Who was Nicholas Barbon?

Nicholas Barbon was born between 1637 and 1640 and was the first son born to Praise God Barebone/Barbon. He was a financial speculator, physician, and economist who had a number of critics due to his involvement in the beginning of the free market. He was also one of the most prominent members in the reconstruction work after the Great Fire of London, including helping to establish fire insurance. His aid in the reconstruction, was mainly to help him financially than for humanity purposes.

Nicholas Barbon received his Doctor of Medicine in 1661 after studying at Utrecht in the Netherlands and the University of Leiden. In 1664 he was noted as an honorary member of the Royal College of Physicians in London.

Nicholas Barbon was as interested in his medical profession as he was the building trade which became even more important after the Great Fire that destroyed the majority of the commercial district of London. In a matter of a few years, he was known as the most well known London builder of the time. He normally worked in developing large areas of housing and commercial properties just west of London as there was plenty of land for such large developments. Barbon was not one that paid much attention to the Acts of Parliament, legalities, and royal declarations and often constructed new buildings that were not approved and even tore down buildings without permission in order to gain a fast profit.

Along with his interest in building, he was also very interested in establishing insurance and banking. During 1680 and 1681, Barbon along with eleven others established the Insurance Office for Houses that provided fire insurance for 5,000 homes in London. Along with John Asgill he established in 1690 the first bank in Britain known as the National Land Bank that provided loans for those that wanted to purchase properties.