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ADVENTURERS, the society of; an ancient company of merchants, erected for the discovery of unknown regions, opening new channels of trade, &c. It originated in Burgundy, and was established by John, duke of Brabant, in 1248, for the encouragement of English and other merchants at Antwerp. It was afterwards confirmed in England by Edward III and IV, Richard III, Henry IV, V, VI and VII; and by patent of the lastmentioned monarch, in 1505, they received the title merchant adventurers. The influence of the English merchant adventurers at Antwerp was, in 1550, so great, that they were able to resist successfully the establishment of the inquisition in that city.