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(Sir John, 1792-1872, M.P., F.R.S., Linguist, Governor and Ambassador, opened up trade with King Mongkut of Siam, favourite pupil of Jeremy Bentham)
Autograph letter signed to H[is] Pr[ussian] M[ajesty's] Consul General,
sending him "a proof of the Translation of the Tariff of the Zoll Verband [not present]" and saying "I shall be much obliged to you for any observations thereon", note of receipt and answer on fourth side, the letter 1 side 7¾" x 5", 1 Queen Square West[minster] [now Queen Anne's Gate], 10th December
defects in blank corners of side 4 from former laying down
Sir John's bent for languages was nurtured in a mercantile house in Exeter. At 19 he was in the Peninsula and then studied the public accounts of many European countries. The Government sent him on many commercial missions in the Middle East, and later the Far East, where he was Plenipotentiary to China (1854) and Governor of Hong Kong, and established diplomatic and commercial relations with Siam (1855). He was also responsible for introducing the florin, our first decimal coin.
By 1834, under the leadership of Prussia, all the German states had formed the Zollverband or Zollverein (Customs Union). There was free trade between them (with small modifications from internal taxes) and a tariff for imports from outside the Union. After 1834 the tariff veered between policies of free trade with abroad, supported by Prussia, and of protectionism, supported by the South, but overall the Zollverein led to the formation of the German Empire in 1871.
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