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Thomas Britton (1644–1714) by John Wollaston, 1703 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Britton, Thomas (1644–1714), concert promoter, book collector, and coal merchant, was born on 14 January 1644 at Rushden near Higham Ferrers, Northamptonshire. He migrated to London where he apprenticed himself to a ‘small-coal’ (slack-coal, or charcoal) merchant near St John the Baptist's Street...