They were allowed to hold land and were encouraged to become - what their ubiquity qualified them to be - the merchant princes of Europe.
The merchant princes and social leaders of the time are painted with elaborate show of luxury in the canvases of Copley.
They were mostly representatives of the landed interests as well as merchant princes.
Beginning his commercial career as a clerk in his patron's house, John Gladstone lived to become one of the merchant-princes of Liverpool, a baronet and a member of parliament.
In 1842 he became councillor of legation, and in 1847 Danish chargé d'affaires in the Hanse towns, where his intercourse with the merchant princes led to his marriage in 1848 with a wealthy heiress, Louise Victorine Rucker.