1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Viner, Sir Robert

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VINER, SIR ROBERT (1631–1688), lord mayor of London, was born in Warwick, but migrated in early life to London, where he was apprenticed to his uncle, Sir Thomas Viner (1558–1665), a goldsmith, who was lord mayor of London in 1653–54, and who was created a baronet in 1661. Soon Robert became a partner in his kinsman’s business, and in 1666 an alderman of the city of London; in 1665 he was made a knight, and in the following year a baronet. He was sheriff during the year of the great fire in London, and was chosen lord mayor in 1674. Combining like his uncle the business of a banker with that of a goldsmith, Viner was brought much into contact with Charles II. and with the court. The king attended his mayoral banquet, and the lord mayor erected an equestrian statue in his honour on a spot now covered by the Mansion House. Having been appointed the king’s goldsmith in 1661, Sir Robert was one of those who lent large sums of money for the expenses of the state and the extravagances of the court; over £400,000 was owing to him when the national exchequer suspended payment in 1672, and he was reduced to the necessity of compounding with his creditors. He obtained from the state an annuity of £25,000. Viner died at Windsor on the 2nd of September 1688.

See Viner: a Family History, published anonymously (1885).