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whatever orber,evils may atiend it, has a direct tendency to reduce the price of grain. The increase of population has also becn ailigned as a cause of the foarciry, and consequent high price of grain ; though, undoubtedly, ihe augmentation of the price, fince 1798, is by no means equal to any supposed number of children who can have come into existence, or grown up to maturity, since that period, when corn was cheap.
The country banks, which many people dislike, have been, in their turn, charged with the production of this evil, by the fupport they give to every person-farmer, miller, or jobberwho may be poffessed of corn ; and who, by means of their Dores, is enabled to with-hold it from the market.
Mr. Walter Boyd, who is a man of considerable ingenuity in matters of speculation, has come forward, first, in defence of the country banks, for whose speculations he seems to have fome tenderness; and, secondly, with an attack upon the BANK OF ENGLAND (whose conduct he avows to have always difliked) ascribing to the actual amount of their notes in circulation the present high price of provisions. .
To lower ihe credit of the Bank of England may by some be thought not very consistent with the indulgence of this au. thor for the couniry banks, which depend upon it. Others may observe, that the reasoning which he now advances on the fubject of money and credit, is totally repugnant to his own "project of the sth of April, 1796." Leaving to others the difcullion of the remaining parts of this pamphlet, we thall confine ourselves to examine that main propofition, which meets us at the introduction and the close: “ That the present amount of bank notes, by the return to the House of Commons 15,459,9701. is an increase of paper-money, beyond what the circulation of the country requires and can absorb.” Nor, in examining this proposition, shall we have recourse to any other proofs (though there are many) except those which Mr. Boyd himself has exhibited in this very pamphlet, and parıicularly in the note D.
It will not certainly be denied, that the circulating medium in a country must be increased in proportion to the number of exchanges which must take place in it ; or, in plainer words, in proportion to the increase of its imports and exports, and its inresior commerce. Mr. Boyd, who concurred in the resolurions of the ad of April, which censured the conduct of the Bank in dininishing the issue of its notes, at that period of in: creased commerce, will not controvert this proposition. . He indeed admits it in che outset of his nole D; but lays, that no man will be hardy enough to maintain, that the increase of the nacional deb:, and of the imports and exports within the last tour years, can be confidered as evidence of a similar increase
in every branch of the national industry. It would, however, be more idle than hardy, if any one should undertake to maintain a proposition so vague in itself, and so inapplicable to the main argument.
The increase of the national debt demands, of course, a sufficient number of bank notes to pay tha increased dividends, which are always paid in that currency. The increase of exports and imports proves that the discounts must be more extensive, and consequently that it is probable, though not certain, that there must, for that purpose also, be more bank notes in circulation. The evidence, that every branch of nationa! industry has increased, must be sought elsewhere ; though some presumption, that the search will not be fruitless, may be found in the increase of exports and imports. As to a similar increase, if by that is meant an equal increase, it will not easily be found in every branch of industry ; because many branches of internal industry are low in their process, and do not require much increase of the circulating medium.
Agricultural operations, and the extension of the communia cation of the country by roads or navigations, afford some evidence of the increase of other branches of national industry ; and an additional evidence is drawn from the increase of buildings. In the last four years, to which Mr. Boyd has confined his question (though it will appear, in the sequel, that the period ought to have been extended at least to the year 1793) about three hundred acts have passed for the inclosure and drainage of at least three millions and a half of acres ; a number, far beyond that of any former period. Navigation and road-bills have increased in a very large proportion ; and the increase of buildings, for public and private use, besides two vait docks in the metropolis, are symptoms viable to every unprejudiced eye.
Our object, however, is not to raise speculation against fpeculation, and to reason upon uncertain grounds. We shall, therefore, after this flight notice of the vague statements in the note D, proceed upon the single poflulatum of a proposition admitted by Mr. Boyd ; " that the circulating medium of a country must increase in proportion to the extent of its ex. changes”- to prove, against him, that the present extent of bank notes is not greater than the circulation of the country requires.
The average circulation of bank notes for three years, ending in 1793, was 11,500,0431. The average imports and ex. ports, for the same period, was 48,404,410l. The commer. cial distress in 1793, and the result of the measure by which it was relieved, proves that the circulation was then insufficient.
· The average circulation of bark notes, for the next three years, was 11,844,2161. an addition only of i's; totally inadequate even to the former amount of trade. But the average imports and exports of this period increased to the sum of 50,867,8181. hence the stagnation in February, 1797. i The last return of bank notes is 159450.970. • The average imports and exports, for three years, ending in 1709, amounts to 59,129,0461.
Admit the circulation for the first period to have been adequare, though it undoubtedly was deficient in a very great degree, the question is, what ought to be the proportional increase of circulation, to the increase of imports and exports in the last period ? If 42,207,410', requires 11,500,0431. what will 59.129,0461. require? The answer is 16,112,5811, : The actual circulation therefore is below the sum required by 661,9701. wbich, upon the whole circulating medium, is fomewhat above one i wenty-fifth less than ihe sum which might have been added to it, in due proportion to the issue of bank notes in 1793. But it must be allowed, that the amount of the bank notes, in 1793, was inadequate to the circulation, which at that period the commerce of the kingdom required. • The amount of that deficiency may, with very reasonable certainty, be known by the support which government then gave to commercial credit, which in truth was nothing more than an extension of the issue of bank notes, through the medium of Exchequer bills. The Bank itself might, with the same advantage, have performed the same operation, by increas. ing its discounts.
