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Bethel, Slingsby (bap. 1617, d. 1697), merchant and political economist, was baptized in Alne, in the North Riding of Yorkshire, on 27 February 1617, a younger son of Sir Walter Bethel (d. 1622), gentleman, and Mary Slingsby (1582–1662), daughter of Sir Henry Slingsby...

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Bowdoin, James (1726–1790), merchant and revolutionary politician in America, was born on 7 August 1726 in Boston, Massachusetts, the youngest child of James Bowdoin (1676–1747), a prosperous merchant and landowner, and his second wife, Hannah Portage (d. 1734). Known in his youth as ...

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Clitherow, Sir Christopher (1577/8–1641), merchant and politician, was the only son of Henry Clitherow (d. 1608), a merchant, of the parish of St Andrew Undershaft, London, and his first wife, Bridget, the daughter of Thomas Hewett. He was presumably descended from Richard...

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Crisp, Sir Nicholas, first baronet (c. 1599–1666), merchant and royalist, was the son of Ellis Crisp (d. 1625) of Hammersmith (but descended from a Gloucestershire landed family), a prominent merchant, alderman, and sheriff of London in 1625, and his wife, Hester. Crisp...

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Garrard, Sir Samuel, fourth baronet (1651–1725), politician and merchant, was the sixth child and fourth son of Sir John Garrard, second baronet (d. 1686), of Lamer, landowner, and his wife, Jane (1617–1692), daughter of Sir Moulton Lambard of Westcombe, Kent, and his wife, ...

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Gladstone [Gladstones], Sir John, first baronet (1764–1851), merchant and politician, was born John Gladstones on 11 December 1764 in Leith, the eldest son of the sixteen children (four dying in infancy) of Thomas Gladstones (1732–1809), a merchant in Leith, and his wife, Nelly (1739–1806)...

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Heathcote, Sir Gilbert, first baronet (1652–1733), merchant and politician, was born on 2 January 1652, the eldest son of Gilbert Heathcote, ironmonger of Chesterfield, Derbyshire, and Anne, daughter of George Dickons of Chesterfield. Several generations of his family were interested in Derbyshire lead mining. ...

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Hodges, Sir William, first baronet (c. 1645–1714), merchant and politician, was born about 1645, the son of John Hodges of Cotherstock, or Cotterstock, in Northamptonshire. Little is known of his family background beyond the information supplied when he received a grant of arms in 1698, and it seems likely that his origins were humble. He married in 1681 (by licence granted on 25 April) ...

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Laurens, Henry (1724–1792), revolutionary politician in America and merchant, was born on 6 March 1724 in Charles Town, South Carolina, the first son and third of the six children of Esther (Hester) Grasset (1700–1742) and John Samuel Laurens (1696–1747). Descended from French Huguenot refugees, the family had moved to ...

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Leman, Sir John (1544–1632), merchant and mayor of London, was born at Saxlingham, Norfolk, a younger son of John Leman of Beccles in Suffolk and the neighbouring Norfolk village of Gillingham, and his wife, Mary, the daughter of John Alston of Pevenham in ...

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Myddelton [Middleton], Sir Thomas (1549x56–1631), merchant and politician, was the fourth son and one of the sixteen children of Richard Myddelton (d. c.1578), MP and governor of Denbigh, who in that capacity served the earl of Leicester as a lieutenant in ...

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Pitt, Thomas (1653–1726), merchant and politician, was born at Blandford, Dorset, on 5 July 1653, the second son of John Pitt (d. 1672), the local rector, and his wife, Sarah, the daughter of John Jay of West Hemsworth, Witchampton, Dorset. His early trading career remains obscure, but in 1673 he sailed to ...

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Scawen, Sir William (1646/7–1722), merchant and politician, was born in St Germans, Cornwall, the fifth son of Robert Scawen (1602–1670) of Horton, Buckinghamshire, and his wife, Catherine, daughter of Cavendish Alsop, a London merchant. His younger brother Thomas 1654–1730 [see below]...

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Spencer, Sir John (d. 1610), merchant and lord mayor of London, was the son of Richard Spencer of Waldingfield in Suffolk, but details of his family background and early years are not known. There is no record of his London apprenticeship or freedom, but he entered the livery of the ...

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Wentworth, Benning (1696–1770), merchant and colonial governor, was born on 24 July 1696 at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the eldest of the fourteen children of John Wentworth (1672–1730), merchant and lieutenant-governor of New Hampshire, and his wife, Sarah (1674–1741), daughter of Mark Hunking of ...

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Yale, Elihu (1649–1721), merchant and administrator in India and benefactor, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on 5 April 1649, the second son of David Yale (1614–1690) of Denbighshire, merchant, and Ursula Yale (b. c.1624). In 1652 Elihu's family returned to Britain...