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Angerstein, John Julius (c. 1732–1823), insurance broker and connoisseur of art, was of Russian extraction, though his precise origins are obscure. According to family tradition he took his surname from the German doctor who delivered him, and his parents were the Empress Anne...

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John Julius Angerstein (c. 1732–1823) by Sir Thomas Lawrence, c. 1790–95 ? The National Gallery, London

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Edward Backwell (c. 1619–1683) by unknown engraver, pubd 1797 ? Copyright The British Museum

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Backwell, Edward (c. 1619–1683), goldsmith and banker, the son of Barnaby Backwell of Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, a yeoman, was apprenticed in 1635 to Thomas Vyner, a leading goldsmith. He became free of the Goldsmiths' Company in 1651, of which he was to be prime warden in 1660....

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Barnes, Isaac Edmestone (1857–1930), land surveyor and businessman, was born on 2 June 1857 in Highholborn Street, Kingston, Jamaica, the eldest legitimate son of William Barnes (1832–1891) and his wife, Amelia, née Johnson (c.1834–1893), coffee planters of Kraal district in the mountains of ...

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Beaumont, John Thomas Barber (1774–1841), artist and founder of insurance offices, was born on 21 December 1774 in Marylebone, Middlesex. His family surname was Barber, but about 1812 he added Beaumont, and thenceforth was usually known as Barber Beaumont. In 1796 he married ...

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Beit, Sir Otto John, first baronet (1865–1930), financier, philanthropist, and art connoisseur, was born on 7 December 1865 in Hamburg, Germany, twelve years after his brother Alfred Beit. He was the third son of Siegfried Beit (1818–1881), silk merchant, and his wife, Laura Caroline Hahn (...

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Sir Otto John Beit, first baronet (1865–1930) by H. Walter Barnett ? National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bendhem, Thomas [Tom] (1928–2002), businessman and art patron, was born on 13 September 1928 in Berlin, the third child and second son of Heinrich (later Henry) Bendhem (1892–1965), owner of coal and wine businesses, and his wife, Elise Charlotte, née Frank (1898–1987). At the age of five, ...

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Benson, Robert Henry [Robin] (1850–1929), merchant banker and art collector, was born on 24 September 1850 at Fairfield House, Fairfield, near Manchester, the eldest of three children of Robert Benson (1814–1875), merchant banker, and his wife, Eleanor (1824–1883), daughter of Vice-Admiral Constantine Moorsom...

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Bicknell, Elhanan (1788–1861), art patron and businessman, was born on 21 December 1788, at 8 Blackman Street, Southwark, London, the second son of William Bicknell (1749–1825) and his wife, Elizabeth, née Randall (1756–1821), of Sevenoaks, Kent. William was a friend of John Wesley...

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Brown, Michael Barratt (1918–2015), economist, educationist, and political activist, was born on 15 March 1918 at Holland House, Woodbrooke, Selly Oak, Birmingham, the eldest of four children of Alfred Barratt Brown (1887–1947), educationist, and his wife (Doris) Eileen, née Cockshott (...

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Sir Francis Child the elder (1641/22–1713) by unknown artist ? National Portrait Gallery, London

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Child, Sir Francis, the elder (1641/2–1713), goldsmith and banker, was baptized on 14 December 1642, the sixth son of Robert Child, clothier of Heddington, near Devizes, Wiltshire, and his wife, Jane. He had eight brothers and two sisters. On 6 March 1657 Child...

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Cox, James (c. 1723–1800), jeweller and entrepreneur, was born in London, the son of Henry Cox (c.1691–1746), tailor of Broad Street, and his wife, Frances, née Matthews. He was apprenticed in 1738 to Humphry Pugh, goldsmith of Fleet Street and freeman of the ...

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Dangoor, Sir Naim Eliahou (1914–2015), businessman and philanthropist, was born on 17 April 1914 in Baghdad, then part of the Ottoman Empire, the second in the family of six children of Eliahou Dangoor (1883–1976), printer and publisher, and his wife, Khatoun, ...