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City financiers as patrons in the later seventeenth century

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  • UserDr Anthony Hotson (Centre for Financial History, University of Cambridge)
  • ClockMonday 10 February 2020, 17:00-18:30
  • HouseDarwin College, Old Library.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Duncan Needham.

City financiers of the late seventeenth century were enthusiastic creators of foundations supporting hospitals, schools and almshouses in London and further afield. Funds were desperately needed following the disruption of the Civil War and the destruction of the Fire. These mercantile patrons were nevertheless roundly criticised by contemporaries for misdirecting resources, not least by building ‘palaces for beggars’ as memorials to themselves. Art historians have been no kinder, Summerson suggesting that ‘The City contributed nothing to the art of the Stuarts and Georgians.’ My presentation seeks to re-evaluate the achievements of these financiers – their social and artistic impact – and the arguments presented by their critics.

This talk is part of the Financial History Seminar series.

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