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Samuel Gurney

(1786-1856), Philanthropist; known as 'The Banker's Banker'

Early Victorian Portraits Catalogue Entry

Sitter in 8 portraits
Samuel Gurney began working at fourteen in the counting-house of his brother-in-law and fellow Quaker, Joseph Fry, a tea merchant and banker. Gurney inherited enough money from his father and father-in-law to negotiate a partnership with the bill-broking firm of Richardson and Overend in 1807. The firm's business grew rapidly, to the point where, by the early 1820s, it was the largest broker in London. In the panic of 1825 the firm lent money to many banking houses to tide over their difficulties, earning Gurney the nickname 'the bankers' banker'. During the later years of his life he devoted himself to philanthropic undertakings.

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