An Act was also passed (37 Geo. III. c. 32) suspending the Acts passed in 1777, which prohibited bankers issuing notes below the amount of 5, and the country bankers commenced issuing notes of 1.

1799. Jan. 3. The bank gave notice, that on and after the 14th inst. it would pay in cash all fractional sums under 5; and that on and after the 1st day of February next, it would pay cash for all notes of 1 and 2 value that are dated prior to the 1st day of July, 1798, or exchange them for new notes of the same value, at the option of the holders.

1800. The bank charter was extended or renewed until the expiration of twelve months' notice, to be given after the 1st day of August, 1833, and until payment by the public to the bank of the demands therein mentioned; being an extension or renewal of the said charter for twenty-one years (40 Geo. III. c. 28). In consideration of obtaining this renewal of their charter, the bank agreed to lend the government the sum of 3,000,000 without interest for six years.

The 40 Geo. III. c. 36, was enacted to enable courts of equity to compel a transfer of stock in suits, without making the Bank of England, or the East India Company, or the South Sea Company, partners in the sales.

1801. 41 Geo. III. c. 57, was enacted "for the better prevention of the forgery of the notes and bills of exchange of persons carrying on the business of bankers."

"After July 10th, 1801, no person shall use or make any frame or mould for making paper, with the name or firm of any persons or body corporate appearing in the substance of the paper, without a written authority for that purpose: or shall make or vend such paper, or cause such name or firm to appear in the substance of the paper, whereon the same shall be written or printed, - on penalty of being imprisoned for the first offence, not exceeding two years, nor less than six months; and for the second offence, transported for seven years.

"No person shall engrave, etc, any bill or note of any person or banking company, or use any plate so engraved, or any device for making or printing such bill or note, nor shall knowingly have in his custody such plate or device, or shall utter such bill or note, without a written authority for that purpose, under a like penalty.

"No person shall engrave, etc, on any plate, any subscriptions subjoined to any bill or note of any person or banking company, payable to bearer on demand, or have in his possession any such plate, on penalty, for the first offence, of being imprisoned not exceeding three years, nor less than twelve months; and for the second, transported for seven years."

1802. The war having been concluded by the peace of Amiens, the Bank Restriction Act would have expired six months afterwards, but it was by a new Act continued in force till the 1st day of March, 1803.

1803. Feb. 28. The Bank Restriction Act was continued until six weeks after the commencement of the next session of parliament.

Dec. 15. War having recommenced, the Bank Restriction Act was continued until six months after the conclusion of a definite treaty of peace.

The bank is said to have lost this year no less a sum than 300,000, through a fraud committed by one of its principal cashiers, Mr. Aslett.

In consequence of the scarcity of silver, the bank issued five-shilling dollars. These dollars had on the obverse side an impression of his Majesty's head, and the following superscription: "Georgius III. Dei Gratia Rex;" and on the reverse side, the impression of Britannia and the following: "Five shillings dollar. Bank of England, 1804." The bank subsequently issued silver tokens for three shillings, and for one shilling and sixpence. By an Act passed in 1812, the counterfeiting these dollars and tokens was liable to a punishment of fourteen years' transportation.

1808. The allowance from the government to the bank for managing the public debt, reduced from 450 a million to 340 a million, on six hundred millions of the debt, and to 300 a million on all that it exceeded that sum. This was exclusive of some separate allowances on annuities, etc.

By 48 Geo. III. c. 149, the following duties were imposed upon country bank notes: -

s.

d.

Not exceeding

1

1s.

...............

....

0

0

4

Exceeding . .

1

1

not exceeding

2

2s.

0

0

8

,, .......

2

2

,,

5

5

0

1

0

,, .......

5

5

,,

20

0

0

1

6

,, .......

20

0

,,

30

0

0

3

0

,, .......

30

0

,,

50

0

0

4

6

,, .......

50

0

,,

100

0

0

7

6

These duties remained the same until the year 1815.

1810. The Bullion Committee appointed by the House of Commons for the purpose of inquiring into the causes of the high price of gold bullion, and its effect on the circulating medium.

The committee delivered a very long report, in which they discussed a variety of matters connected with the currency, and concluded by recommending that the bank should resume cash payments at the end of two years. The following are extracts: -

"Tour committee have found that the price of gold bullion which, by the regulation of his Majesty's mint, is 3 17s. 10 1/2d. per ounce of standard fineness, was, during the years 1806, 1807, and 1808, as high as 4 in the market. Towards the year 1808 it began to advance very rapidly, and continued very high during the whole year 1809, the market price of standard gold fluctuating from 4 9s. to 4 12s. per oz. The market price at 4 10s. is about 15 1/2 per cent. above the mint price.

"Tour committee have likewise found, that towards the end of the year 1808 the exchanges with the continent became very unfavourable to this country, and continued still more unfavourable through the whole of 1809, and the three first months of the present year.

"Mr. Whitmore, the late governor of the bank, stated to the committee, that in regulating the general amounts of the loans and discounts, he did ' not advert to the circumstance of the exchanges, it appearing upon a reference to the amount of our notes in circulation, and the course of the exchange, that they frequently have no connection.'

"Mr. Pearse, now governor of the bank, agreed with Mr. Whitmore in this account of the practice of the bank, and expressed his full concurrence in the same opinion. Mr. Pearse said: 'In considering this subject with reference to the manner in which bank notes are issued, resulting from the applications made for discounts to supply the necessary want of bank notes, by which their issue in amount is so controlled that it can never amount to an excess, I cannot see how the amount of bank notes issued can operate upon the price of bullion, or the state of exchanges; and therefore I am individually of opinion that the price of bullion or the state of the exchanges can never be a reason for lessening the amount of bank notes to be issued, always understanding the control which I have already described.'