Jacob was born in 1762; his parentage and education are unrecorded, as is his early career. He died in London, at eighty-nine, on 17 December 1851. Beginning in 1794 he appears in London directories as merchant, warehouseman and linen merchant, at 36 Newgate Street. In 1800–4 he also traded from the Droitwich salt warehouse, Upper Thames Street. He was one of the few English merchants to develop direct trade connections with South America. In 1807, described as ‘a Gentleman well versed in various branches of Natural Knowledge’, and recommended by people like Humphry Davy, he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society.
From The Biographical Dictionary of British Economists in Oxford Reference.