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Henry Tate

Sir Henry Tate (March 11, 1819December 5, 1899) was an English sugar merchant, noted for establishing the Tate Gallery in London.

Tate was born in Chorley, Lancashire, the son of a clergyman. When he was 13, he became a grocer's apprentice in Liverpool. After a seven-year apprenticeship, he was able to set up his own shop. His business was successful, and grew to a chain of six stores by the time he was 35.

In 1859 Tate became a partner in John Wright & Co. sugar refinery, and he sold his groceries in 1861. By 1869, he had gained complete control of the company, and renamed it to Henry Tate & Sons. In 1872, he purchased the Langen patent on a method of making sugar cubes, and in the same year built a new refinery in Liverpool.

Tate rapidly became a millionaire, and donated generously to charity. In 1889 he donated his collection of 65 contemporary paintings to the government, on the condition that they be displayed in a suitable gallery, toward the construction of which he also donated £80,000. The National Gallery of British Art, better known as the Tate Gallery, was opened on July 21, 1897, on the site of the old Millbank prison. Tate was made a baronet in 1898.

In 1921, after Tate's death, Henry Tate & Sons merged with Abram Lyle & Sons to form Tate and Lyle.

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