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Ronald Lindsay Prain

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Beatty, Sir (Alfred) Chester (1875–1968), mining engineer and art collector, was born on 7 February 1875 in New York city, the youngest of the three sons of John Cuming Beatty, banker, of New York city, and his wife, Hetty, daughter of William Gedney Bull...

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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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Brett, John Watkins (1805–1863), art collector and telegraph engineer, was born in Bristol, one of at least seven children of William Brett, cabinet-maker. By the age of twelve his enthusiasm for the fine arts was so great that his parents put him under the tuition of ...

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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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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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Hope, Frederick William (1797–1862), entomologist and collector of insects and engravings, was born on 3 January 1797 at 37 Upper Seymour Street, Portman Square, London, the second son of John Thomas Hope (1761–1854) of Netley Hall, Shropshire, and Ellen Hester Mary, only child of ...

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Impey [née Reade], Mary, Lady Impey (1749–1818), natural historian and patron of the arts, was born on 2 March 1749, the daughter of Sir John Reade (1721–1773) of Shipton Court, Oxfordshire, and his wife, Harriet, née Barker (d. 1811). She was the eldest of three children—the others, ...

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Lloyd, Robert Wylie (1868–1958), collector and mountaineer, was born at Grove House, Oswaldtwistle, Blackburn, Lancashire, the only son of John Lloyd, a calico printer, and his wife, Rachel Wylie (1844–1890). His grandfather was Nathaniel Lloyd, a successful calico printer at Church, Accrington. His father and mother separated, and he was brought up by his mother in reduced circumstances at ...

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Nodder, Frederick Polydore (fl. 1773–1800), botanical artist and publisher, is said to have been of German extraction, but nothing certain is known of his birth or early life. He is first recorded, together with his wife, Elizabeth, on 5 September 1773, when his son ...

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Power, Edward Joseph [Ted] (1899–1993), radio engineer and art collector, was born on 11 September 1899 at Maryborough, Queen's county, Ireland, one of the four children of Patrick Power, an army sergeant in the Leinster regiment, and his wife, Jane, formerly Heart. The family moved to ...

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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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Sowerby, James (1757–1822), natural history artist, publisher, and collector, was born on 21 March 1757, at 2 Bolt-in-Tun Passage, Fleet Street, London, the son of John Sowerby (1719–1766), a lapidary, and his wife, Arabella Goodreed (1725–1782). He was educated at a day school, where he often made models during his lessons that he could sell. When he was fourteen friends provided ...

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James Sowerby (1757–1822) by J. C. Edwards (after Thomas Heaphy, 1816) ? National Portrait Gallery, London