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Sir Paul Pindar and Ralph Pindar

Sir Paul Pindar (1565–1650) was a merchant and, from 1611 to 1620, was Ambassador of King James I of England to the Ottoman Empire.

Born in Wellingborough and educated at Wellingborough School Pindar entered trade as the apprentice to an Italian merchant in London. He later became involved when he received Company Articles to the Ottoman Empire on 27 September 1611. As secretary to the English ambassador in Constantinople he arrived in December 1611, eventually becoming ambassador himself. Pindar was present when the famous gift of an organ was made to the royal household by Ambassador Lello and he went on to become a favourite of Safiye Sultan the powerful mother of Sultan Mehmet III.

The frontage of Paul Pindar's house on Bishopgate is preserved in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

As ambassador he was "renowned for his generosity in educating young men at his own 'care and cost'" [1] He was recalled on 25 January 1618 but did not leave until May 1620. Pindar was knighted by James I in 1623.

A pamphlet published in London in 1642 states that Pindar saved the life of a felon named "Running Jack" who had been sentenced to death. The prisoner "was found to have bin such a notorious Malefactor, that the Bench did condemn him to dy: but hee hath since obtained a Reprieve by the means of Sir Paul Pindar." The pamphlet does not elaborate on his crimes, or on why Sir Paul had an interest in the case.[2]

In the 18th century Sir Paul Pindar's House in Bishopsgate became a tavern called the "Sir Paul Pindar's Head"[3] and was then demolished to make way for the expansion of Liverpool Street station in 1890. Its façade was preserved and can now be seen in the Victoria and Albert Museum.[4] There is a commemorative vase to Pindar in St Botolph's Church Bishopsgate.


  1. ^ The Grand Signiors Serraglio - Robert Withers
  2. ^ The Parliaments Censure To The Jesuites And Fryers ..., April 1642. British Library, Wing Catalogue ref. P510BA
  3. ^ Weinreb and Hibbert 1983: 586
  4. ^ Sir Paul Pindar's house (Victoria and Albert Museum)

External linksEdit

  • Tithe Barn to All Hallows Church (Wellingborough Heritage Trail)
  • "Paul Pindar". Victoria and Albert Museum. Retrieved 2011-05-25.