Of obscure family origins, by the 1730s Duane had established himself as a 'chamber counsel' and conveyancer in Newcastle and London. He married Dorothy Dawson in 1742. He became a member of Lincoln's Inn in 1748. Amongst his pupils were Lord Eldon and Charles Butler. Duane was a Fellow of the Royal Society and of the Society of Antiquaries, and a trustee of the British Museum, and had a reputation as a leading collector of coins and medals.
- D. G. C. Allan, ‘Duane, Matthew (1707–1785)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004, accessed 8 May 2007
- bio at The Twickenham Museum
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