• Richest of the Rich position: 216
  • Birth/Death: died 1777
  • Origin of wealth: Merchant
  • Wealth: £500,000
  • Net National Income: £180m
  • Net National Income Percent: 0.27%
  • In Today’s Money: £2.996 billion

Aaron Franks’s father founded the Jewish Ashkenazi community in the late seventeenth century. He was admitted to the Royal Exchange in 1697, which will have given his son a decent inheritance.

Aaron Franks was a highly successful jeweller in London for much of the eighteenth century. He attained enough wealth to be in a position to donate upwards of £5,000 a year to charity. In his country home in Isleworth on the banks of the Thames, he entertained the aristocracy. Despite the prejudice prevalent against Jews at the time, Franks sought the help of the British court in 1745, on behalf of Jews expelled from Prague.

When he died in 1777, he was worth around £500,000 representing about 0.27% of the then £180m net national income. Today’s equivalent would be around £2.9bn.

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