Tuesday, 31 October 2006

Sir William Curtis - Lord Mayor of London

Sir William Curtis, 1st Bt. (1752-1829)
A wealthy merchant and politician he was the son of Joseph Curtis, a baker who manufactured ships’ biscuits and of Mary Tennant. The Wapping business prospered during the Napoleonic Wars giving Sir William a handsome fortune which enabled him to enter the banking business. Due to his modest origins and reputed to be almost almost illiterate, he was frequently the subject of satirists who called him Sir Billy Biscuit. Contradicting it, he was an amateur cellist and owner of fine musical instruments.
Lord Mayor of London, 1795, M.P. for London, 1790-1818 and 1820, and for Bletchingley, 1819, for Hastings 1826, he was created a Baronet in 1802.
Sir William owned Cliff House in Ramsgate where he entertained King George IV before sailing to Hannover in 1821.
He married Anne Constable, daughter and coheiress of Edward Constable Esq, on 9 January 1776.

Portraits: http://www.npg.org.uk/live/search/person.asp?LinkID=mp01159
Another satirical etching of King George IV with his friend Sir William Curtis: http://collage.cityoflondon.gov.uk/collage/app;jsessionid=847C8628019D2438387E0ADCA67DC2ED?service=external/Item&sp=Zsatire&sp=19335&sp=X
Sources: http://www.bbc.co.uk/kent/content/articles/2005/06/24/coast05walks_stage2.shtml

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