European seaborne trade has traditionally been connected with the establishment of foreign merchants in major ports like Antwerp, Amsterdam, London, Seville, Marseilles, Livorno, Venice or Trieste, where the terms ‘merchant community’ and ‘community of foreign merchants’ were often synonymous.1 The foreign merchant communities were characterised by solidarity, mutual aid, kinship and a desire to preserve their culture. These tendencies were even more conspicuous ‘among large ethnic formations of eastern origin, which stood out against the purely European western background’, namely Jews, Armenians and Greeks.2 During the French Wars (1793-1815) a wave of merchant emigrants, including Huguenots and Dutch Jews, swept England. A new surge followed from the 1820s to the 1840s in which German Jews and Orthodox Greeks, who ‘had a similar international commercial outlook’ as well as ‘sufficient capital, credit or connections, and adequate commercial experience’ came to Britain. Moreover, ‘they shared a sectarian outlook that interlocked families in chains of partnerships and marriages’.3