Nicholas Barbon

(c. 1640—1698) builder and economist

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(c. 1638–98).

Born in London, he not only became one of the most important developers there after the Great Fire (1666), but instituted fire insurance. He built houses at Red Lion Fields, near Gray's Inn, and in the 1690s carried out improvements at Chancery Lane and Lincoln's Inn. It is unclear whether or not he was his own architect, but his housing developments were of great significance, and set the pattern for London terrace-housing for years to come. He was involved in the rebuilding of the Temple after it was destroyed by fire in 1678/9, with which Roger North was concerned in an architectural capacity, but Barbon's designs for the cloisters in Pump Court, Middle Temple (1679), were rejected in favour of a ‘model’ prepared by Wren.

Barbon (1976);Colvin (1995);Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004);Summerson (ed.) (2003)

Subjects: Economics — Architecture.

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