Liam Byrne

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    a full-scale constitutional revolution was in progress as the group of English leaders known as the ‘Immortal Seven’ invited James’s Dutch son-in-law (and nephew) William of Orange to intervene to restore England’s ‘ancient laws and liberties’.*12 William landed at Brixham on 5 November 1688, with a fleet four times the size of the Spanish Armada, James’s cause melted away, and the old king fled abroad.
    A ‘Convention Parliament’ deemed James to have abdicated, and William was crowned in April 1689. The ‘Glorious Revolution’ was complete; it marked a new relationship between sovereign and subjects
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    From the eighth century, the most active traders with England were probably the Frisians of the northern Germanic coast, who bought and sold wine, timber, grain and fish from towns like London and York and, from at least the late seventh century, traded a certain amount of English cloth, known, appropriately, as Frisian.
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    Together, these portraits reveal the best and worst of human endeavour, for here are explorers, inventors and moral leaders, along with fraudsters, warmongers and unembarrassed imperialists
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    truth, Richard Whittington was born in 1350, not long after England’s great poet Geoffrey
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    annual sheep-shearing festivals immortalized by Shakespeare in The Winter’s Tale
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    This was the competition that William de la Pole set out to dislodge in order to bring the ‘fleece and finance’ business home. And along the way he also helped create one of the first great corporations of England: the English Wool Company
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    Sir Thomas Gresham (c.1518–79); a mercer who made a fortune dealing cloth and capital in England and Antwerp; who became a mission-critical servant of the Crown; and who brought home the lessons he learned abroad to help found London’s capital market and the Stock Exchange
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    The greatest of them, such as Pole, Whittington and Gresham, mastered the greatest trade – textiles – served the greatest customer, the monarch, and supplied the greatest enterprise: war
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    And he started by taking a stake in one of the most fashionable new corporations of Stuart England: the Virginia Company
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    The Virginia Company was different. Indeed, it was practically unique in corporate England, because it was a company created to build a colony across the Atlantic, as it happened, a colony christened in calamity
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