Sir John Houblon was the first Governor of the Bank of England from 1694 to 1697.
He was born in March 1632 and died in January 1712 aged 79. He was the third son in a family of ten sons and three daughters. He became more eminent than any of his nine brothers, four of whom were also prosperous merchants and two of whom served on the Board of the Bank of England.
The Houblons were descendants of a Protestant family from Lille, and Sir John had close ties with the French Protestant church in Threadneedle Street where he was an elder. He was a successful merchant, trading with Portugal, Spain and the Mediterranean.
He was a member of the Grocers livery company of which he was Master in 1690/91 and was elected Lord Mayor of London in 1695.
He married Mary Jurin in 1660, who came from a Flemish Protestant family and they had five sons and six daughters, but only two sons survived their father.
He had a magnificent house just off Threadneedle Street on the site later occupied by the Bank of England and also acquired a country house at High Ongar in Essex.
In 1994, to mark the tercentenary (300 years) of the foundation of the Bank of England, Sir Johnʼs portrait was included on a new £50 note, which was withdrawn ten years later.