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Bulloch, James Dunwoody (1823–1901), naval officer and merchant, was born near Savannah, Georgia, USA, on 25 June 1823, the son of Major James Stephens Bulloch (1793–1849), a member of the company which owned the pioneer steamship Savannah, and his wife, Hester Amarintha (1797–1831)...

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Fenner, George (c. 1540–1618), merchant and privateer, is of unknown parentage. However, the name Fenner was common in west Sussex, and the family into which he was born has been described variously as a mercantile clan in Chichester itself, or as a minor but armigerous gentry family based at ...

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Grantham, Sir Thomas (bap. 1641, d. 1718), tobacco trader and naval officer, was baptized on 23 December 1641, the first of three children of Thomas Grantham (d. 1643 or 1645) of Bicester, Oxfordshire. In 1664 Grantham was acting as a merchant, shipping woollen goods to ...

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Sir John Hawkins (1532–1595) attrib. Federico Zuccaro, 1591 Plymouth City Art Gallery; photograph National Portrait Gallery, London

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Hawkins, Sir John (1532–1595), merchant and naval commander, was born in Plymouth, the second son of William Hawkins (b. before 1490, d. 1554/5), merchant, sea captain, and shipowner, and his wife, Joan, only child of Roger Trelawny of Brightor, Cornwall.

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Holditch, Abraham (bap. 1639, d. 1678), naval officer and merchant adventurer, was baptized on 12 May 1639 at Totnes, Devon. He was probably the son of William Holditch (d. 1646?) and his wife, Agnes (bap. 1617), formerly Jakes. He married at ...

Article

James, Sir William, first baronet (1722–1783), naval officer and director of the East India Company, was born on 5 September 1722 near Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire. Sir Nathaniel Wraxall, who knew him well, wrote that 'His origin was so obscure as almost to baffle inquiry...

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Le Mesurier, Havilland (1758–1806), merchant and commissary officer, was born on 8 May 1758 in Guernsey, the youngest of the five sons of John Le Mesurier (1717–1793), hereditary governor of Alderney, and his wife, Martha (d. 1764), the daughter of Peter Dobrée...

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Parker, William (d. 1618), privateer and merchant, appears to have been born into the minor ranks of the Elizabethan gentry, although his parentage has yet to be traced. His brother John was a man of property in Southampton. On 18 June 1590 William Parker...

Article

Portlock, Nathaniel (b. in or before 1747, d. 1817), naval officer and fur trader, was probably born at or near Norfolk, Virginia, possibly the son of Charles Portlock (d. after 15 February 1750) and his wife, Lydia, née Ridley (d. after 1756)...

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Poyer, John (d. 1649), merchant and army officer, was a Welshman from near Narberth in Pembrokeshire. About 1640 he was both a wealthy merchant regularly trading with Bristol and an industrial entrepreneur who claimed to employ 'more poor … in making cloth than any other man in those parts...

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Towerson, Gabriel (bap. 1576, d. 1623), naval officer and agent for the East India Company, was baptized on 27 February 1576 in the parish church of St Michael Cornhill, London, the tenth of twelve children of William Towerson (d. 1584), member of the ...

Article

Watts, Sir John (c. 1550–1616), merchant and privateer, was the son of Thomas Watts of Buntingford in Hertfordshire, where he was born. He married Margaret Hawes, daughter of Sir James Hawes, who was lord mayor of London from 1574 to 1575. They had eight children, four sons and four daughters....

Article

Wright, Fortunatus (d. 1757), merchant and privateer, was the second son of John Wright (d. 1717), a Liverpool shipowner and merchant. It is highly likely that Fortunatus served his apprenticeship with his father. Some confirmation of this early seafaring background may be taken from ...