John Cecil 6th Earl of Exeter: Birth: 15 MAY 1674. Death: 24 DEC 1721
Note: Known as Lord Burghley until 1678, was a British peer and Member of Parliament. He was also known as the Travelling Earl. He was educated at Stamford School and St John's College, Cambridge. He was elected to the House of Commons for Northamptonshire in 1675, a seat he held until 1678 when he succeeded his father in the earldom and entered the House of Lords. He was a notable Grand Tourist and filled his family home, Burghley House, with treasures purchased on his travels in Italy. He married an energetic, strong-willed and immensely wealthy heiress, Anne Cavendish. Together, they radically changed the interior of Burghley, filling new rooms with spectacular works of art, many of which they gathered on four extended Grand Tours of France and Italy. Their purchases were remarkable, and fortunately many remain there, but they were extravagant. After their deaths, the estate suffered for 50 years from the huge debt caused by their enthusiastic buying sprees. Wisely, the 8th Earl married a great heiress, allowing his son, Brownlow, the 9th Earl (1725-1793), who succeeded in 1754, to follow in his greatgrandfather�s footsteps, sometimes literally, for he, too, travelled to Italy where he quickly became involved with the considerable group of artists, collectors and dilettanti based in Rome. He visited most of the great palaces and studied their collections in detail. He met and patronised artists such as Gavin Hamilton and Angelica Kauffman, who painted his portrait. During 1763-4 and 1768, as well as buying a number of great paintings, most of which remain at Burghley, Lord Exeter sought out excellent �souvenirs� of his visit, purchasing items of the highest quality to add to his collection at home.
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