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at the very
received no interest. It attracted the Mr Grenfell now possesses, we should attention of the committee on public have had a bargain more advantageous expenditure in 1807. That commit to the public. The plain truth, with tee, in its report, commented with respect to what was really done, is, equal good sense and ability on the that the Bank lent, with an air of saadvantages which the Bank must de- crifice and self-denial, as the equivarive from such a large deposit of mo lent in a bargain most advantageous ney. The bank notes in circulation to them, three millions of money to had then increased to £16,621,390 ; that public, of whose treasure they and the deposits, which in 1797 had were then in permanent possession of been only £5,130,140 inclusive of sums amounting to more than six milprivate accounts, were, on the Govern- lions ! In 1806 this loan became payment account alone, betwixt eleven able. The administration at that time and twelve millions.
Bank stock, did not find it convenient to make the which had sold in 1800 from 156 to payment, but succeeded in “ prolong172 per cent., then sold at 230- ing the period of this loan for the then
strong circumstances," as the com- existing war," at 3 per cent. i.e. paying mittee observes, “in confirmation of £90,000 per annum for the use of the large increase of profits.” It ap it." Why, sir," says Mr Grenpears, from the evidence of Mr Samuel fell, addressing the Speaker with most Thornton before the committee, that excusable animation, in 1800, when he, as Governor, trans moment, in 1806, when the Bank reacted with Mr Pitt a renewal of the quired, and the public most improviBank's charter for twenty-one years, it dently agreed to pay, £90,000 for the had not escaped his eagle eye, to urge, use of three millions of money, the on the part of the public, a right to Bank held, and were in possession of, participate in the profits of the Bank, a treasure belonging to the public, arising, among other things, from amounting to a sum little short of money lodged there to pay the grow- twelve millions, wholly unproductive ing dividends, and the quarterly issues to the public, but productive of adfor redemption of the national debt, vantage to the Bank.” which “ Mr Pitt estimated, might, 1814, it is most proper to add here, during the progress of the charter, ac this loan was repaid, and the interest cumulate to £4,000,000 a quarter.”+ on it, amounting, for eight years and The final bargain made for the public eight months, to £780,000! was--for the renewal, and on account As soon as the report of the comof the advantages from public money mittee on public expenditure made its enjoyed by the Bank-a loan of three appearance, Mr Perceval, who was by millions, without interest, for six that time Chancellor of the Exchequer, years, " producing," as Mr Thornton came forward to claim for the public says, a profit of £900,000 ; but, at a participation in the profits derivable the then price of annuities, it was from the deposits, and a reduction in worth only £750,000, reckoning £5 the charge for managing the national per cent. interest of money." The debt. The Bank agreed to give anosame gentleman states the average ther loan of three millions without balance from money lodged for pay- interest ; to allow the withdrawing of ment of growing dividends, as “ two half a million of the unclaimed divi. millions and an half," and on the dends then lying in their hands; and public accounts at that time, of trifling“ a reduction equal to about one fourth amount.” Mr Grenfell, however, has in the then existing charges for the found out;
“ from statements now management of the debt.” The saving made by the Bank,” and avers it in by this arrangement was £242,000 per his speech, that the money for grow
In 1814 this loan became ing dividends exceeded £3,600,000, due. The present Chancellor of the and that the trifling deposits were Exchequer prevailed easily on the £1,947,000. If Mr Pitt had pos- Bank to allow the prolongation of it to sessed, in 1800, the knowledge which 5th April in this year, on the ground
that the public balances had remained See Report, &c. ordered by the House
« undiminished.” of Commons to be printed, 10th August We may now venture to state the 1807, pp. 75, 76, 77, 78, and 79. + Vide Report as above, p. 103.
* Mr Grenfell's Speech, p. 21.
In the year
present profits of the Bank, arising vidends, 64 per cent. £7,451,136.*. out of its contracts or transactions with New bank stock, £2,910,600, divided the public.
