1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Barbon, Nicholas

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BARBON, NICHOLAS (c. 1640-1698), English economist, probably the son of Praise-god Barbon, was born in London, studied medicine at Leiden, graduated M.D. at Utrecht in 1661, and was admitted an honorary fellow of the College of Physicians in 1664. He took a considerable part in the rebuilding of London after the great fire of 1666, and has a claim to be considered the institutor of fire-insurance in England, which he started somewhere about 1680. He was M.P. for Bramber in 1690 and 1695. He founded a land bank which, according to contemporaries, was fairly successful and was united with that of John Briscoe in 1696. He died in 1698. His writings are interesting as expressing views much in advance of his time and very near akin to those of modern times on such important topics as value, rent and foreign trade. The more important were Apology for the Builder; or a Discourse showing the Cause and Effects of the Increase of Building (1685); A Discourse of Trade (1690); and A Discourse Concerning Coining the New Money Lighter (1696).