Merchants in History

Historical Events

  • 1598-05-01 Jacob van Neck's merchant fleet departs for Java, modern day Indonesia
  • 1598-11-25 Jacob Cornelius van Neck's merchant fleet reaches Bantam, West-Java on second Dutch expedition to Indonesia
  • 1599-07-19 Jacob van Necks merchant fleet leaves Java
  • 1613-01-24 Amsterdam merchant Hans Bontemantel baptized
  • 1614-10-11 Adriaen Block and 12 Amsterdam merchants petition the States General for exclusive trading rights in the New Netherland colony.
  • 1649-06-01 Russian Tsar Alexis throws English merchants out of Moscow
  • 1666-08-09 Rear Admiral Robert Holmes leads a raid on the Dutch island of Terschelling, destroying 150 merchant ships in the Vlie estuary, and pillaging the town of West-Terschelling, an act later known as "Holmes's Bonfire".
  • 1710-01-01 Paris merchant Jean Marius obtains 5-year royal privilege for his invention of a folding umbrella - first in Europe

<b>Pirate</b> AttackPirate Attack

1717-11-28 Blackbeard attacks and captures a French merchant slave ship, which he renames as his flagship the "Queen Anne's Revenge"

Pirate Blackbeard
Pirate
Blackbeard
  • 1717-12-05 English pirate Blackbeard ransacks the merchant sloop "Margaret" and keeps her captain, Henry Bostock prisoner for 8 hours before releasing him. Bostock later provides 1st record of Blackbeard's appearance, and the source for his name
  • 1771-10-09 The Dutch merchant ship Vrouw Maria sinks near the coast of Finland.
  • 1779-12-31 British fleet beat Dutch Merchant vessels
  • 1792-05-17 24 merchants form New York Stock Exchange at 70 Wall Street
  • 1804-04-02 Forty merchantmen are wrecked when a convoy led by HMS Apollo runs aground off Portugal.

AssassinationAssassination of Spencer Perceval

1812-05-18 John Bellingham, a Liverpool merchant who assassinated British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval on May 11, is hung for the crime at the Old Bailey in London

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British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval is assassinated by John Bellingham, drawing by John Heaviside Clark
British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval is assassinated by John Bellingham, drawing by John Heaviside Clark
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  • 1853-09-11 1st electric telegraph used - Merchant's Exchange, San Francisco to Pt Lobos, California

  • 1859-10-25 Merchant vessel Royal Charter runs aground at Liverpool, 459 die

Battle of InterestBattle of Fort Sumter

1861-01-09 A Union merchant ship, the Star of the West, is fired upon as it tries to deliver supplies to Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina

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The Confederate bombardment of Fort Sumter, the first battle of the American Civil War
The Confederate bombardment of Fort Sumter, the first battle of the American Civil War
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  • 1864-06-01 Confederate cruiser Georgia sold to a British merchant in Liverpool
  • 1872-06-18 Woman's Suffrage Convention held at Merchantile Liberty Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1903-05-27 Queen Wilhelmina opens Berlages Merchants bureau in Amsterdam

Queen of the Netherlands Wilhelmina of the Netherlands
Queen of the Netherlands
Wilhelmina of the Netherlands
  • 1914-09-02 The US Treasury Department establishes the Bureau of War Risk Insurance to provide up to $5 million worth of insurance for merchant ships and their crews
  • 1914-12-26 US Government protests British interference with American merchant ships at sea, on the same day Germans announce they will treat food as contraband, subject to seizure; weakens America's protest

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1915-02-10 US President Woodrow Wilson protests to Britain on the use of US flags on British merchant ships to deceive the Germans

28th US President Woodrow Wilson
28th US President
Woodrow Wilson
  • 1915-03-25 German U boat torpedoes Netherlands merchant ship Medea
  • 1915-04-14 Dutch merchant navy ship Katwijk sunk by Germany torpedo
  • 1916-02-11 Germany and Austria-Hungary notify the US that they will sink any armed merchant ships starting on 1 March
  • 1916-02-16 The US rejects the right of Germany and Austria-Hungary to sink armed merchant ships
  • 1916-03-15 Dutch merchant ship Tubantia torpedoed by German submarine & sinks in North Sea
  • 1916-10-07 The German submarine U-53 arrives off Newport, Rhode Island, and sinks 9 British merchant ships in international waters
  • 1917-01-31 Germany notifies US that U-boats will attack neutral merchant ship
  • 1917-03-12 A German submarine sinks an unarmed US merchant ship, the 'Algonquin' on the same day that US President Woodrow Wilson gives executive order to arm US merchant ships
  • 1917-03-20 After the sinking of 3 more American merchant ships, US President Woodrow Wilson meets with cabinet, who agree that war is inevitable
  • 1928-05-22 US Congress accept Jones-White Merchant Naval Act
  • 1933-07-20 Germany: Two-hundred Jewish merchants are arrested in Nuremberg and paraded through the streets
  • 1940-01-15 German U-Boot torpedoes Dutch merchant ship Arendskerk (Eagle's Church)
  • 1940-02-14 British merchant vessel fleet is armed