amongst the proprietors in May 1816, Interest at 5 per cent. on £11,500,000 worth 250 per cent. equivalent in moof public balances held by the Bank ney to £7,276,500. Increased value since 1806, £575,000. From which of the capital of £11,642,000, upon an deduct for a loan of three millions to average of 1797 only 125 per cent. the public without interest, saving but which is now taken at 250, being 5 per cent., which is £150,000; ano an increase in the market value of ther of six millions, at 4 per cent., this property of 125 per cent. equivasaving 1 per cent. £60,000; another lent to £14,553,000. Thus the total of three millions, at 3 per cent. saving profit, in addition to the annual divi: 2 per cent. £60,000; and half a mil- dends of 7 per cent. which had never lion taken from the unclaimed divi- been exceeded during the first hundends, saving 5 per cent. £25,000 ; in dred years of the Bank's existence, all £295,000 ;- leaving to the Bank of has been, in twenty years, on a capital England, merely for the safe custody of £11,642,400, the incredible sum of of the public money, a clear profit of £20,280,636 ! £280,000 2-year. The rest of their We have now put our readers in allowances stand thus: Commission for possession of some striking facts in making transfers and paying dividends the history this celebrated estaba on the national debt, £275,000. Com- lishment, for almost all of which, at mission on loans and lotteries, £30,000 least for those which are most import(both these stated as in 1815.) Annual ant, we are indebted to the unwearied allowance, since the erection of the research and perseverance of the auBank, for house expenses, £4000. An- thor of the Speech before us. That nual allowance on four millions of the speech, and the propositions to Parpublic debt bought by the Bank in liament on which it is founded,t re1722 from the South Sea Company, solve themselves into three questions. £1898. If to this we add, for sixteen Can the allowances made to the Bank millions of increase in the circulation be reduced in their amount, with jusof Bank of England paper, since 26th tice to the Bank and safety to the pubFebruary 1797, an annual profit of 5 lic? Can the nation derive farther per cent. which is £800,000, the gross advantage from the large deposits of returns to our national Bank, from its money lodged at the Bank? These transactions with the state, will be objects once found practicable and ex£1,390,898 yearly !*.
pedient, What would be the most The effects of this profitable arrange- effectual and dignified course to be ment, which has operated so visibly adopted for securing them ? on that thriving establishment, will On each of these we shall offer such be seen to the full conviction of our obvious and simple hints as the stinted readers, when we add a statement of limits of our publication will admit. the profits realized by Bank proprietors 1st, As to what farther deduction may during the last twenty years, reckon- be made on the allowance for managing ing from 1797; from which period, the debt, we quote, with deference and by the increased amount in the public satisfaction, from a letter addressed to expenditure producing such deposits the Treasury, 18th January 1786, by of money, and the increase of the na the commissioners for auditing public tional debt, and the increased issue of accounts. “ We take the liberty to notes, unchecked, until within the suggest (what is indeed very obvious) last three years, by any motive of that the commencement of every unprudence-over and above the old or- dertaking is usually the most expendinary dividend of 7 per cent., there sive; and consequently, when the has accrued to that description of per- Bank had once provided additional sons--In bonuses, and increase of di.
* Bonuses distributed among the pro
prietors betwixt June 1799 and October * It is only fair to state here a saving of 1806, 32 per cent. Permanent increase £233,720 per annum, from £11,686,000 of dividend, at 3 per cent. per annum, comadvanced to the public from the bank since mencing in April 1807, is to April 1817, 1746, at 3 per cent. interest, being the con 10) years' dividends, or 315 per cent. Tosideration paid on every renewal of their gether, 64 per cent. charter for their exclusive privileges.
+ See No 390, Parl. Pro. Sess. 1815.
clerks, and incurred such other new must be of the highest value. It is to 1
expenses as might be necessary, the them so much added to their ordinary same persons and accommodations (or capital, without much of the risk or nearly the same) would be sufficient responsibility to which their floating to transact the payment of the divi- obligations subject them. For every dends on several additional millions, thousand of this money in their hands, without much increase of charges of they are enabled to discount so many management. We believe that most more bills, or issue so many more notes. other contractors have found, that a The public service ought instantly to moderate sum gained on a large quan- be benefitted by them, if the usury tity of any commodity generally pro- laws are repealed to an amount acduces a greater profit than a higher cording to what may be the average price on a less quantity: therefore, if rate of interest for money throughout £360 was a sufficient allowance when the country. 3dly, Mr Grenfell reannuities on a capital of one million commends that Parliament should inonly were created, it should seem that terfere to make a new arrangement for the Bank could well undertake the the public; assigning as a reason, that like service at a much lower rate, not the influence “ which, though allonly when the public necessities have powerful, irresistiblein Downing Street, unfortunately increased the capital of would be impotent and unavailing the national debt to the enormous load within the walls of the house.” “ Is of two hundred millions,* but also not,” says he, with the same animawhen the consolidation of a variety of tion which we spoke of before,—“ Is annuities must have lessened both the not your whole financial history, durtrouble and expense attending the ma- ing the last twenty years, filled with nagement thereof.” The Bank has proofs of this influence? It is then in incurred, within the last twenty years, this House, and through the medium of a very great expense for additional this House only, that the interests and hands, and more accommodation to rights of the public can be secured in the public business ; and no one can all negotiations of this nature with the deny that it is executed unexception- Bank; and I repeat it, if the house of ably