Merchant and banker Antonio Buonvisi was born around 1470/5. He belonged to an ancient family of Lucca. His parents may have settled in England before he was born (details of the date and place of his birth are lacking). By 1513 he was already a thriving merchant in London acting as a banker and money lender to the Crown. He dealt largely in wool, and also imported jewels and other foreign articles (Cardinal Wolsey was one of his prominent customers). Thomas More was one of his close friends. His residence at Crosby Hall, Bishopsgate Street, was an open house to many learned and influential figures at the time. He acted as a patron to London Catholics. At the beginning of the reign of Edward VI he settled his affairs, and left for the Continent in 1549 in self-imposed exile. He died in December 1558 at Louvain.