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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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Allen, Sir John (c. 1470–1544), mayor of London, was born in Thaxted, Essex, into an agrarian family of moderate means. His father, Richard Allen, apprenticed him to Roger Bourchier of the London Mercers' Company, to which he was admitted in 1497. Allen was elected a warden of the Mercers in 1509, making him eligible for ward office, and in 1515 he was nominated alderman from ...

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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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Barantyn, Drew (c. 1350–1415), goldsmith and mayor of London, was the younger son of Thomas Barantyn, lord of Chalgrove in Oxfordshire (he had an older brother, Thomas, who died in 1400). Barantyn's talents as a craftsman rather than his family connections were to be the key to his success in the world. He was apprenticed to ...

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Barnes, William Peter Ward (1919–2011), public servant and administrator, was born on 16 April 1919 in the master's house, the Temple, London, the younger son (there were no daughters) of Ernest William Barnes (1874–1953), master of the Temple and later bishop of Birmingham...

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Barton, Henry (d. 1435), merchant and mayor of London, was the son of Richard and Denise Barton. He had a brother named Ralph, who outlived him and was probably his junior. Henry’s date and place of birth are not known. He may have belonged to a ...

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Basset, Robert (d. 1484), merchant and mayor of London, was, according to a seventeenth-century manuscript, the son of a man of the same name from Billericay in Essex, although this has not been substantiated by contemporary evidence. Nothing is known of his early career, but during the 1440s he established himself as a freeman of the ...

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Bertram, Walter (d. 1495/6), merchant and provost of Edinburgh, is first recorded in 1464. He received payments for expensive cloth sold to James III in 1473 and by 1477 was clearly wealthy, as he bought the lands of Normangills in Lanarkshire from David Lindsay, ...

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Bludworth, Sir Thomas (b. in or before 1623, d. 1682), merchant and mayor of London, was born in London, the second surviving son of John Bludworth (bap. 1580, d. 1648), master of the Vintners' Company (1641–2), of Lombard Street in the parish of ...

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Bowes, Sir Martin (1496/7–1566), goldsmith and mayor of London, was born in York in the parish of St Cuthbert, Peaseholme. Despite his disclaimer in 1549 that at the time of his going thirty-eight years previously to London at the age of fourteen (...

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Sir Martin Bowes (1496/77–1566) by unknown artist, 1562 unknown collection / Christie's; photograph National Portrait Gallery, London

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Brembre, Sir Nicholas (d. 1388), merchant and mayor of London, is of unknown origins, though he may have been related to Sir Thomas Brembre, or Bramber, a wealthy and well-connected royal clerk who was receiver of the king's chamber from c.1347 to 1354, and keeper of the privy seal in 1354–5. One of ...

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Browne, Sir Richard, first baronet (c. 1602–1669), parliamentarian army officer and lord mayor of London, was born in London, the second son of John Browne (or Moses) of Wokingham, Berkshire, and London, and his wife, Anne, daughter of John Beard of Wokingham. Very little is known about ...

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Buchanan, Andrew (1690–1759), merchant and lord provost of Glasgow, was born on 29 January 1690 in Glasgow, the second of four sons of George Buchanan, maltster, and Mary Maxwell.

In 1716 Buchanan was admitted a burgess of Glasgow by right of his father, and quickly revealed himself to be an energetic businessman. During the 1720s he and his younger brothers ...

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Bukerel, Andrew (d. 1237), merchant and mayor of London, was born into a prominent London family; there is no evidence to support claims that the family originated in either Devon or Italy. His father, also Andrew Bukerel, was one of the custodians appointed by ...

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Carpenter, John (d. 1442), common clerk of London, was the son of Richard Carpenter, possibly a London chandler, and his wife Christine. He became common clerk of the city of London on 17 April 1417, succeeding John Merchaunt whom he had served as a clerk while also appearing as an attorney in the city courts. He held this important post until October 1438, sometimes styled the ...

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See Champneys, John

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Sir William Chester (c. 1509–?1595) by unknown artist reproduced with permission of the Drapers' Company of the City of London

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Chester, Sir William (c. 1509–1595?), mayor of London, was the second son of John Chester (d. 1513), citizen and draper of London, and his wife, Joan (d. 1545), the daughter of one Hill of London and widow of Richard Wellis. John Chester...

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Chigwell, Hamo [formerly Hamond Dene] (d. 1332), merchant and mayor of London, was born Hamond Dene, the son of Thomas and Cecilia Dene; like Richard Chigwell, from whom he inherited a life interest in some property and whose surname he took, he became a fishmonger, thus entering one of the most successful and best-organized trades in ...