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London grew rapidly in the last quarter of the seventeenth century and Nicholas Barbon was central to its physical transformation. Tim Walker published the first complete biography of Barbon in late 2022. In it he discusses Barbon’s family and social, educational, and financial background, and analyses how Barbon’s property development was closely connected to financial innovations of the period. His speculative activity created rows of terrace houses and squares that became the norm for the city’s future development, but at the same time he set up the first fire insurance company, the second bank, became an MP, and published on economic matters such as free trade and recoinage.

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