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Ashworth, Edmund (1800–1881), cotton manufacturer and free-trade activist, was born on 17 November 1800 at Birtenshaw, Turton, near Bolton, the fifth of the eleven children of John Ashworth (1772–1855), farmer, land agent, and cotton spinner, and his wife, Isabel Thomasson (1772–1852). Edmund was a younger brother of ...

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Bellers, John (1654–1725), political economist and cloth merchant, was probably born in Philpot Lane, near Gracechurch Street, London, the eldest of three children of Francis Bellers (1616–1679), merchant and Quaker, and his wife, Mary Read. His father was from Alcester, Warwickshire, and, besides accumulating substantial wealth as a merchant and trader after his migration to ...

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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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Slingsby Bethel (bap. 1617, d. 1697) by William Sherwin, 1680 © Copyright The British Museum

Article

Cazenove, John (1788–1879), merchant and political economist, was born in London on 12 May 1788. He was the third son of James Cazenove (1744–1827), a merchant of French Huguenot origin, who emigrated from Geneva and married (1781) Marie-Anne Sophie Houssemayne Du Boulay, daughter of the pastor of the French church in ...

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Decker, Sir Matthew, first baronet (1679–1749), political economist and merchant, was born in Amsterdam, the son of Derrick (Dirk) Decker, of Amsterdam, and his wife, Katherina. He received his commercial education under Burgomaster Velters of Amsterdam, but in 1702 travelled to London to establish himself as a merchant, and was naturalized in February 1704, at the second attempt. He then consolidated his business interests, and it was through trader and banker ...

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Freeth, John [pseud. John Free] (1731–1808), innkeeper and political ballad writer, was born at the Bell tavern, Philip Street, Birmingham, the son of Charles Freeth, landlord of the Bell, and his wife, Mary. Nothing is known of Freeth's education or of his early years, although it seems that he was once an itinerant street ballad singer. Where and when ...

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Henrisoun, James (d. before 1570), merchant and propagandist, was apparently a native of Edinburgh and by 1527 owned land on the south side of the High Street. He made his living principally by trading to the Low Countries, where he bought military supplies for the crown. In this he co-operated with ...

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Hubbard, John Gellibrand, first Baron Addington (1805–1889), merchant and fiscal reformer, was born on 21 March 1805, the eldest son of John Hubbard (d. 1847), a Russia merchant of Stratford Grove, Essex, and his wife, Marian (d. 1851), daughter of John Morgan...

Article

G. G. Smith

revised by M. J. Mercer

Mitchel, William (1670–1740?), tinsmith and pamphleteer, was born in Scotland but nothing is known of his early life. In or about 1696 he moved to Edinburgh and took up residence in the Bowhead. There he earned a living as a tinsmith and by superintending the lighting of the town lamps. ...

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Oliver, Frederick Scott (1864–1934), draper and polemicist, was born on 20 February 1864 in Edinburgh, elder son of John Scott Oliver, merchant, and Catherine (d. 1869), daughter of Duncan McLaren. Nephew of John McLaren, Lord McLaren, and Charles McLaren, first Baron Aberconway...

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Pollexfen, John (1636–1715), merchant and political economist, was the second son of Andrew Pollexfen of Stancombe Dawney, in the parish of Sherford, Devon, and his wife, Joan, daughter of John Woollcombe of Yealmpton. His relations with his elder brother, Sir Henry Pollexfen, were not always smooth because of resentment that his brother had inherited the entire family estate. ...

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Roper, Abel (bap. 1665, d. 1726), bookseller and political writer, was born at Atherstone, Warwickshire, the son of Isaac Roper, and was baptized at Mancetter on 13 September 1665. In 1677 he was adopted by his uncle, also Abel Roper, who from 1638 had published books at the ...

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Abel Roper (bap. 1665, d. 1726) by George White (after Hans Hysing) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Smith, John Benjamin (1794–1879), promoter of free trade, was born in Manchester, the eldest son of Benjamin Smith, a cotton merchant there. A brother, Thomas Smith (d. 1864), settled at Colebrooke Park, Kent. Smith married Jemina, daughter of William Durning of Liverpool...