Matthew Decker

(1679—1749) political economist and merchant

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Decker was born in Amsterdam in 1679, and died in Richmond, Surrey on 18 March 1749. He was born into a Flemish commercial family, but was forced to flee Holland as a consequence of the Count of Alva's persecutions. Establishing himself as a merchant in London around 1702, he quickly became wealthy. From 1713–43 he was a director of the East India Company, serving twice as deputy governor (1720–1, 1729–30) and twice as governor (1725–6, 1730–33). His wealth gave him political influence, and he was elected Tory MP for Bishops Castle (1719–2) and appointed sheriff of Surrey in 1729. George I made him a baronet in 1716 after Decker entertained his monarch to dinner at his mansion on Richmond Green; according to tradition, the first pineapple grown in England was consumed at this meal.


From The Biographical Dictionary of British Economists in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Economics.

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