John Graunt was born April 24th1620 and died April 18th 1674 of jaundice. He was the oldest of seven or eight children. His father Henry was a draper who had moved to London from Hampshire and his mother was named Mary. In February 1641 he married Mary Scott, they had one son and three daughters.
He was educated in English, then he learned his father's profession at age 16.He taught himself Latin and French by studying in the morning before work.
He did well in business. He had become a huge merchant of London by the time of the Great Fire (1666).He was known as a great peacemaker and was often chosen to be a mediator between disputing merchants. He held several offices in the Drapers' Company: a Freeman at 21, granted the Livery of the Company at 38, and rose to the distinguished position of Renter Warden by age 50. He went through the typical ward offices of the city and was elected to the Common Council, which he was in that office for two years. He was Foreman of the Wardmote inquest, 1669-70, and he held the rank of Captain of the Trained Band in the London militia for 7 years, holding the rank of major 2 or 3years more. Somewhere near the end of his life he was a Governor in the New River Company.
He was very interested in art. He was friends with Samuel Cooper a miniaturist and of John Hayls the painter. He was also an important collector. Samuel Pepys' diary describes his prints as "indeed the best collection of anything almost that ever I saw, there being the prints of most of the greatest houses, churches and antiquitys in Italy and France, and brave cutts". Even though he lacked classical education and had no more mathematics than any other businessman of his day, the famous book-collector Richard Smith praised him as "an understanding man of quick wit and a pretty scholar". Anthony Wood wrote that "his excellent working head ... is very rare in a trader or mechanic".
John Graunt published "Natural and Political...