well. But these views of the Commons will interfere, my conviction committee are still applicable as prin- is, that the Bank will not resist.. If, ciples. The allowance of £4000 for however, I should be disappointed in house expenses was strongly adverted this expectation-and if the Bank, unto for discontinuance, in the end of mindful of what it owes to the public, 1807, by Mr Perceval, in his corre -forgetting that it has duties to perspondence with the Bank at that time. form towards the public, as well as The same reasons exist now; and in- within the limited circle of its own prodeed, the authority of that very acute prietors - I will go farther, and as a and able man is sufficient to those who proprietor of bank stock myself, add, know, that if his leisure from the mul- that if the Bank, taking a narrow, contifarious calls of state had permitted tracted, selfish, and therefore mistaken, him to turn a full attention to the view of its own real permanent interaffairs of the Bank, he would have ests, should resist regulations founded insisted on a thorough sifting and re in fairness, equity, and justice,-in vision of their bargains. The allow- such a state of things, sir, I say it ance for the debt purchased of the must be a consolation to us to know, South Sea Company, is one which and I assert it confidently, that we ought to cease instantly, on the plain have a remedy within our own reach.” ground that all management on it has p. 60. As to the profits accruing from ceased since 1722. 2dly, the deposits the paper circulation of the Bank, of of public money lying at the Bank which we hope the country will conare just so many millions of capital tinue to enjoy the advantages, under taken from the productive labour and due modifications,* Mr Ricardo is of productive capital of thecountry, where they might at least be useful, and
* We hope to be able to announce very lodged with a great corporation whose soon, from the pen of one of the ablest eco
nomists of our time, an Essay, shewing that trade is money, and to whom they
a large coinage of gold would be an unpro
ductive fixation of capital, and therefore hurt* That truly « enormous load” is now ful to the state. For the happiest idea that nearly 860 millions !
ever was conceived, of a currency liable to
opinion, that paper money affords a during the occupation of mind so naseignorage equal to its exchangeable turally produced by the vast concerns value ; and he also believes, that the of the war. The author of these disnation might gain two millions yearly, cussions, to whom all the merit is due, if it were the sole issuer of paper money.
and who might be excused for any He wisely adds, that this would only partiality to his own inquiries, or are be safe under the guidance of com dour in the pursuit of their objects, missioners responsible to Parliament shews exemplary moderation. He has only.” Mr Grenfell's recommendation taken them up without violence or of parliamentary interference is good. faction, but with the urbanity and deThat is, indeed, the truly constitu- cision of an English gentleman. He tional mode. Every exertion of the has not over-estimated their importkind is so much gained towards en ance; and his statements are remarksuring a considerate use of the public able for perspicuity and plainness, treasure, and a strict control over it in without the least shade of laboured future, as matter of duty and honest comment or ostentatious deduction. emulation, on the part of those who He deals not in splendid generalizahave been recognised, since the Revo- tions, nor in well-turned invectives ad lution, as its guardians.
captandum vulgus. We entreat the We have now gone over the prin- early attention of our readers to the cipal matters of these questions. For Speech itself, and to the Appendix, in the rest we refer to Mr Grenfell, who which they will find a variety of essenhas invested the subject with attrac- tial statement and explanation, for tions of manner to which we cannot which we could not possibly make aspire. To his interference in the business this country is indebted for a sav Mr Grenfell was a member of the ing of £180,000 yearly,--a thing of bullion committee, and enjoyed the greater importance than those who are friendship of Mr Horner. În a letter occupied with the taking but doubtful written lately to a correspondent in schemes of a more extended patriot- this place, he says, " the sanction of ism could be easily led to acknow- his great authority, and his unvaried ledge. Nice calculations of political countenance and approbation of my arithmetic, however, and even the humble exertions in this cause, inmost refined inquiries of political eco- spired me with a confidence as to the nomy, come now, with direct force, to correctness of my own views, which the ordinary business and interests of has been most essential to me.” We all those who have, in common par- knew, ourselves, enough of that most lance, a stake in the country; and we excellent person, to perceive that this might even add, to those also who is a great deal for any man to say. have nothing but life and liberty to The privileges and advantages which care for, and whose interest in the it implies can only be equalled by incause of good government is the ulti- tercourse with one of the most original mate and the extreme.
and inventive writers on political ecoWe know, from the very best autho- nomy since the time of Adam Smith ;* rity, that Lord Glenville, much to the whose speculations on the great subcredit of his sense and candour, has jects of human interest with which recently taken blame to himself for that science is especially connected, not looking narrowly enough into the have much of the strictness and seveaffairs of the Bank in 1806-7, when rity of mathematical demonstration; he was at the head of the Treasury, and who bids fair to give to its most and Mr Vansittart secretary under practical deductions more shape and him. The truth is, we believe, that certainty than they have received from ministers only overlooked this subject any writer of his day.
no variations except such as affect the stan Mr Ricardo, who is the friend of Mr dard itself, we refer to the novel, solid, and Grenfell, seconded his resolutions proposed ingenious reasons urged in Mr Ricardo's to the Court of Proprietors at the Bank, Proposals. There also the reader will find 230 May 1816, and speaks with respect of the practical developement of this fortunate his exertions for the public. See Proposals conception made out with uncommon close- for an Economical and Secure Currency, ness, clearness, and simplicity.
