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Child, Francis (1684?-1740) (DNB00)


CHILD, Sir FRANCIS, the younger (1684?–1740), banker and lord mayor, a younger son of Sir Francis Child the elder [q.v.], was born probably in 1684, as the record of his admission to the freedom of the city of London is dated 12 March 1705. On the death of his elder brother Sir Robert Child in 1721, Child became the head of the banking firm, which was then carried on under the style of Francis Child & Co. He was also elected on 10 Oct. in the same year to succeed his brother and father as alderman of the ward of Farringdon without, and the following year he became sheriff, with Alderman Humphrey Parsons as his colleague. In 1722 he served the office of master of the Goldsmiths' Company, and was returned to parliament as one of the representatives of the city of London. In the next parliament, which met in 1727, he was elected one of the members for Middlesex, and also in the succeeding parliament which met in 1734. He purchased in 1726 an estate at Northall for 19,501l., which now forms part of the Osterley estate. From 1727 to 1740 he was president of Christ's Hospital, and his portrait is preserved in the board-room of that institution; another portrait, painted in his robes as lord mayor, is to be found at Osterley Park. In 1729 Child introduced a new form of promissory note, with a picture of Temple Bar in the left-hand corner. These were worded very similarly to the Bank of England notes of the present day, and were discontinued, as Mr. F. G. H. Price considers, before 1800 (Account of ye Marygold, p. 25). Child became lord mayor in 1731, and appointed as his chaplain Dr. John Middleton, rector of St. Peter's, Cornhill. Towards the close of his mayoralty, on 28 Sept. in the following year, he attended with the court of aldermen, sheriffs, and other officials to congratulate George II on his safe return from Hanover. On this occasion the king conferred the honour of knighthood upon the lord mayor, Alderman John Barnard, and Alderman Henry Hankey, one of the sheriffs; addresses to the king and queen were read by Mr. Baron Thompson, the recorder, and their majesties returned gracious answers. Child was elected a director of the East India Company in the year of his mayoralty, and was reelected in 1732. He died on 20 April 1740, and was buried at Fulham on 28 April. He does not appear to have married, and was succeeded in the banking firm as senior partner by his brother Samuel, whose descendants have retained the position of senior partner to the present day (Price, Account of ye Marygold).

[In addition to the authorities mentioned under Sir Francis Child the elder, grateful acknowledgment must be made to Mr. T. C. Noble, author of 'Memorials of Temple Bar,' who has placed his notes upon both the Francis Childs at the writer's disposal. See also Names of Members returned to serve in Parliament, 1878, ii. 65, 76; Nichols's Lit. Anecd. i. 431 n.; Gent. Mag. i. 171, ii. 719, 977, x. 204; Lysons's Environs of London, ii. 385.]

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