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Ainslie, Sir Robert, first baronet (1729/30–1812), diplomatist and numismatist, was the third son of George Ainslie (d. 1773), merchant, and his wife, Jean, daughter of Sir Philip Anstruther of Anstrutherfield, Fife. He grew up with his two brothers and five sisters in ...

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William George Aston (1841–1911) by Minnie Agnes Cohen, 1911 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Aston, William George (1841–1911), diplomatist and Japanese and Korean scholar, was born on 9 April 1841 near Londonderry, one of the five children of George Robert Aston, minister of the Unitarian Church of Ireland and schoolmaster. He was educated at Saintfield national school...

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Barlow, Joel (1754–1812), poet and diplomatist, was born on 24 March 1754 at Redding, Connecticut, the fourth child of Samuel Barlow, farmer, and his second wife, Esther Hull. For several generations the Barlow family maintained a reputation as respectable farmers in America, and ...

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Barton, Edward (1562/3–1598), diplomat, was born in 1562 or 1563, being thirty-five at his death in 1598. Armorial bearings on his tombstone suggest that he belonged to the family of Bartons of Smithhills Hall, Bolton, Lancashire. He had at least one elder brother, ...

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Biondi, Sir Giovanni Francesco (1572–1644), diplomat and romance writer, was born at Lesina (now Hvar), Croatia. His family, whose surname was Biundović until the 1600s, was noble but of modest means. Giovanni took a law degree at Padua and, after a period in ...

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Armand de Bourbon, marquis de Miremont (1655–1732) by unknown artist courtesy of Mrs Shirley Stack

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Bourbon, Armand de, marquis de Miremont (1655–1732), army officer and diplomat, was born on 12 July 1655 at the château of Lacaze in Languedoc, southern France, the second of the five children of Louis de Bourbon, second marquis de Malauze (1608–1667), and his second wife, ...

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Bradshaw, Richard (bap. 1610, d. 1685), merchant and diplomat, was baptized at Pennington, Aspull, Lancashire, on 25 August 1610; his parents are unknown. A merchant of Chester, he was elected to the common council of the city on 14 July 1637, replacing Randle Finchett...

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Stanley Lane-Poole

revised by William Ronald Braithwaite

Braithwaite, John (1696–1740), soldier and diplomatist, was the second of three sons born to John Braithwaite (1666–1739), a member of a prominent Westmorland family, and his wife, Silvestra Cooke (d. 1739). In his preface to his History of the Revolutions in the Empire of Morocco...

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Bunsen, Christian Karl Josias von, Baron von Bunsen in the Prussian nobility (1791–1860), diplomatist and scholar, was born on 25 August 1791 in Korbach, in the German principality of Waldeck, the only child of Heinrich Christian Bunsen (1743–1820), a regimental officer, and his second wife, ...

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Carnegie, Sir Robert, of Kinnaird (d. 1566), diplomat and judge, was the son of John Carnegie of Kinnaird (d. 1513) and Jane Vaus. He inherited the family estates in Forfarshire on his father's death. He married Margaret Guthrie, the daughter of a north-east laird, and they had at least three sons. He also had an illegitimate son, ...

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Caron, Sir Noel de (b. before 1530, d. 1624), diplomat, was born in Flanders, probably the son of Jacques Caron van Schonewalle, who was from 1530 magistraat of the Brugge Vrije (the free region of Bruges). Through a convoluted family connection he was related to ...

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Cathcart, Charles Schaw, ninth Lord Cathcart (1721–1776), army officer and diplomat, was born in Edinburgh on 21 March 1721, the third but eldest surviving son of Charles Cathcart eighth Lord Cathcart (1685/6–1740), and his first wife, Marion Schaw (1700–1733), the daughter of ...

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See Duncan, Mark

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Clarke, Edward (d. 1630), courtier and diplomat, appears in the state papers as Ned; his family origins and details of his early life are unknown. His career at court appears to have begun in the post of groom in the bedchamber of James VI and I...

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Cunningham, Alexander (1654–1737), historian and diplomat, has often been confused with the critic and jurist of the same name (c.1650–1730), especially as they in some ways had parallel lives, and knew the same people. His parentage is uncertain: Alexander was a favourite Christian name among several branches of the house of ...

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Downing, Sir George, first baronet (1623–1684), diplomat and financial reformer, was born in Dublin in August 1623, the son of Emmanuel Downing (1585–1659), attorney and clerk, of the Inner Temple and Lucy (1601–1679), sister of John Winthrop, first governor of the colony of ...

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H. R. Luard

revised by Elizabeth Baigent

Dutens, Louis (1730–1812), diplomatist and writer, was born at Tours on 15 January 1730, one of seven children in a Huguenot family. He was educated by his father. An early love affair, one of many which ended more or less unsuccessfully, caused him to leave home for ...

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Elliot, Hugh (1752–1830), diplomat and adventurer, was born on 6 April 1752, the second son of Sir Gilbert Elliot, third baronet (1722–1777), MP, and Agnes Dalrymple-Murray-Kynynmound (d. 1778). Born into a family of staunch but minor government supporters, he was one of a number of Scotsmen who carved out a career in second- and third-level posts in the British diplomatic service. On several occasions his bold personality and sharp tongue carried him further than discretion would have advised, though these episodes also provided the highlights of a career lacking in substantial achievements. Unusually tall and thin, ...