The Life of William Hutton, F.A.S.S. gravity, and many of the absurdities,
including a particular Account of the which accompany the decline of life. Riots at Birmingham in 1791 ; to He is serious, egotistical, and vainwhich is subjoined the History of never absolutely tedious; for his senhis Family, written by himself, and tences are short, and his reasoning obpublished by his Daughter, Cathe- vious, pointed, and, at least in his own rine Hutton. 8vo. pp. 400.
Lon- opinion, quite conclusive. don, Baldwin & Co.
We cannot make room for long ex
tracts, but the character of Phebe The Life of William Hutton ought accords so well with some other cha
Brown, as recorded by Mr Hutton, to obtain a place next to the Memoirs racters already described in our misof Dr Franklin, in the libraries of all aspiring young men who are entering temptation of transcribing it at full
cellany, that we cannot resist the upon business, or active life. If they
length. find nothing very elegant in the com
“ But the greatest wonder I saw was position of these volumes, very skilful Phebe Brown. She was five feet six inches in the arrangement of the incidents, in height, is about thirty, well proportionor very great and striking in the inci- ed, round faced and ruddy, has a dark pedents themselves—they will be pleas- netrating eye, which, the moment it fixes ed and edified by the simple picture of upon your face, sees your character, and human life which is there delineated, that with precision. Her step (pardon the the characters of truth and nature Irishism) is more manly than a man's, and which are impressed on every line- dress is a man's hat, coat, with a spencer
can cover forty miles a-day. Her common and, above all, by the animating con over it, and men's shoes. As she is unfirmation which it affords of a truth married, I believe she is a stranger to very generally acknowledged, and al- breeches. most as generally neglected, that there . “ She can lift one hundred weight in each is scarcely an obstacle placed in the hand, and carry fourteen score; can sew, path to independence and respectabic knit, cook, and spin ; but hates them all, lity, which may not be surmounted by
and every accompaniment to the female honesty, economy, and perseverance.
character, that of modesty, excepted. A The narrative is simple, perhaps to a
gentleman at the New Bath had recently
treated her rudely, 'She had a good mind to fault, but always assumes an earnest have knocked him down.' She assured me, or playful tone, with the most judici • she never knew what fear was.' She gives ous conformity to the importance or no affront, but offers to fight any man who frivolity of the incidents related. The gives her one. If she never has fought, author attempts to interest his readers perhaps it is owing to the insulter having by no complicated maneuvres, no po
been a coward, for the man of courage litical intrigues, no marvellous adven
would disdain to offer an insult to a female. tures ;-he gives them the unadorned
“ Phebe has strong sense, an excellent history of his own struggles up a
judgment, says smart things, and supports
an easy freedom in all companies. Her mountain of difficulties--yet the cir voice is more than masculine, it is deep cumstances in which he is placed are toned. With the wind in her favour, she sometimes so uncommon, as to appear can send it a mile ; she has neither beard almost incredible. The mode in which nor prominence of breast; she undertakes he ushered himself into life, is perhaps any kind of manual labour, as holding the unparalleled in the annals of biogra- plough, driving a team, thatching the barn, phy. We were particularly delighted using the flail
, &c.; but her chief avocation with the sly humour which charac- is breaking horses, for which she charges a terizes his remarks on the transac- without a saddle—is thought to be the best
guinea a-week each. She always rides tions of his juvenile years, and which judge of a horse or cow in the country, and presents the interesting picture of an is frequently employed to purchase for old man, looking back with pleasure others at the neighbouring fairs. on the years of childhood, yet regard “ She is fond of Milton, Pope, and ing the foibles and frivolities of that Shakspeare, also of music ; is self-taught, light-hearted age with a mixture of and performs on several instruments, as the complacency and derision. While he flute, violin, and harpsichord, and supports describes the years of youth and vani- the bass-viol in Mallock church. she is
a marks-woman, and carries a gun on her ty, his sarcastic humour and self-gra- shoulder. She cats no beef or pork,
and tulation still blend in happy unison but little mutton. „Her chief food is milk, with his theme. In old age, again, which is also her drink, discarding wine, we find him represented with all the ale, and spirits. Vol. I.