Who were the original owners of the Bank of England?
Let’s start at the beginning. The ‘Governor and Company of the Bank of England’ or as most people know it, the Bank of England, was established by Royal Charter in 1694, to raise money to fund a war with France. Over 1,200 people purchased shares (known at the time as ‘Bank stock’) totalling £1.2 million, which was the value of the government loan.
The first shareholders came from a variety of backgrounds, trades and professions, including carpenters and grocers, merchants, doctors, knights and royalty.
Mike Anson, our Archive Manager, shows the first ‘Bank stock ledger’ from 1694: