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.
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 http://www.british-history.ac.uk/old-new-london/vol1/pp453-473 [accessed 26 July 2018].
An introduction to English Banking by Roger Outing on the British Museum Website.