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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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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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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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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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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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Bacon, Anthony (bap. 1717, d. 1786), merchant and ironmaster, the son of William Bacon and his wife, Elizabeth Richardson, was baptized at St Bees, Cumberland, on 24 January 1717. His father and grandfather Thomas were ships' captains in the coal trade between Whitehaven...

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Banister, Thomas (d. 1571), merchant, of whose parentage or education nothing is known, married on 3 March 1549 Elisabeth Gamadge, a widow. He may have been member of parliament for Reigate in 1558 and was first warden of the Skinners' Company in 1563. In the 1550s he exported cloth to ...

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Banks, Sir John, baronet (bap. 1627, d. 1699), merchant and financier, was baptized at the parish church of All Saints, Maidstone, Kent, on 19 August 1627. He was the eldest in the family of two sons and one daughter of Caleb Banks of ...

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Bargrave, Robert (1628–1661), merchant and diarist, was born in Kent, possibly at the family home, Eastry Court, Eastry, near Sandwich, on 25 March 1628, the second surviving son of Isaac Bargrave (bap. 1586, d. 1643), dean of Canterbury, and his wife, Elizabeth (1593–1667)...

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Alexander Baring, first Baron Ashburton (1773–1848) by Sir Thomas Lawrence, c. 1810 ING Bank, NV, London Branch

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Baring, Alexander, first Baron Ashburton (1773–1848), merchant and banker, was born on 27 October 1773 (the frequently cited date of 1784 is incorrect) in Mincing Lane, London, the second child of the six sons and six daughters of Sir Francis Baring (1740–1810), merchant and banker, and his wife, ...

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Sir Francis Baring, first baronet (1740–1810) by Sir Thomas Lawrence, 1806–7 [left, with his brother John Baring (centre) and son-in-law Charles Wall (right)] private collection. Photograph: Photographic Survey, Courtauld Institute of Art, London

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Baring, Sir Francis, first baronet (1740–1810), merchant and merchant banker, was born at Larkbear, Exeter, on 18 April 1740, third of the four surviving sons and one daughter of John Baring (1697–1748) and his wife, Elizabeth Baring (1702–1766), daughter of John Vowler, a prosperous ...

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Barnham, Benedict (bap. 1559, d. 1598), merchant and benefactor, was baptized on 2 June 1559 at St Mildred Poultry, London, the fourth and youngest son of Alice Barnham, silkwoman and benefactor, and her husband, Francis Barnham [see under Barnham, Alice], draper and local politician. From 1559 the family lived at ...

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Richard Barwell (1741–1804) by Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1780–81 [with his son Richard Barwell] unknown collection / Christie's; photograph National Portrait Gallery, London

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Barwell, Richard (1741–1804), East India Company servant, was born in Calcutta on 8 October 1741, the second of the four sons of William Barwell (1705–1769), governor of Fort William, Bengal (1748–9), afterwards a director of the East India Company, and his third wife, ...