English politician and founder of the Whig party (1621-1683)Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury PC (22 July 1621 – 21 January 1683; known as Anthony Ashley Cooper from 1621 to 1630, as Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper, 2nd Baronet from 1630 to 1661, and as The Lord Ashley from 1661 to 1672) was a prominent English politician during the Interregnum and the reign of King Charles II. Anthony Ashley Cooper was born in Dorset in 1621, and he would maintain important links with Dorset throughout his political career. Cooper was the eldest son and successor of Sir John Cooper, 1st Baronet, of Rockbourne in Hampshire, and his mother was the former Anne Ashley, daughter and sole heiress of Sir Anthony Ashley, 1st Baronet.  He was named Anthony Ashley Cooper because of a promise the couple had made to Sir Anthony.  Upon his father's death, he inherited his father's baronetcy and was now Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper.
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