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Additional resources for Aleppo and Devonshire Square: English Traders in the Levant in the Eighteenth Century
When he returned to England the Radcliffes handed over the day-today running of their London trade with the Levant to him, and this and his own business affairs occupied him during a c 'Heru 4170. 20 ALEPPO AND DEVONSHIRE SQUARE decade of trading with his own agents in the Levant. He evidently lived in comfortable circumstances, for in his will he provided legacies for his 'maid servants and livery servants'. 1 He died in 1759, only fifty-one years old, his health perhaps never fully recovered from the sickness of his middle years in Aleppo.
His fortune when he died seems to have been some sixty thousand pounds, though gossip put it very much higher; not one of the greatest City fortunes, but a good one in his day. None of the other brothers was a business-man of his stature. George Radcliffe left Aleppo in r 720; he engaged in various small business affairs in which he dissipated his fortune, quarrelled throughout a whole decade over the disposal of his claims on the Aleppo partnership, and showed increasingly in his complaining letters the growth of his mental disorder.
Po; A. ppo (I 7 s6), P· 7 I. • Paris, op. , p. 438. 40 ALEPPO AND DEVONSHIRE SQUARE Aleppo, with which we are specially concerned, was a trading city - but not merely for European trade ; it was the great trading centre for the whole area behind the East Mediterranean coast until far to the south it encountered the sphere of influence of its rival Damascus ; it commanded the shortest route across the desert to the Euphrates valley, and beyond. It was also a manufacturing city, making silk, cotton, leather and metal goods to serve this wide area, and a great part of its population was made up of the artisans engaged in these industries.