Jeremiah Harman

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Jeremiah Harman

Birthdate: (81)
Birthplace: St. Lawrence Jewry, London, England
Death: 1844 (80)
Immediate Family:

Son of John Harman and Elizabeth Harman
Husband of Mary Howard

Occupation: Merchant.
Managed by: Lee Justin Stoneman
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Jeremiah Harman


Jeremiah Harman (collector; British; Male; c.1764 - 1844) Biography


British banker and collector; Governor of the Bank of England 1816-1818. Buried in the F.B.G., Hammersmith.

Merchant and Banker, of Frederick Place in Old Jewry, and Adam's Court, London, and of Higham Hill, Woodford, co. Essex, the eldest son of John Harman, was born in the parish of St. Lawrence, Jewry, 19th August 1763. He was a great financier as will be seen from the following extract from an obituary notice of him in the Gentlemans Magazine : —

" The subject of the present memoir was a Director of the Bank of England from 1794 to 1827 : embracing the eventful period of the restriction of cash payments, and all the great financial and political difficulties of the country. He was much consulted by Mr. Pitt and Lord Liverpool on all questions of moment ; and also gave evidence of the most important character before the Bullion Committee of 1810; before the Committees on the resumption of Cash Payments, 1819 ; on the Bank Charter, in 1832 ; and on other investigations of similar character and importance.

" In 1816 he was Governor of the Bank ; and in that year an addition of 25 per cent, was made to the capital of Bank-stock. Three years afterwards, in 1819, the thanks of the Court were voted to him for his share in the labours of a commission which had been appointed by the Crown for the prevention of forgery. In 1827, on his retirement, the thanks of the General Court were unanimously voted to him for his long and valuable services."

Mr. Harman was a well-known fine art connoisseur, and his collection of pictures by the Old Masters, chiefly of the Dutch School, was justly held in high repute. He was moreover the patron of several modern artists. His friendship with Sir Charles Eastlake, and his sympathy with that great artist in the struggles of the early days of his career, are recorded and acknowledged by Lady Eastlake in her account of the life of her husband. Mr. Harman was also one of the patrons of the great though unfortunate painter, Benjamin-Robert Haydon, as is related in Haydon's Autobiography, and in his Life and Letters by his son.

Jeremiah Harman married, in the F.M.H., Gracechurch Street, London, 29th March 1786, Mary, daughter of Thomas and Mary Howard, of London. She died at Tottenham, 18th May 1851, aged 86, and was buried in Woodford churchyard. He died sine prole at Adam's Court, 7th February 1844, aged 80, and was buried in Woodford churchyard..


I have no ghost stories to tell, but there is one bit of romance, mingled with pathos, that comes from Highams. The story runs that Jeremiah Harman, son of John Harman, the wealthy lord of Higham Bensted, was out walking one day, when he met Miss Mary Howard, one of the Tottenham Howards, and with her he fell in love at first sight. He was introduced to the family and the marriage was soon arranged. It was con- sidered an excellent match, for he was a Director of the Bank of England, and among his valuable possessions he had a Gallery of Pictures — Old Masters— which were considered priceless. But when he died, he was found an empty egg-shell, and his pictures which were supposed to be of immense value, turned out to be either out of fashion or forgeries. His beautiful wife was quite unprovided for, and for the rest of her life, supported by her own family, she lived very quietly with her sister, Anne Howard, at Tottenham, till her death in 1857.

Editor's note: it is quite untrue that Jeremiah Harman's collection were all forgeries. There are many web pages referring to Raphaels and Titians that were in his collection.

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Jeremiah Harman's Timeline

August 19, 1763
St. Lawrence Jewry, London, England
Age 80