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Sir George Howland Beaumont, seventh baronet (1753–1827) by John Hoppner, 1803–8 © The National Gallery, London

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Beaumont, Sir George Howland, seventh baronet (1753–1827), art patron and landscape painter, was born on 6 November 1753, at Dunmow, Essex, the only surviving son of Sir George Beaumont, sixth baronet (1726–1762), landowner, and his wife, Rachel (1717/18–1814), daughter of Michael Howland of ...

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Margaret Cavendish Bentinck [Lady Margaret Cavendish Harley], duchess of Portland (1715–1785) by Joseph Brown, pubd 1861 (after Christian Friedrich Zincke, 1738) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bentinck, Margaret Cavendish [née Lady Margaret Cavendish Harley], duchess of Portland (1715–1785), collector of art and natural history specimens and patron of arts and sciences, was born on 11 February 1715 in London, the only surviving child of Edward Harley, later second earl of Oxford...

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Richard Boyle, third earl of Burlington and fourth earl of Cork (1694–1753) by Jonathan Richardson the elder, c. 1717–19 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Boyle, Richard, third earl of Burlington and fourth earl of Cork (1694–1753), architect, collector, and patron of the arts, was born on 25 April 1694 at Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, the only son of Charles Boyle, second earl of Burlington and third earl of Cork...

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Elizabeth Christiana Cavendish, duchess of Devonshire (1757–1824) by Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1787 Chatsworth House. Photograph: Photographic Survey, Courtauld Institute of Art, London

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Cavendish [née Hervey; other married name Foster], Elizabeth Christiana, duchess of Devonshire (1757–1824), society hostess and patron of the arts, was the middle daughter of Frederick Augustus Hervey, fourth earl of Bristol (1730–1803), and his wife, Elizabeth Davers (1730–1800), and was known for most her life as ...

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William Cavendish, first duke of Newcastle upon Tyne (bap. 1593, d. 1676) by Abraham van Diepenbeck [with Bolsover Castle in the background] © Copyright The British Museum

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Cavendish, William, first duke of Newcastle upon Tyne (bap. 1593, d. 1676), writer, patron, and royalist army officer, was born at Handsworth Manor, Yorkshire, and was baptized in the parish on 16 December 1593. He was the second of three children, the first having died in infancy, of ...

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Cole, Sir Ralph, second baronet (bap. 1629, d. 1704), painter and patron of the arts, was baptized on 3 November 1629. Of his six sons, Ralph was the first surviving son and heir of Sir Nicholas Cole, first baronet (d. 1669), of ...

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Thomas Combe (1796–1872) by Sir John Everett Millais, 1850 Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

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Combe, Thomas (1796–1872), printer and patron of the arts, was born on 21 July 1796 in Leicester, the second of six children of Thomas Combe, the town's leading bookseller, and his wife, Theodosia (née Dalby). He had an older sister, three younger sisters, and a younger brother. He was educated at ...

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Spencer Joshua Alwyne Compton, second marquess of Northampton (1790–1851) by David Octavius Hill and Robert Adamson, 1844 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Compton, Spencer Joshua Alwyne, second marquess of Northampton (1790–1851), patron of science and the arts, was born on 2 January 1790 at Erlestoke Park, Wiltshire, the second son of Charles Compton, ninth earl and first marquess of Northampton, and Mary, only daughter of ...

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Samuel Courtauld (1876–1947) by Fayer, mid-1930s © reserved; unknown collection; photograph National Portrait Gallery, London

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Courtauld, Samuel (1876–1947), industrialist and patron of the arts, was born at Bocking, Essex, on 7 May 1876, the second son of Sydney Courtauld, a silk manufacturer, and his wife, Sarah Lucy, the daughter of William Sharp. The Courtaulds had arrived in England...

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Davison, George (1855–1930), photographer, political activist, and patron of the arts, was born in Kirkley, Suffolk, on 19 September 1855, the fourth child of William Davison (1816–1889), a shipwright and carpenter originally from Sunderland. His mother, Eliza, née Miller (1825–c.1900), supplemented the family income by taking in boarders, and his sisters ...

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Dilke, Sir (Charles) Wentworth, first baronet (1810–1869), art patron, was born in London on 18 February 1810, the only son of the civil servant, art critic, and Daily News editor Charles Wentworth Dilke (1789–1864) and his wife, Maria Walker (1790–1850). He was known as ...

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Drewe [formerly Drew], Julius Charles (1856–1931), retailer and architectural patron, was born on 4 April 1856 at Pulloxhill vicarage, Pulloxhill, Ampthill, Bedfordshire, the sixth child in a family of four sons and three daughters of the Revd George Smith Drew (d. 1880)...