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Thomas Firmin

(1632—1697) philanthropist


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Firmin was born at Ipswich some time in June 1632, and died of typhoid fever in London on 20 December 1697. After apprenticing with a London mercer, Firmin established his own mercery in Lombard Street, probably in 1655. He made the shop into a prosperous business, and in 1676 handed over the management of it to his nephew so that he could devote more time to charitable work. In 1673 he was appointed a governor of Christ's Hospital; he lost this post briefly thanks to his opposition to James II, but was restored on the accession of William and Mary. In 1693 he became a governor of St Thomas's Hospital. He became interested in the welfare of prisoners, and worked to alleviate conditions in some of the harshest prisons.

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From The Biographical Dictionary of British Economists in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Economics.


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