Bank of England

The Bank of England was established in 1694. Its purpose was to “promote the public Good and Benefit of our People”. Building on the practises of existing goldsmiths the Bank of England became the official bank of the United Kingdom. It would service government debt and manage monetary issues. The bank was originally established by Royal Charter and had private shareholders. It issues English currency on behalf of the Government.

Bank of England

The early Bank of England accepted deposits of money from the general public in much the same way that high street banks do today. It had shareholders, King William III and Queen Mary being two of them. The Bank was charged with creating and managing coinage for the English Government and managing its circulation. Predating the Act of Union the Bank did not have its charter or role adjusted in 1707, separate banking arrangements remaining in place for Scotland.
The Bank of England website provides a timeline of its history.
Walter Thornbury, ‘The Bank of England’, in Old and New London: Volume 1 (London, 1878), pp. 453-473. British History Online [accessed 26 July 2018].
An introduction to English Banking by Roger Outing on the British Museum Website.

Further Reading on the British Empire

Making of the United Kingdom

Making of the United Kingdom unit homepage – Glorious Revolution – The British in Ireland, 1688-1691 – Settlement of Ireland – Jacobite Opposition – Glencoe Massacre – Darien Scheme – Act of Union – Migration to the Americas

Economic Consequences of Empire

Economic Consequences of Empire – Unit homepage – Royal African Company – Triangular Trade – Lifting of the RAC monopoly – Plantations – The Slave Economy – Opposition to the Slave Trade in North America – Slave Resistance – East India Company – Expansion of trade in East India – Bank of England – South Sea Bubble Bursts

How did the Empire affect working lives and consumer habits in Britain?

Empire and consumerism – Involvement of the British population in the slave trade and the ‘slave ports’ – Emergence of consumerism

How did the Empire affect British politics and changing ideas?

Politics and changing ideas – Coffee houses and developing political activism – growth of ideas of a racial hierarchy and the impact on settled minority communities

Common questions about the British Empire

Questions about the British Empire – When did the British Empire start? – When did the British Empire end? – What countries were in the British Empire? – Why did Britain want an empire? – What was life like in the British Empire? – Was the British Empire a force for good or bad? – What is Is perfidious Albion? – How was the British Empire controlled?

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