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

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A. M. Clerke

revised by Anita McConnell

Aubert, Alexander (bap. 1730, d. 1805), merchant and astronomer, was born at Austin Friars, London, and baptized on 11 May 1730 at St Peter-le-Poer, Old Broad Street, London, the second of seven children and eldest of the four sons of Claude Aubert (1692–1774)...

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Aufrère, George René (1715–1801), merchant, was born on 7 November 1715 in Suffolk Street, near Charing Cross, London, the youngest of the five children of the Revd Israel Antoine Aufrère (1667–1758), the minister of the Savoy church, and Sarah Amsincq, the daughter of a wealthy ...

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Balfour, Alexander (1824–1886), merchant, was born on 2 September 1824 at Levenbank, Leven, Fife, Scotland, the eldest son of Henry Balfour, a foundry owner, and his wife, Agnes, née Bisset. The family had a business background. Alexander was educated locally at Leven parish school...

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J. K. Laughton

revised by Basil Morgan

Barker, Andrew (d. 1577), merchant, of Bristol, was, in partnership with his brother John, later (1606–7) mayor of Bristol, for some years engaged in the often disputed trade with the Spanish in the Canary Islands. In 1570 one of his ships, the Falcon...

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Joshua Bates (1788–1864) by unknown artist ING Bank, NV, London Branch

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Bates, Joshua (1788–1864), merchant and banker, was born on 10 October 1788 at Weymouth, Massachusetts, United States, the youngest of three children and only son of Colonel Joshua Bates (d. 1804), a leading local businessman, and his wife, Tirzah, née Pratt. He was educated at public schools and by the ...

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

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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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Boddington, Samuel (1766–1843), West India merchant, slave owner, and collector, was born in London on 17 June 1766, the second son of Benjamin Boddington (d. 1791), a London West India merchant, and his wife, Sarah, daughter of Samuel Rickards, a haberdasher of ...

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Bosanquet, Charles (1769–1850), merchant and writer, was born at Forest House, Leyton, Essex, on 23 July 1769, the second son of Samuel Bosanquet (1744–1806), a Huguenot merchant, and his wife, Eleanor (c.1745–1819), the daughter of Henry Lannoy Hunter of Beechill, Berkshire...

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Bradshaw, Richard (bap. 1610, d. 1685), merchant and diplomat, was baptized at Pennington, Aspull, Lancashire, on 25 August 1610; his parents are unknown. A merchant of Chester, he was elected to the common council of the city on 14 July 1637, replacing Randle Finchett...

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Buchanan, James (1696–1758), merchant, was born and baptized on 31 May 1696, the second of four sons of Archibald Buchanan of Drumhead in the parish of Cardross, Dunbartonshire, a minor Scottish laird, and his wife, Jannet Anderson. It was common for the younger sons of lairds thereabouts to be put into trade, and, like his eldest and youngest brothers, ...

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Campbell, James Duncan (1833–1907), customs official, was born on 9 February 1833 at 7 Warriston Crescent, Edinburgh, the first child of Major Robert Campbell (1799–1874), of Craignish, Argyll, an officer in the 46th regiment, and his first wife, Louisa, née Baillie (d...

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Chardin, Sir John [Jean] (1643–1712), traveller and merchant, was born in Paris on 16 November 1643 and baptized on 24 November at the protestant temple at Charenton, near Paris, the eldest son of Daniel Chardin, a merchant-jeweller in the place Dauphiné in Paris...