The whole fum advanced by governinent was 2,129,2001. all repaid (after every expence of an extraordinary commillion defrayed) with a linall profii. The alarm, from a want of circulation, had been so general, that a sum of five millions had been thoughe neceíTarv 10 provide for the exigence.
The actual demand, in ihe first moment, did not much exceed three millions and a half; of which the upwarraniable claims did not amount to 400,000!. and had the Bank, in the due exercise of its own discretion, in admitting or rejecting discounts (to which it was at least as competent as the commillioners named by government) iflued a sum equal to that which, without any loss, was advanced by the public, it may be presumed, that the dillsels of credit would not have arisen, and the Bank would have gained the discount. . .
This tranfa&ion proves, that the state of commerce in the country, in 1793, required and would have absorbed a circula. tion, to the exient at least of two millions beyond the 11,500.cool. it then portefied in bank noies.
· If this be a just fuppofition, the increase of bank notes from that period, must appear to be indeed very moderate : for, if 13,500,000l. be a necessary circulation for a commerce of, 42,000,000l. 15,500,00ol. is surely not too much for a commerce of 59,000,000l.
If the comparison therefore was fairly drawn, between the sum to which the circulating medium, by means of the Bank, ought to have been provided in 1793, still more in 1796, and the present amount of that circulation, the bank may ra: ther be charged with being too timid in its operations than too profuse.
If the commerce of 1793, required a circulation of thirteen millions and a half, that of 1799, would require a circulation of eighicen millions instead of fifteen millions and a half.
This proof seems to us so undeniably evident, that it would hardly be arrogant to conclude it with a mathematical Q.E.D. With this therefore, which, if admitted, destroys the whole : force of the pamphlet, we conclude our consideration of it.
ART. XI. Archeologia, or Miscellaneous Tracts relating 10 An
tiquitz. Vol. XIII.
(Continued from our lajt, p. 597.)
IN recurring to this volume, our attention is carried to a numa: Iber of curious inscriptions, an:ographs, naines, crests, arms, and devices, found on the walls of a room in the Tower, which the stare-delinquents at different tiines confined there, being ge-, nerally denied the use of books, feem to have made by way of amusement, and to alleviate the horrors of imprisonment. The relident Secretary, with a laudable zeal to rescue from oblivion what these unfortunate men used their only means to record, has had ihem copied in fiven plates, and given along with thein biographical sketches, which together form the next article.
VII. Account of Inscriptions discovered on the Walls of an Apartment in the Tower of London. By the Rev. John Brand, Secretary. Read Nov. 17, 1796.
Our readers will be best informed in Mr. B.'s own words, how they happened to be brought to light. .“ There is a room in Beauchamp's Tower, in the Tower of Lon. don, antiently the place of contineinent for ftate-prisoners, and which
A before he under is a puna
has lately been converted into a mess-room for the officers of the gare sison there*. On this alteration being made, a great number of infcriptions was discovered on the walls of the room, which probably have, for the most part, been made with nails, and are all of them, ic should feem, the undoubted autographs, at different periods, of the several illustrious and unfortunate tenants of this once dreary manfion. For the discovery, as well as the preservation, of these most curious memorials, the Sociсty stand indebted to the unremitted zeal and attention of their respectable member, Colonel Smith, F.R.S. Major of the Tower of London." P. 68. ,
There is but one date later than the time of Elizabeth, and none prior to that of Henry VIII. The earliest is 1518. In the reign of the latter, the principal causes of thele imprisonments seem to have been of a religious nature, and for deny. ing the King's supremacy : in that of the former, for plots against the Queen's government, and for aiding and abetting her Scottish rival. We shall mention some of the most curious particulars.
The device of the ambitious John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, done less than a month before he was beheaded. " His name, in the spelling of the age, is under the crest of the lion and bear and ragged staff.” Underneath is a puning inscriprion.
A repetition, taken from different sides of the room, of the soyal title of the amiable and unfortunate Lady Jane Gray.
“ She had, perhaps, a latent meaning in this repetition of her fig. nature, Jane, by which she at once styled herself a Queen, and inti. mated, that not even the horrors of a prison could force her to relin quish that tidle.” P. 70.
or The autograph of Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel, and son of Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, who was beheaded, A. D. 1572."
This is subscribed to a short sentence in Latin, full of piety, and which accords well with his character.
... Here he lay above four years before he was brought to his trial, which came on April 18, 1589, and of which the particulars are preserved in the collection of State Trials. Though condemned to die, he never felt the edge of the axe, but was reprieved from time to time till his death in the Tower, Oct. 19, (Collins says Nov. 19, 1595) and aged about 40 years ; thus compensating, as it were, by a close confinement for ten years, the fatal stroke that had been undergone by his father, grand-father, and great grand-father.” P. 73.
* An iplide view of this room also is given, in its original state. Rev.