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Sir William Curtis, 1st Bt (1752-1829), Lord Mayor of London

Sitter in 10 portraits
Curtis founded the bank Robarts, Curtis, Were & Co in the 1780s after making some successful ventures in the Greenland whaling industry. He served as Sheriff and Lord Mayor of London and was a conspicuous and influential figure at Ramsgate, where he built Cliff House and kept a luxurious private yacht. He was elected MP for the City of London in 1790, and tenaciously defended the privileges of the Corporation of London and the interests of the mercantile community in parliament. Curtis was prominent as a supporter of the financial and war policies of both Pitt and his successor Addington, by whom he was rewarded with a baronetcy in 1802.

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