Child, Sir Josiah, baronet

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Child, Sir Josiah, baronet (c.1630–99). Child made his money victualling the navy and lived at Portsmouth before developing a great estate at Wanstead in Essex. He sat in Parliament for Petersfield in 1658, Downton 1673, and Ludlow 1685. His baronetcy was awarded in 1678. From 1677 he was a director of the East India Company, governor 1681–3 and 1686–8, and deputy governor 1684–6 and 1688–90. His brother John was governor of Bombay. Child's Discourse on Trade in 1668 praised the Dutch and argued for a low rate of interest to stimulate trade and manufactures. He disagreed with the commonly held view that high wages made England uncompetitive, maintaining that they were, in themselves, signs of prosperity. His prodigious wealth attracted much envy. Evelyn described him as ‘sordidly avaricious’ and dismissed Wanstead, with its lakes and walnut trees, as ‘a cursed and barren spot, as commonly these overgrown and suddenly moneyed men for the most part seat themselves’. Child's daughter married into the nobility, and his son Richard was made an Irish earl in 1731 as Tylney of Castlemaine.

J. A. Cannon