Charles Duncombe (English banker)

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Sir Charles Duncombe (16 November 1648 – 9 April 1711) was an English banker and politician who served as a Member of Parliament and Lord Mayor of London.

Duncombe was apprenticed to the London goldsmith Edward Backwell and became in due course a member of the Goldsmiths' Company. Under both Charles II and James II he was Receiver of the Customs, and made a fortune in banking; later in life he was said to be worth £400,000, and died the richest commoner in England. When James II fled the country in 1688, Duncombe refused him a loan of £1,500 to aid his escape.

He was elected to Parliament in 1685, and represented Hedon, Yarmouth (Isle of Wight) and Downton, supporting the Tories. During this period he opposed the establishment of the Bank of England. In 1694 he bought the 40,000 acre Helmsley estate, now Duncombe Park.

In 1698, Duncombe was arrested and imprisoned in the Tower of London, and subsequently expelled from the House of Commons, for "contriving and advising the making of false Indorsements of several Bills, made forth at the Receipt of Exchequer, commonly called Exchequer-Bills", in other words a tax fraud. However, when tried he was acquitted through a mistake in the information, and he was knighted on 20 October 1699. He was later also re-elected to the Commons for his old constituency.

He also served as alderman for Broad Street ward in the City of London from 1683 to 1686 (from which he was discharged by Royal Commission) and for Bridge Within ward from 1700 until his death. He was Sheriff of the City in 1700, and Lord Mayor in 1708.

His brother, Anthony Duncombe, who was also MP for Hedon, died before him. His nephew and heir, also called Anthony, was later ennobled as Lord Feversham. His sister Ursula Duncombe inherited half of Duncombe's fortune and was the ancestor of the present-day Barons Feversham.

References[edit]

Parliament of England
Preceded by
Henry Guy
William Boynton
Member of Parliament for Hedon
1685–1687
With: Henry Guy
Succeeded by
Henry Guy
Matthew Appleyard (younger)
Preceded by
Sir Robert Holmes
Hon. Fitton Gerard
Member of Parliament for Yarmouth
1690–1695
With: Sir John Trevor 1690–95
Henry Holmes 1695
Succeeded by
Henry Holmes
Anthony Morgan
Preceded by
Sir Charles Raleigh
Maurice Bocland
Member of Parliament for Downton
1695–1698
With: Sir Charles Raleigh
Succeeded by
Sir Charles Raleigh
Maurice Bocland
Preceded by
Sir James Ashe
Carew Raleigh
Member of Parliament for Downton
1702–1707
With: Sir James Ashe 1702–05
John Eyre 1705–07
Succeeded by
Parliament of Great Britain
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Parliament of England
Member of Parliament for Downton
1707–1711
With: John Eyre 1707–11
Succeeded by
John Eyre
Thomas Duncombe
Civic offices
Preceded by
Sir William Withers
Lord Mayor of London
1708–1709
Succeeded by
Sir Samuel Garrard, Bt