Victory in BattleMiracle of Dunkirk

1940-06-04 British complete the "Miracle of Dunkirk" by evacuating 338,226 allied troops from France via a flotilla of over 800 vessels including Royal Navy destroyers, merchant marine boats, fishing boats, pleasure craft and even lifeboats

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British troops await evacuation at Dunkirk
British troops await evacuation at Dunkirk
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Event of interestEvent of Interest

1940-09-29 1st US merchant ship "Booker T. Washington" commanded by a black captain (Hugh Mulzac), launched at Wilmington Delaware

Education Pioneer Booker T. Washington
Education Pioneer
Booker T. Washington
  • 1941-11-20 German "auxiliary cruiser" (armed merchant raider) Kormoran sinks near Australia
  • 1942-04-11 US Merchant Marine Distinguished Service Medal established
  • 1959-07-21 1st nuclear powered merchant ship, NS Savannah, named, Camden NJ
  • 1975-05-12 US merchant ship Mayaguez seized by Cambodian forces
  • 1976-12-15 Oil tanker Argo Merchant runs aground on the Nantucket Shoals, spilling 7.6 m million gallons of fuel oil - one of the largest oil spills at sea

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1989-04-23 Wine merchant William Sokolin breaks a bottle of 1787 Château Margaux, possibly belonging to Thomas Jefferson, worth $500,000 at the Four Seasons restaurant in New York

3rd US President Thomas Jefferson
3rd US President
Thomas Jefferson

Famous Birthdays

  • 1459-03-06 Jacob Fugger, German banker/merchant
  • 1502-01-10 Hendrik Niclaes, German mystic & founder of Christian sect "Familia Caritatis", born in Münster, Germany (d. 1570)
  • 1515-07-21 St Philippus Nerius [Philippo Neri], Italian merchant/priest, born in Florence, Italy (d. 1595)
  • 1535-09-06 Emanuel van Meteren, Flemish merchant and historian, born in Antwerp (d. 1612)
  • 1549-12-01 Johan van der Veeken, merchant/co-founder (VOC)
  • 1636-11-02 Edward Colston, English merchant, philanthropist and slave trader, born in Bristol, England (d. 1721)
  • 1649-04-05 Elihu Yale, English merchant and philanthropist (benefactor of Yale University), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1721)
  • 1653-07-05 Thomas Pitt, British merchant and Governor of Madras, born in Blandford St. Mary, Dorset, England (d. 1726)
  • 1655-06-26 Jean Deutz, merchant and Amsterdam regent, born in Amsterdam (d. 1719)
  • 1660-02-15 Frans Anneessens, Belgian merchant/dean of artisans
  • 1679-03-18 Matthew Decker, English merchant and writer (d. 1759)
  • 1693-02-04 George Lillo, bourgeois English dramatist (London Merchant)
  • 1697-09-06 Willem Gideon Deutz, Amsterdam regent, banker and merchant, born in Amsterdam (d. 1757)
  • 1701-03-18 Niclas Sahlgren, Swedish merchant and philanthropist (d. 1776)
  • 1702-03-25 Pieter Teyler Van der Hulst, Dutch silk merchant (Teyler's Museum)
  • 1709-10-25 Jan Wagenaar, Dutch merchant and historian, born in Amsterdam (d. 1773)
  • 1719-01-17 William Vernon, American merchant (d. 1806)
  • 1729-03-28 Pieter Fouquet, Dutch art merchant (Atlas of Fouquet), born in Amsterdam (d. 1800)
  • 1729-05-25 Jean de Neufville, Dutch-American merchant (started 4th English war), born in Amsterdam (d. 1796)
  • 1730-01-14 William Whipple, American merchant & judge (signatory of the Declaration of Independence), born in Kittery, Maine (d. 1785)
  • 1730-01-23 Joseph Hewes, American merchant (Declaration of Independence signatory), born in Princeton, New Jersey (d. 1779)
  • 1731-04-23 William Williams, American merchant (signed US Declaration of Independence), born in Lebanon, Connecticut (d. 1811)
  • 1734-01-31 Robert Morris, English-born merchant and American founding father (signed US Declaration of Independence), born in Liverpool, Enhland (d. 1784)

