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Brampton, Sir Edward [Duarte Brandão] (c. 1440–1508), soldier and merchant, was born in Lisbon c.1440, reputedly the illegitimate son of Rui Barba and the wife of a Jewish blacksmith. About 1468 he travelled to England and converted to Christianity. As was usual in such cases, the ...

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Bulloch, James Dunwoody (1823–1901), naval officer and merchant, was born near Savannah, Georgia, USA, on 25 June 1823, the son of Major James Stephens Bulloch (1793–1849), a member of the company which owned the pioneer steamship Savannah, and his wife, Hester Amarintha (1797–1831)...

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Burton, William (c. 1608–1673), merchant and naval administrator, came from an obscure and probably humble Norfolk family. Nothing is known of his parents. He was apprenticed to a Yarmouth merchant and became a freeman of the town in 1630, a common councillor by 1641, and an alderman in 1649. ...

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Fenner, George (c. 1540–1618), merchant and privateer, is of unknown parentage. However, the name Fenner was common in west Sussex, and the family into which he was born has been described variously as a mercantile clan in Chichester itself, or as a minor but armigerous gentry family based at ...

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Fenwick [Fenwicke], John (b. in or after 1593, d. c. 1670), merchant and parliamentarian army officer, was a younger son of Roger Fenwick (c.1566–1618), gentleman, of Bitchfield, in the parish of Stamfordham, Northumberland, and his wife, Mabel. His approximate date of birth is derived from that of his elder brother, who was born in 1592 or 1593. ...

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Forbes, James [Jacob] (1580–1656), merchant and army officer in the Swedish service, was the eldest son of Henry Forbes (d. 1605), a soldier, of Thainstone and Margaret Forbes, eldest daughter of William Forbes of Corse and Susanna Stauchan. James was born in ...

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Sir John Hawkins (1532–1595) attrib. Federico Zuccaro, 1591 Plymouth City Art Gallery; photograph National Portrait Gallery, London

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Hawkins, Sir John (1532–1595), merchant and naval commander, was born in Plymouth, the second son of William Hawkins (b. before 1490, d. 1554/5), merchant, sea captain, and shipowner, and his wife, Joan, only child of Roger Trelawny of Brightor, Cornwall.

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Holditch, Abraham (bap. 1639, d. 1678), naval officer and merchant adventurer, was baptized on 12 May 1639 at Totnes, Devon. He was probably the son of William Holditch (d. 1646?) and his wife, Agnes (bap. 1617), formerly Jakes. He married at ...

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Le Mesurier, Havilland (1758–1806), merchant and commissary officer, was born on 8 May 1758 in Guernsey, the youngest of the five sons of John Le Mesurier (1717–1793), hereditary governor of Alderney, and his wife, Martha (d. 1764), the daughter of Peter Dobrée...

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Napier, William John, ninth Lord Napier of Merchistoun (1786–1834), naval officer and trade envoy, the eldest son of Francis Napier, eighth Lord Napier of Merchistoun (1758–1823), and his wife, Maria Margaret, née Clavering (1756?–1821), was born at Kinsale in Ireland on 13 October 1786. He entered the ...

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Parker, William (d. 1618), privateer and merchant, appears to have been born into the minor ranks of the Elizabethan gentry, although his parentage has yet to be traced. His brother John was a man of property in Southampton. On 18 June 1590 William Parker...

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Pepperrell, Sir William, first baronet (1696–1759), army officer and merchant, was born on 27 June 1696 at Kittery Point, Maine (then part of Massachusetts), the sixth of eight children of William Pepperrell (1648–1734), merchant and shipowner, and his wife, Margery (1659–1741), daughter of ...

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Sir William Pepperrell, first baronet (1696–1759) by John Smibert, 1746 photography courtesy Peabody Essex Museum

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Poyer, John (d. 1649), merchant and army officer, was a Welshman from near Narberth in Pembrokeshire. About 1640 he was both a wealthy merchant regularly trading with Bristol and an industrial entrepreneur who claimed to employ 'more poor … in making cloth than any other man in those parts' (...

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Russell, Sir William, first baronet (c. 1575–1654), merchant and naval administrator, was, as evidence submitted by him to chancery suggests, born about 1575, the eldest of the five sons of William Russell (d. 1591) of Egham, Surrey, and Joan Saunders. A slender inheritance comprising a property in ...

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Savage, Thomas (c. 1607–1682), merchant and army officer, was born in England. Although nothing definite can be established about his parentage, he was described by Edward Randolph as 'a gentleman of very good family in England' (CSP col., 9.408). By 1635 he was resident in the parish of ...

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Sedgwick, Robert (bap. 1613, d. 1656), merchant and army officer, was baptized on 6 May 1613 in Woburn, Bedfordshire, the son of William Sedgwick (d. 1632) and his wife, Elizabeth Howe, and brother of William Sedgwick (bap. 1609, d. 1663/4). He emigrated to ...

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Watson, Sir Brook, first baronet (1735–1807), merchant and army official, born at Plymouth on 7 February 1735, was the only son of John Watson of Hull and his second wife, Sarah Schofield. He was left an orphan in 1741, was sent to Boston...

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Watts, Sir John (c. 1550–1616), merchant and privateer, was the son of Thomas Watts of Buntingford in Hertfordshire, where he was born. He married Margaret Hawes, daughter of Sir James Hawes, who was lord mayor of London from 1574 to 1575. They had eight children, four sons and four daughters....