Sir Nicholas Brembre

 

  • Richest of the Rich position: 169
  • Birth/Death: died 1388
  • Origin of wealth: Merchant
  • Wealth: £10,000
  • Net National Income: £2.8m
  • Net National Income Percent: 0.35%
  • In Today’s Money: £3.884 billion

A first generation Londoner, Nicholas Brembre was an ally of Richard II. Marrying a rich heiress, his wife brought with her considerable property and cash with which he was able to start a valuable trading empire. He was a leading wool exporter and dealt in iron, wines and woad, and a merchant, grocer and pepperer. His contacts on the Continent were important in extending his trade. Brembre also lent large sums to the Crown. On one occasion, he advanced £2,970 to Richard II. But his close relations with the king could not prevent Brembre from falling foul of the Lords Appellant in 1388. He was accused of treason, and despite the king’s efforts, was executed.

His wealth at his death was around £10,000, or around 0.35% of the £2.8m net national income. In today’s terms that would be over £3.8bn.

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