He amassed a large fortune in Ireland, in which country he had been allotted lands by Cromwell.
Besides the civil list the duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha enjoys a very large private fortune, amassed chiefly by Ernest I., who sold the principality of Lichtenberg, which the congress of Vienna had bestowed upon him in recognition of his services in 1813, to Prussia for a large sum of money.
For seven years, from 1611 to 1618, he was ambassador at the Turkish court, where he amassed a fortune of some 16,000 sterling by doubtful means, and was bastinadoed by order of the sultan for his frauds.
By his energy, industry and sound judgment he gradually enlarged his operations, did business in all the fur markets of the world, and amassed an enormous fortune, - the largest up to that time made by any American.
Even then it appears from his own confession that he long brooded over the chaos of materials he had amassed before light dawned upon it.