Person of interestJohn Hancock

1737-01-23 John Hancock, American merchant & statesman who was 1st to sign the Declaration of Independence, born in Braintree, Massachusetts (d. 1793)

Statesman John Hancock
Statesman
John Hancock
  • 1738-12-26 Thomas Nelson, merchant, signer of Declaration of Independence
  • 1739-03-16 George Clymer, American merchant (signed US Declaration of Independence, Constitution)
  • 1740-04-18 Francis Baring, English merchant and banker, born in Larkbeare House, Exeter
  • 1756-11-04 Anthony van Hoboken, Dutch merchant and ship owner, born in Rotterdam, Netherlands (d. 1850)
  • 1759-01-17 Paul Cuffe, Mass, merchant/shipbuilder/African American nationalist
  • 1795-01-15 Willem de Clerq, Dutch merchant & man of letters, born in Amsterdam, Netherlands (d. 1844)
  • 1795-02-18 George Peabody, South Danvers Mass, merchant/philanthropist
  • 1801-02-07 John Rylands, England, merchant/philanthropist
  • 1812-04-26 Alfred Krupp, German arms merchant, born in Essen, Germany (d. 1887)
  • 1813-04-14 Junius Spencer Morgan, American merchant and philanthropist (Metro Museum of Art), born in Holyoke, Massachusetts (d. 1890)
  • 1813-12-10 Zachariah Chandler, American merchant and politician (found Republican Party), born in Bedford, New Hampshire (d. 1879)
  • 1819-07-04 Reuben Fenton, American merchant and politician (22nd Governor of New York), born in Carroll, New York (d. 1885)
  • 1822-04-24 Erastus Barnard Tyler, American businessman, merchant, and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in West Bloomfield, New York (d. 1891)
  • 1825-07-11 Edward Henry Hobson, American merchant, banker, politician, and Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Greensburg, Kentucky (d. 1901)
  • 1838-07-11 John Wanamaker, American merchant (Wanamakers Department Store), pioneer in marketing and Postmaster General, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1922)
  • 1840-08-28 Alexander Cameron Sim, Scottish merchant, born in Aberlour, Scotland (d. 1900)
  • 1845-05-07 Jacob van Stolk Azn, timber merchant/art collector
  • 1849-10-06 Basil Zaharoff, Greek arms dealer (merchant of death), born in Muğla, Turkey (d. 1936)
  • 1850-05-10 Thomas Lipton, Scottish yachtsman (5-time America's Cup challenger) and tea merchant (Lipton Tea), born in Glasgow, Scotland (d. 1931)

Person of interestCecil Rhodes

1853-07-05 Cecil Rhodes, British businessman, diamond merchant and imperialist politician who was Prime Minister of the Cape Colony (1890-96), born in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, England (d. 1902)

British Businessman and Imperialist Politician Cecil Rhodes
British Businessman and Imperialist Politician
Cecil Rhodes
  • 1860-09-03 Edward A. Filene, American entrepreneur and philanthropist, born in Salem, Massachusetts (d. 1937)
  • 1867-07-31 Sebastian S. Kresge, American merchant and philanthropist (Kmart), born in Bald Mountain, Pennsylvania (d. 1966)
  • 1871-09-21 Ernst Heldring, Dutch ship owner and financier, born in Amsterdam (d. 1954)
  • 1872-03-11 Abraham van Stolk Jzn, lumber merchant/art collector
  • 1879-06-13 Lois Weber, American film director who became the first woman to direct a full feature-length film (The Merchant of Venice) and the first to own her own studio, born in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania (d. 1939)
  • 1898-08-08 Alexis Minotis [Alexandros Minotakis], Greek actor (The Merchant of Venice, King Lear), born in Chania, Crete, Greece (d. 1990)
  • 1901-03-02 Willem Bruynzeel, Dutch timber-merchant

Person of interestJersey Joe

1914-01-31 Jersey Joe Walcott, American heavyweight boxing champion (1951-52), born in Merchantville, New Jersey (d. 1994)

