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Accounts Rendered, 1700-1714

Kenneth Woodbridge describes the letters of Sir Richard Hoare, Banker, Goldsmith and Lord Mayor of London, to his sons.

On January 23rd, 1700, Richard Hoare, who described himself as Banker and Goldsmith, wrote to Scudamore and Henshaw at Genoa concerning his son John, who, for a consideration of £300, had been placed with them to be educated in the Turkey trade:

‘I hope my son will behave himself with that industry and application to your business that it will be to your content and to my satisfaction.’ ‘The death of the late King of Spain,’ he continued, ‘has occasioned an opinion in most people with us that a war this year or next will break out, [and that] the French King and King of Spain will do all the prejudice they can to the English Merchants and their effects in all places where they can attack them.’ ‘I heartily wish that... peace may long continue in Europe ... but at present the general apprehension of a war has made many of our best merchants to desist of sending goods abroad, in so much that most of our woollen manufactures are fallen very considerably.’

George Henshaw, besides his interest as a merchant, was also British Consul at Genoa. Richard Hoare, although mainly concerned as a banker, had business interests which extended considerably beyond what we now understand by this term. He had been apprenticed to a goldsmith at the age of seventeen, and in 1672 was established in business at the Golden Bottle, Cheapside, later moving to Fleet Street where the firm of Hoare has flourished ever since.

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