John Houblon was the third son of James Houblon, a London merchant, and his wife, Mary Du Quesne, daughter of Jean Du Quesne, the younger. He became Sheriff of the City of London in 1689, an Alderman from 1689 to 1712, and Master of the Grocer's Company from 1690 to 1691. He was Lord Mayor in 1695.
He was a Lord Commissioner of the Admiralty from 1694 to 1699. It was during this time, from 1694 until 1697, that he served as inaugural governor of the Bank of England. He was again a Bank of England director from 1700, and a director of the New East India Company from 1700 to 1701.
His younger brother, Abraham, was also Bank of England Governor, from 1703 to 1705. A daughter of Abraham Houblon, Anne, was married to Henry Temple, later Viscount Palmerston, in 1703. His older brother, James, an influential merchant and Member of Parliament for the City of London, was also a director of the Bank of England.
Appearance on banknotes
Houblon has been commemorated by his appearance on the reverse of Series E £50 notes issued by the Bank of England. The notes were issued in 1994, the year of the Bank's 300th anniversary. The design includes an image of Houblon's house in Threadneedle Street, the site of the present Bank of England building. A new £50 note was brought into circulation in 2011, featuring James Watt and Matthew Boulton in place of Sir John Houblon. The Houblon note ceased to be legal tender on 30 April 2014.
- Archer Houblon, Alice (1907) The Houblon Family - Its Story and Times, London: Constable, Volumes 1 & 2
- "Sir John Houblon 1632-1712", Bankofengland.co.uk. Retrieved 13 May 2012
- See the relevant volume in the History of Parliament series, David W Hayton, Stuart Handley and Eveline Cruickshanks, The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002). The MP for Bodmin was the similarly named John Hoblyn, a lawyer.
- "HOUBLON, Sir James (1629-1700), of Winchester Street, London, and Leyton, Essex". The History of Parliament Trust. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
- "Current Banknotes £50 Note (Sir John Houblon)". Bank of England. Retrieved 19 October 2008.
- Sir John Houblon 1632-1712 at the Bank of England website
- The Rulers of London 1660-1689, J.R. Woodhead, on British History Online
- The Friends of Charles Darwin
|First||Governor of the Bank of England
1694 - 1697
Sir William Scawen