World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Jersey Joe
World Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Jersey Joe
  • 1919-10-03 John Boyd [Boyd Bradfield Upchurch], American sci-fi author (The Last Starship from Earth), born in Atlanta, Georgia (d. 2013)
  • 1923-07-23 Cyril M. Kornbluth, American sci-fi writer (Space Merchants), born in NYC, New York (d. 1958)
  • 1930-08-24 Raj Bagri, Indian-British merchant in metal, born in Kolkata, Bengal Presidency, British India (d. 2017)
  • 1942-05-20 Simon Keswick, British financier/merchant (Hong Kong)

Famous Weddings


LoveWedding of Interest

1871-07-21 Suffragette Kate Sheppard (24) weds general merchant Walter Allen Sheppard in Christchurch, New Zealand

Suffragette Kate Sheppard
Suffragette
Kate Sheppard

Famous Deaths

  • 0634-08-22 Abd Allah Abu Bekr, Arabic merchant/1st kalief of Islam, dies
  • 1358-07-31 Etienne Marcel, French textile merchant/reformer/Boer leader, dies
  • 1456-11-25 Jacques Coeur, French merchant/banker, dies in battle
  • 1517-01-01 Hermann Vischer, the Younger, German bronze merchant, dies at 31
  • 1525-12-30 Jacob Fugger, German banker/merchant, dies at 66
  • 1559-03-14 Jacques d'Auchy, Walloon baptist merchant, executed
  • 1579-11-21 Thomas Gresham, English merchant and financier
  • 1588-02-10 Joost Sybrantsz Buyck, Amsterdam merchant/regent, dies at about 82
  • 1595-05-26 Philippus Nerius [Filippo Neri], Italian merchant/saint, dies at 79
  • 1612-01-04 Henry L Spieghel, Dutch merchant/writer, dies at 62
  • 1612-04-18 Emanuel Van Meteren, Flemish merchant & historian, dies at 76
  • 1616-08-26 Johan van de Veeken, merchant/co-founder (VOC), dies at 66
  • 1626-01-01 Cornelis Pieterse Hoft, Amsterdam merchant & regent, dies at 68
  • 1629-09-21 John Pieterszoon Coen, merchant/gov-gen of East-Indies, dies at 42
  • 1637-08-13 Dirck J Bas, Dutch merchant/regent/government leader (OIC), dies
  • 1640-12-06 Matthijs Elsevier, Flemish/Dutch book publisher/merchant, dies at 75
  • 1645-08-06 Lionel Cranfield, 1st Earl of Middlesex, English merchant, dies at 70
  • 1647-07-16 Masaniello [Tommaso Aniello], Italian fisherman and leader of the 1647 Naples revolt against the rule of Habsburg Spain, assassinated by a group of grain merchants at 27
  • 1652-06-24 Andries Bicker, merchant/Amsterdam regent, dies at 65
  • 1652-09-17 Bonaventura Elsevier, book publisher/merchant, dies at about 69
  • 1653-05-10 John Bicker, ship builder/merchant/regent, dies at 61
  • 1654-09-15 Cornelis Bicker, merchant/mayor of Amsterdam, dies at 61
  • 1660-02-15 Klaas Geritsz Compaen, Dutch buccaneer/merchant, dies at 72
  • 1688-06-08 Hans Bontemantel, Amsterdams merchant, buried
  • 1704-01-21 Willem B Schepers, Dutch merchant/ship owner, dies at about 83
  • 1708-09-06 Sir John Morden, English merchant and philanthropist (b. 1623)
  • 1719-09-19 Frans Anneessens, Belgian merchant/lord of the manor, executed at 59
  • 1719-11-19 Jean Deutz, merchant and Amsterdam regent, dies at 64
  • 1721-07-08 Elihu Yale, English merchant and philanthropist (benefactor of Yale University), dies at 72
  • 1721-10-11 Edward Colston, English merchant, philanthropist and slave trader, dies at 84
  • 1722-04-14 Pieter Erberveld, German-Thai merchant on Java, Indonesia. He was accused of plotting a rebellion with the Javanese, tortured and executed at around 62
  • 1726-04-28 Thomas Pitt, British merchant & Governor of Madras, dies at 72
  • 1747-02-01 Jacobus Capitein, Dutch Christian minister, dies at ~30
  • 1753-07-17 Andre-Joseph Panckoucke, French book publisher/merchant, dies
  • 1757-06-27 Willem Gideon Deutz, Amsterdam regent, banker and merchant, dies at 59
  • 1765-11-30 George Glas, British merchant and adventurer (b. 1725)
  • 1776-03-10 Niclas Sahlgren, Swedish merchant and philanthropist (b. 1701)
  • 1779-11-10 Joseph Hewes, American merchant/signer (Declaration of Independence), dies at 49
  • 1785-11-28 William Whipple, merchant/judge/signer (US Declaration of Independence), dies at 55
  • 1786-09-05 Jonas Hanway, English merchant, traveler, and philanthropist (b. 1712)
  • 1787-08-13 Isaac de Pinto, merchant/lender/Dutch States-general, dies

