1977) by Bassano, 1946 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bing, Geoffrey Henry Cecil (1909–1977), barrister and politician, was born on 24 July 1909 at Craigavad near Belfast, the only son and elder child of Geoffrey Bing, headmaster of Rockport School and Orange lodge supporter, of Rockport, Craigavad, co. Down, and his wife, ...