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Anthony Ashley Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury

Anthony Ashley Cooper, 7th Earl of Shaftesbury (1801-1885) was an English philanthropist, the best-known of the Victorian era.

Born in London, he was educated at Harrow School and Christ Church College, Oxford. He became an MP in 1826, and almost immediately became a leader of the movement for factory reform. He was largely responsible for the Factory Acts[?] of 1847, 1850, and 1859, as well as the Coal Mines Act[?] of 1842 and the Lunacy Act[?] of 1845. One of his chief interests was the welfare of children, and he was chairman of the Ragged Schools Union[?] and a keen supporter of Florence Nightingale.

The Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain in Piccadilly Circus, London, erected in 1893, was designed to commemorate his philanthropic works. The Memorial is crowned by Alfred Gilbert[?]'s aluminium statue of a nude, winged archer. This is officially titled The Angel of Christian Charity, but has become popularly known as Eros. The use of a nude figure on a public monument was controversial at the time, but the statue has become a London icon and appears on the masthead of the Evening Standard.

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