Person of interestJohn Hancock

1793-10-08 John Hancock, American merchant and statesman who was 1st to sign the Declaration of Independence, dies at 56

Statesman John Hancock
Statesman
John Hancock
  • 1797-11-18 Jacques-Alexandre Laffon de Ladebat, French shipbuilder and merchant (b. 1719)
  • 1800-04-18 Pieter Fouquet, Dutch art merchant (Atlas of Fouquet), dies at 71
  • 1802-12-31 Francis Lewis, Welsh/American merchant/signer (Declaration of Independence), dies at 89
  • 1806-05-08 Robert Morris, English-born merchant and American Founding Father (signed US Declaration of Independence), dies at 72
  • 1806-12-22 William Vernon, American merchant (b. 1719)
  • 1811-08-02 William Williams, American merchant (signed US Declaration of Independence), dies at 80

Person of interestJohn Bellingham

1812-05-18 John Bellingham, English merchant who assassinated British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval, executed by hanging at 42 or 43

Assassin of Spencer Perceval John Bellingham
Assassin of Spencer Perceval
John Bellingham
  • 1813-01-23 George Clymer, American merchant (signed US Declaration of Independence), dies at 73
  • 1814-11-23 Elbridge Gerry, American statesman who invented gerrymandering and 5th Vice President of the United States, dies at 70
  • 1844-02-04 Willem de Clerq, Dutch merchant/literary, dies at 49
  • 1850-01-14 Anthony van Hoboken, Dutch merchant and ship owner, dies at 93
  • 1879-11-01 Zachariah Chandler, American merchant and politician (found Republican Party), dies at 65
  • 1885-08-25 Reuben Fenton, American merchant and politician (22nd Governor of New York), dies at 66
  • 1887-07-14 Alfred Krupp, German arms merchant, dies at 75
  • 1890-04-08 Junius Spencer Morgan, American merchant and philanthropist (Metro Museum of Art), dies at 76

Person of interestArthur Rimbaud

1891-11-10 Arthur Rimbaud, French poet and arms merchant (Saison en Enfer), dies of a bone cancer at 37

Person of interestCecil Rhodes

1902-03-26 Cecil Rhodes, British businessman, diamond merchant and imperialist politician who was Prime Minister of the Cape Colony (1890-96), dies of heart failure at 48

British Businessman and Imperialist Politician Cecil Rhodes
British Businessman and Imperialist Politician
Cecil Rhodes
  • 1905-02-20 Jeremiah W. Farnham, American merchant captain
  • 1905-06-13 Tippo-Tip [Hamed ben Mohammed], Zanzibar merchant, dies at about 67
  • 1917-07-12 François Fournier, Swiss-French postage stamp forger, dies at 71
  • 1922-12-12 John Wanamaker, American merchant (Wanamakers Department Store), pioneer in marketing and Postmaster General, dies at 84
  • 1931-10-02 Thomas Lipton, Scottish yachtsman (5-time America's Cup challenger) and tea merchant (Lipton Tea), dies at 81
  • 1939-11-13 Lois Weber, American film director who became the first American woman to direct a full feature-length film (The Merchant of Venice) and the first to own her own studio, dies of a stomach ulcer at 60
  • 1940-03-10 Louis de Vries, Dutch actor (Blokkade, Ghetto, Merchant of Venice), dies at 68
  • 1947-01-09 Lambertus Zijl, Dutch sculptor (Merchant Exchange-Amsterdam), dies at 80
  • 1954-04-29 Ernst Heldring, Dutch ship owner and financier, dies at 82
  • 1966-10-18 Sebastian S. Kresge, American merchant and philanthropist (Kmart), dies at 99
  • 1990-11-11 Alexis Minotis [Alexandros Minotakis], Greek actor (The Merchant of Venice, King Lear), dies at 90
  • 2017-04-26 Raj Bagri, Indian-British merchant in metal, dies at 86

Famous Industrialists