Nicholas Barbon

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Nicholas If-Jesus-Christ-Had-Not-Died-For-Thee-Thou-Hadst-Been-Damned Barbon[1] (c. 1640 – c. 1698) was an English economist, physician and financial speculator. He is counted among the critics of mercantilism and was one of the first proponents of the free market. In the aftermath of the Great Fire of London, he also helped to pioneer fire insurance and was a leading player in the reconstruction work—although his buildings were planned and erected primarily for his own financial gain. His unusual middle name, given to him by his strongly Puritan father, is an example of the religious "slogan names" given in Puritan families in 17th-century England.[1]

Contents

Life

Nicholas Barbon was the eldest son of Praise-God Barebone (or Barbon), after whom the Barebone's Parliament of 1653—the predecessor of Oliver Cromwell's Protectorate—was named.[1][2] Praise-God's reputed Christian name was "Unless-Jesus-Christ-Had-Died-For-Thee-Thou-Hadst-Been-Damned",[2] a variant of his son's middle name. He became a religious separatist with Millenarianist beliefs, with fervent views in favour of infant baptism in particular.[3][4]

Nicholas was born in London in either 1637[3] or 1640.[1][5] He studied medicine at the Universities of Leiden and Utrecht in the Netherlands, and received his Doctor of Medicine qualification from the latter in 1661. Three years later, he became an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in London.[3][5]

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