"By the resolution of the House of Commons of 1819, the bank were required, within four years, to pay off in gold the amount of their one-pound notes then in circulation (about 7,500,000); further, to provide the coin for paying off the country small notes in 1825 (about seven or eight millions more); in addition to which the necessity was imposed of providing the requisite surplus bullion for insuring the convertibility of all their liabilities, which addition of bullion to their then stock could not be estimated at less than 5,000,000; making in the aggregate 20,000,000 of gold as necessary to be provided from foreign countries, within the space of four years from 1819.

"That the supply of gold could only be purchased by reduced prices of commodities; the bank withdrawing a given amount of securities in the first instance, the notes for which might be reissued in payment of the gold as imported. The low prices and general state of trade, from 1819 to 1821, and the withdrawal of the bank's securities, enabled the bank to cancel their small notes in the latter year; and in the following (1822), three years prior to the time fixed by parliament, they were in a situation to furnish the gold for paying off the country small notes, when, without any communication with the bank, the government thought proper to authorize a continuance of the circulation of the country small notes until 1833. The consequence of that measure was to leave in the possession of the bank an inordinate quantity of bullion (14,200,000 in January, 1824); and further, to afford the power of extension to the country bankers' issues, which it is believed were greatly extended, from 1823 to 1825."

By a return from the Stamp Office, it appears that the number of country banks this year was five hundred and fifty-two, and the number of persons in those firms was one thousand six hundred and seventy-three.

In this year the government reduced the interest of the navy five per cents. to four per cent. Each holder of 100 stock received 105 new stock, bearing four per cent., with a guarantee that the interest should not be further reduced until the year 1829. The new stock was distinguished by the name of "new fours." The bank agreed to advance the money to pay off the dissentients.

1822. In consequence of the abolition of the notes under 5, the directors of the bank found they had many more clerks than was necessary. A good number were, therefore, discontinued; the bank giving them either a pension, or the value of a pension in ready money, at the option of the clerks. The conduct of the bank on this occasion was highly liberal, and met with universal approbation.

The bank engaged to advance to government, between April, 1823, and April, 1828, the sum of ,13,089,419, for the purpose of defraying the charge of military and naval pensions, and to receive in lieu of this sum, 585,740 per annum; to commence from the 5th of April, 1823, and to continue for a term of forty-four years, and then to cease. This charge is commonly called "the dead weight."

In the latter end of this year the bank commenced advancing money upon the security of government stock. It also lent l,500,000 to the East India Company.

1824. The bank extended its advances upon stock, and commenced lending money on mortgage.

The old four per cents. were reduced to three and a half per cent. The new stock is called "Three and a half per cent. reduced."

This and the subsequent year were remarkable for the commencement of a great number of joint-stock companies. The total number of projects was six hundred and twenty-four, and to carry them all into effect would have required a capital of 372,173,100. They have been thus classified: 1 -

Capital.

74

Mining Companies ................

38,370,000

29

Gas ditto .....

12,077,000

20

Insurance ditto ....

35,820,000

29

Investment ditto

52,600,000

54

Canal Railroad ditto .

44,051,000

67

Steam ditto .....

8,555,500

11

Trading ditto ....

10 450,000

1 See A Complete View of the Joint-Stock Companies formed during the years 1824 and 1825, by Henry English.

Capital.

26

Building Companies...................

13,781,000

24

Provision ditto ....

8,360,000

290

Miscellaneous ditto.................

148,108,600

624

372,173,100

The above companies are divided by Mr. English into four classes. First, companies which continued to exist in the year 1827; secondly, companies whose shares had been sold in the market, but were afterwards abandoned; thirdly, companies which published prospectuses, or which were announced in the papers, but which are not known to have issued shares; fourthly, companies, the formation of which was noticed in the public papers, but the particulars not specified.

The following is the general summary: -

Companies.

Capital required.

Amount actually advanced.

127

Companies existing in 1827

102,781,600

15,185,950

118

do. abandoned ..............

56,606,500

2,419,675

236

do. projected ............

143,610,000

143

do. do. not particularized

69,175,000

624

372,173,100

17,605,625

Besides the capital required for the above companies, large sums of money were granted as loans to foreign Powers, as appears from the following table: -

A list of the foreign loans contracted in England, with the amounts of the same, the names of the contractors, the years in which the contracts were made, and the prices at which they were issued.

Per Cent.

Austrian . . .

2,500,000

5

Brazilian . . .

3,200,000

,,

Ditto . . . .

2,000,000

,,

Buenos Ayres .

1,000,000

6

Chili . . . .

1,000,000

,,

Columbian . .

2,000,000

,,

Ditto . . . .

4,750,000

,,

Danish. . . .

5,500,000

3

Greek . . . .

800,000

5

Ditto . . . .

1,000,000

,,

Guatemala . .

1,428,571

6

Guadaljava . .

600,000

5

Mexican . . .

3,200,000

,,

Ditto . . . .

3,200,000

6

Neapolitan . .

2,500,000

5

Prussian . . .

5,000,000

,,

Ditto . . . .

3,500,000

,,

Portuguese . .

1,500,000

,,

Peruvian . . .

450,000

6

Ditto . . . .

750,000

,,

Ditto . . . .

616,000

,,

Russian . ..

3,500,000

5

Spanish . .

1,500,000

,,

Ditto . .

1,500,000

,,

52,994,571

Per

Cent.

N. M. Rothschild . .

1823

82

T. Wilson & Co. . .

1824

75

N. M. Rothschild . .

1825

85

Baring Brothers . . .

1824

85

Hullett Brothers . .

1822

70

Herring, Graham, & Co.

1822

84

B. A. Goldschmidt & Co.

1824

88 1/2

T. Wilson & Co. . .

1825

75

Loughnan & Co. . .

1824

59

Ricardos.....

1825

56 1/2

I. & A. Powles . . .

1825

73

W. Ellward, jun. . .

1825

60

B. A. Goldschmidt & Co.

1824

58

Barclay, Herring, & Co.

1825

89 3/4

N. M. Rothschild . .

1824

92 1/2

Ditto......

1818

72

Ditto ............................

1822

84

B. A. Goldschmidt & Co.

1823

87

Frys and Chapman . .

1822

88

Ditto......................

1824

82

Ditto.....................

1825

78

N. M. Rothschild . .

1822

82

A. F. Haldimand . .

1821

56

J. Campbell & Co. . .

1823

30 1/4

1825. At the commencement of this year there was every appearance of general prosperity, but in December occurred