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Abbot, Sir Maurice (1565–1642), merchant and politician, was born on 2 November 1565 and baptized three days later at Holy Trinity Church, Guildford, the fifth of the six sons of Maurice Abbot (1519/20–1606), a merchant, and his wife, Alice Marsh or March (1525/6–1606)...

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Abney, Sir Thomas (1639/40–1722), merchant and mayor of London, was born at Willesley, Derbyshire, the youngest of four sons of James Abney, landowner, and Jane Mainwaring (d. after 1640). The Abney family had owned land at Willesley for several centuries, and James Abney...

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Agnew, Patrick Alexander Vans (1822–1848), East India Company servant, was born at Raipur in Chhattisgarh in central India on 21 April 1822, the second son of Patrick Vans Agnew (1783–1842), lieutenant-colonel in the Madras army and afterwards a director of the East India Company...

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Alcock, Thomas (d. 1564), merchant, was one of ten apprentices who had spent their early years in England before being sent to Russia by the Muscovy Company in 1557. At this time Russia's western neighbours were anxious to prevent the Muscovy Company exporting armaments to ...

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Thomas Aldersey (1521/22–1598) by Robert Peake the elder, 1588 © Chester City Council (Grosvenor Museum)

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Aldersey, Thomas (1521/2–1598), merchant, was born at Bunbury, near Spurstow in Cheshire, the second of five sons of John Aldersey (c.1494–1554), landowner, and Anne Bird of Colton near Chester. After an education in Bunbury, probably at Chantry House, Aldersey's apprenticeship began in ...

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Aldersey, William (1543–1616), merchant and antiquary, was baptized at St Oswald's, Chester, on 15 December 1543, the son of Ralph Aldersey (d. 1555) and Jane Goodman (d. c.1555). He followed in his father's footsteps as a successful merchant ironmonger. He married ...

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Ames, Jeremiah (1706–1776), banker and merchant, was born on 20 July 1706 at Evercreech, near Shepton Mallet, Somerset, one of eight children of Levi Ames (d. 1726), grocer, and his first wife, Hannah (d. 1711), daughter of John Watts of Doulting, Somerset...

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See Ames, Jeremiah

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Anderson, David (1751–1825), East India Company servant, was born in Edinburgh on 10 February 1751, the second of the eight children of David Anderson (1707–1786), writer to the signet, and his wife, Mary (d. 1781), daughter of John Mitchelson of Middleton, Edinburghshire...

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Anderson, Sir George William (1791–1857), East India Company servant and colonial governor, was born in London, the son of Robert Anderson, a London merchant. He was educated at the East India College, Haileybury, and joined the Bombay establishment of the East India Company...

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Anderson, Sir John (1852–1924), merchant, was born at Rothesay, Scotland, in March 1852, the eldest of two sons and three daughters of John Anderson (1793–1875), sea captain, and his second wife, Janet Halley, schoolteacher and a daughter of a Glasgow shopkeeper. In 1855 ...

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Anes, Dunstan [formerly Gonsalvo Anes; alias Gonzalo Jorge] (c. 1520–1594), merchant, was born in Portugal as Gonsalvo, the second son of a merchant, Jorge Anes (d. in or before 1540), and his wife, Elizabeth Rodrigues (b. 1481, d. after 1568)...

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Argall, Sir Samuel (bap. 1580, d. 1626), colonial governor and merchant, was baptized on 4 December 1580 at Holy Trinity, East Peckham, Kent, the fourth son of Richard Argall (c.1533–1588), politician, and his third wife, Mary Scott (d. 1598). Under his father's will ...

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See Armstrong, William George, Baron Armstrong

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Arnold, Richard (d. c. 1521), merchant and chronicler, was a citizen of London, resident in the parish of St Magnus the Martyr, who seems to have made his living primarily by trading with Flanders. Nothing is known of his parentage. In 1473 he was an executor of the will of ...

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Ashurst, Henry (1616?–1680), merchant, was the third son of Henry Ashurst (d. c.1645), gentleman, of Dalton, Lancashire, and Cassandra, daughter of John Bradshaw of Bradshaw, Lancashire. Ashurst's family had proved a bastion of the protestant faith since the late sixteenth century, his grandfather ...

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Aspinwall, William (d. in or after 1662), merchant and separatist leader in America, possibly came from the north-west of England. Nothing is definitely known of his birth or early life, though his later activities give evidence of his having been well educated. His work in ...

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Astell [formerly Thornton], William (1774–1847), director of the East India Company, was born on 13 October 1774, the second son of Godfrey Thornton of Mogerhanger and Everton, a director of the Bank of England, and his wife, Jane, daughter of Stephen Peter Godin...

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Atkinson, Richard (1739–1785), merchant and director of the East India Company, was born in Westmorland on 10 March 1739 and baptized on 5 April at St James's Church, Temple Sowerby, Westmorland. He was the third son of Matthew Atkinson of Temple Sowerby and his wife, ...