SUBALBUM:  Margaret Cavendish Bentinck, Duchess of Portland

According to her Wikipedia article:  "Margaret Cavendish Bentinck, Duchess of Portland (Welbeck Abbey, 11 February 1715 – 17 July 1785, Bulstrode Park, Buckinghamshire), styled Lady Margaret Harley before 1734, Duchess of Portland from 1734 to her husband's death in 1761, and Dowager Duchess of Portland from 1761 until her own death in 1785.

She grew up surrounded by books, paintings, sculpture and famous writers at Wimpole Hall, where as a child she collected pets and natural history objects such as shells.

The duchess was the richest woman in Great Britain of her time and had the largest natural history collection in the country, complete with its own curator, the parson-naturalist and botanist John Lightfoot, and the collector of shells and insects, Daniel Solander. Her collection included costly art objects including the Portland Vase. Her ambition for her collection was for it to contain and to describe every living species.

She was a member of the Bluestockings, a group of intellectual women aristocrats."

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