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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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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, 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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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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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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Aubrey, Andrew (d. 1356), merchant and mayor of London, was the son of Roger and Denise Aubrey. It is likely that he was born in London since he did not mention a provincial parish in his will. He became the factor of Thomas Enfield...

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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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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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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...