an influential merchant and Member of Parliament for the City of London. He held appointments in the East India Company and the Levant Company. With his younger brother John, he was instrumental in establishing the Bank of England and was a director from the founding of the bank in 1692. He was elected an Alderman of the City of London in 1692, and was knighted shortly afterwards. In the spring of 1693, several London investors led by Sir James Houblon hoped to increase their fortunes by sponsoring a privateering campaign in cooperation with the King of Spain.
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