Cornelia Hall ran a trading enterprise in Gothenburg in the mid-1700s, and she was one of the city’s most important iron exporters.
Cornelia Hall was born in 1716. Her origin is unknown, both her place of birth and her family situation. In the 1730s, she married Benjamin Hall. Her husband was of British, or possibly Scottish origin. He came to Gothenburg in the 1730s and received citizenship in the town in 1735. Along with another immigrant, Thomas Anderson, he started a trading company in Gothenburg that was mainly active in the iron and timber export branches as well as importing coal and cereals. The company also dealt in tea, porcelain and fabrics from East India.
Her husband’s business flourished, and Cornelia Hall lived an upper-class life in a house at Lilla Torget in central Gothenburg. The couple had two daughters and two sons in the course of six years. The eldest child, John Hall, who was born in 1735, became the most well-known of the four children. He is called John Hall Senior and towards the end of the 1700s, he was one of Sweden’s wealthiest men. He built up his fortune through a very successful trading company.
Benjamin Hall died in 1748. The children were then still not of age and were therefore put under the guardianship of William Chalmers Senior and Thomas Coppinger. Cornelia Hall inherited a massive 50,000 daler in silver coins from her husband, and as his widow, carried on running his trading company in her own name. She was very successful in business and in 1752 her trading company was one of the foremost iron exporters in Gothenburg.
Cornelia Hall abandoned her trading company when she remarried, this time Johan Fredrik Ström who was a councillor of commerce and director of the Swedish East India Company. When she married, she lost her independence and was once more legally only a minor.
Cornelia Hall died in Gothenburg in 1778.