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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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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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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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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, ...

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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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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, ...

Article

P. B. Austin

revised by Nuala Zahedieh

Beeston, Sir William (1636–1702), merchant and colonial governor, was born on 19 November 1636 at Posbrook, Titchfield, Hampshire, the second son of William Beeston of Posbrook and Elizabeth, daughter of Arthur Bromfield. His elder brother, Henry, was master of Winchester School and warden of ...

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Jonathan Belcher (1682–1757) by John Faber junior, 1734 (after Richard Philips) Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

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Belcher, Jonathan (1682–1757), merchant and colonial governor, was born on 8 January 1682 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the fifth of seven children of Andrew Belcher (1648–1717), merchant and politician, and his wife, Sarah (1651–1689), the daughter of Jonathan Gilbert, Connecticut merchant and politician.

Following his father's example ...

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

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A. J. Arbuthnot

revised by David J. Howlett

Bird, Robert Merttins (1788–1853), East India Company servant, was born in London on 1 September 1788, the son of Robert Bird of Taplow, Buckinghamshire and his wife Lucy née Bird, a cousin of William Wilberforce. He arrived in Bengal in 1808 as a writer and began his career as an assistant to the registrar of the ...

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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 ...