Committee of Inspection Minutes 1783-90

The Committee of Inspection was formed on 17 March 1783 with the intention of inspecting the daily business of the Bank.

Results were published in six separate reports for the attention of the Governor, Deputy Governor and the Committee of Treasury.

The Court minutes describe the role of the Committee, which illustrates the extensive powers that it was given by the Bank; ‘…they are hereby empowered to inspect the management of every office, together with all such books and papers as they may think necessary.’ They were also required to report their concerns on an intermittent basis to the Committee of Treasury.  
The evidence recorded by the Committee generally notes the names and roles of the staff  they interview. Such detail offers a unique insight into the operations of the Bank’s staff in the 18th century. A variety of first-hand accounts are included such as that of Mr Baillie, Head of the Cheque Office, and William Watkins, the Principal Gate Porter. 
The reports produced by the Committee led to the formation of three permanent Committees of Inspection. Committee one was responsible for Stock Offices, Committee two was required to inspect areas which included the Printing Office, Bank Note Office and Pay Clerks, and Committee three was responsible for Drawing Office Accounts, Chancery and Discount.

The Committee’s gathering of information across the Bank led to the production of six reports. Copies of the reports have been extracted from the main minutes and can be found below.

Archive Catalogue Reference: M5/212-213

This page was last updated 31 January 2023