Sir Francis Baring, 1st Bt (1740-1810), Merchant banker
Sitter associated with 5 portraits
Baring was one of the most powerful businessmen of the Regency period and celebrated as the 'first merchant in Europe'. He established the London trading house Barings in 1762 and soon became an important government financial adviser and a key financier of the nation's war effort. He was an MP from 1784 and was honoured with a baronetcy 1793. As Director of the East India Company from 1779 to 1806 he opposed attempts by the government to exert greater political control over the company: 'India is not a colony and God forbid that it ever should be.'