ATKINSON, Richard (1738-85), of Fenchurch St., London.
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Family and Education
b. 6 Mar. 1738, 3rd s. of Matthew Atkinson of Temple Sowerby, Westmld. by Margaret, da. of Richard Sutton of Kirkby Lonsdale, Westmld. unm.
Director, E.I. Co 1783- d.; alderman of London 1784- d.
The Gentleman’s Magazine wrote in his obituary (1785, p. 570):
Mr. Atkinson when he came from the North was a mere adventurer, unsustained by any inheritance, by few family friends of any power, and by no acquisitions which education imparts but common penmanship and arithmetic. Thus circumstanced he came to London, and passing through different counting houses and experiments in trade, accumulated that prodigious wealth of which he died possessed, and which he had long enjoyed.
In 1774 he was a partner in the firm of Mure, Son, and Atkinson, of Nicholas Lane (and later of Fenchurch St.), West India merchants. During the American war he held a number of large government contracts for the supply of rum, victuals, and other necessities to the troops in North America and Gilbraltar.