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Richard Fitzwilliam, seventh Viscount Fitzwilliam of Merrion (1745–1816) by Joseph Wright of Derby, 1764 Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge, UK; photograph Bridgeman Art Library

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Fitzwilliam, Richard, seventh Viscount Fitzwilliam of Merrion (1745–1816), benefactor and musical antiquary, was born on 1 August 1745 at Richmond, Surrey, the eldest son of Richard Fitzwilliam, sixth Viscount Fitzwilliam of Merrion (d. 1776), and Catherine (c.1710–1786), eldest daughter and coheir of the Dutch-born merchant and political economist ...

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Parry, Thomas Gambier (1816–1888), benefactor and art collector, was born on 22 February 1816 in Cadogan Place, Belgravia, London, the only child of Richard Parry (1776–1817) and Mary Gambier (d. 1821), daughter of Samuel Gambier and niece of James, Admiral Lord Gambier...

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Thomas Gambier Parry (1816–1888) by Margaret Sarah Carpenter, 1833–5 in the collection of T. Fenton

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Pretty [née Dempster], Edith May (1883–1942), landowner and benefactor, was born on 1 August 1883 at Elland, near Halifax, Yorkshire, the second daughter of Robert Dempster (d. 1925), then a gas engineer employed in his father's company, and his wife, Elizabeth, ...

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Edith May Pretty (1883–1942) by unknown photographer, c.1939 © National Trust Images / Sutton Hoo

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Slade, Felix (1790–1868), art collector and benefactor, was born in August 1790 at Lambeth, the second son of Robert Slade (d. 1835), proctor in Doctors' Commons and deputy lieutenant for Surrey, and his wife, Eliza, daughter and heir of Edward Foxcroft of ...

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James Lewis Smithson (1764–1829) by Henri-Joseph Johns, 1816 National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

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Smithson [formerly Macie], James Lewis (1764–1829), mineralogist and benefactor, was born Jacques Louis Macie in Paris in early 1764, the illegitimate son of a long-term liaison between Hugh Percy (formerly Smithson), second earl and later first duke of Northumberland (bap. 1712, d. 1786)...

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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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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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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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Tate, Sir Henry, first baronet (1819–1899), sugar refiner and benefactor, was born at Chorley in Lancashire on 11 March 1819, the eleventh child of the Revd William Tate (1773–1836), and his wife, Agnes, daughter of Nathaniel Booth of Gildestone, Yorkshire. Tate's parents had twelve children in all, four having died before ...

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Sir Henry Tate, first baronet (1819–1899) by Sir Hubert von Herkomer, 1897 © Tate, London, 2004