GOULD, Nathaniel (1661-1728), of Stoke Newington, Mdx. and Bovingdon, Herts.
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Family and Education
b. 3 Dec. 1661, 3rd but 1st surv. s. of John Gould, merchant of London, by his w. Mary. m. 1 May 1688, Frances, da. of Sir John Hartopp, 3rd Bt., M.P., of Freathby, Leics., 2da. suc. fa. 1695. Kntd. 14 Apr. 1721.
Director, Bank of England 1697-1709, 1713-28 (with statutory intervals), dep. gov. 1709-11, gov. 1711-13; director and sometime gov. Russia Co.
Gould, a leading figure in the City, belonged to a wealthy nonconformist family of London merchants, engaged in the cloth export trade to Turkey and the East. Re-elected as a Whig for Shoreham in 1715, he supported the Government’s active policy in the Baltic, seconding a motion on 12 Apr. 1717 that we could not carry on our trade with the Baltic without bringing the King of Sweden to reason. In 1719 he voted for the repeal of the Occasional Conformity and Schism Acts, but against the peerage bill, on which he was listed as doubtful and to be approached for the Government by Craggs and John Aislabie. During the South Sea crisis he advocated strong measures against the directors;1 and in November 1721 he spoke in favour of exempting the Turkey Company from the provisions of the quarantine bill. On a bill to prevent frauds in the customs on tobacco (see Perry, Micajah) in February 1723 he proposed
to have a public warehouse in each port where tobacco was imported to be kept by the King’s officers and so the tobacco not to go out till the duty was paid, since the merchants could have no immediate occasion for it but if they had the full duty to be paid there. This broke up the committee ... [so] that gentlemen might turn their thoughts to this.
Two years later he
opened a fraud on the drawbacks upon malt ... alleging that the drawbacks ... amounted to £62,000 per annum for seven years last past, and that he thought £50,000 of that was clear gains to the county from whence exported, meaning Norfolk ... but answered by Walpole there was frauds and would be, for it was impossible to prevent them.2
In 1726 he published a pamphlet entitled ‘An Essay on the Public Debts,’ to which a reply, ‘A State of the National Debt’, reputedly by William Pulteney, was published the following year. His last recorded speech was made in February 1728 in reply to Pulteney’s pamphlet, on which he observed that if he understood anything, it was numbers, and he dared pawn his credit and reputation to prove that author’s calculations and inferences to be false and erroneous. He died six months later, 21 July 1728.