Sephardi Jews and the early years of The Bank of England

[The lists appended to this paper are being published in Miscellanies VI.]

INTRODUCTORY

In the chapter on the Proprietors of Bank Stock 1694-1797, in his history of the Bank of England, the late Sir John Clapham called attention to the high percentage of Spanish or Portuguese names of Jews of the Sephardim which appeared in the lists of the Proprietors in the Bank’s early years. He noted that in 1701 these names constituted a full ninth of the group of 107 Proprietors who held the ?4,000 stock and upwards which was the qualification for the Governorship; and that among these holders were two Da Costas, a Fonseca, a Henriquez, a Mendes, a Nunes, a Rodrigues, a Salvador, a Teixeira de Mattos, and Solomon de Medina, the great army contractor to King William III. There was, he showed, a parallel here with the case of the Bank of Amsterdam; when this

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