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The Bullionist Controversy

19th C. British cartoon on the Bullionist Controversy

The Bullionist Controversy emerged in the early 1800s regarding whether or not paper notes should be made convertible to gold on demand. This metamorphosized later in the 1840s into the Banking-Currency School debate over the gold parity of the Bank of England notes.


In 1694, at the instigation William Paterson and the assent of the new Dutch king of England, William III, a new joint-stock company, the Bank of England, was formed to help finance the government's borrowing.  In 1695, the Bank of Scotland was incorporated.  In 1696, a proposal by John Briscoe and Hugh Chamberlain for a "National Land Bank", an equivalent note-issuing bank for the English provinces, with credit secured by land rather than gold, failed to get off the ground.

Besides lending to the government, the Bank of England's principal line of business was the London discount market - that is discounting commercial bills of exchange. The English currency crisis of 1695-98 lowered confidence in Bank of England notes. To shore up confidence, in 1704, government passed laws making promissory notes legally enforceable.  This did not prevent a crisis and run on the Bank in 1707.  So in 1708, parliament passed an act (7 Anne, c.7) prohibiting private companies with more than six partners from issuing promissory notes anywhere in England.  In 1720, in the course of the South Sea Bubble, the Bubble Act (6 Geo. 1, c. 18) prohibited the formation of joint-stock companies without a royal charter.  The banking act was clarified and reinforced in 1742 (15 Geo. 2, c.15).  England was consequently reduced to a single, note-issuing joint-stock bank (Bank of England) and a myriad of small, private partnership banks which did not issue notes in London.  Outside of London, there was a plethora of country banks which issued notes..

The Bullionist Debate of the 1810s

In early 1797, rumors that French soldiers had landed on English soil led to a widespread bank run in Britain. Customers hurried to their banks demanding immediate redemption of their notes in gold bullion.  Several country banks failed, and on Saturday, February 25, 1797, the Bank of England reported its gold reserves were reduced to 1.1 million, and that it was likely to face a bank run when it opened on Monday.   The Pitt government issued an order in council the next day suspending the convertibility of bank-notes to cash until Parliament could address the issue.  After deliberation, Parliament, in early May, 1797, it passed the Bank Restriction Act (37 Geo III, c.45), extending Pitt's restriction until six months after the finalization of a stable peace treaty with France..

The crisis, then, was properly averted, but some commentators believed the government should have restored convertibility immediately after the invasion panic subsided. An intellectual debate proceeded immediately as lawyers, bankers and statesmen lined up for and against the maintenance of convertibility of notes into gold.  On the one hand, there were the "Bullionist" group, which argued for convertibility; arrayed on the other side were the "Anti-Bullionist" who preferred the status quo of suspension. The Bullionist argument was straightforward. If banks are not required to convert notes into gold, then they will be tempted to issue notes in excess of the gold in their vaults. This will lead to an excess supply of money and hence, by their view, a cheapening of the price of money, i.e. inflation. They argued that to avoid inflation, required convertibility of notes into gold should be restored. Among the prominent spokesmen for the Bullionists were John Wheatley, David Ricardo, Sir Henry Parnell and Francis Horner.

In contrast, the Anti-Bullionists appealed to some form of the old Real Bills Doctrine of John Law (1705), Sir James Steuart (1767) and Adam Smith (1776). Given the peculiar, long experience of Scottish banking with inconvertibility, this authorship is not surprising. Banknotes, Smith had argued, were issued by banks in exchange for merchants' bills of exchange. As long as the repayment of these bills of exchange is credible (i.e. "Real Bills" as opposed to "Fictitious Bills"), then no more banknotes will be issued than what is required by merchants. In short, the demand for banknotes by commerce is itself limited by the "needs of trade", hence even without convertibility, the bank is not going to issue more notes than what commerce demands. Thus, there will never be excess note issue. If there happens to be excess issue by accident, however, this still would not cause inflation as it would return immediately to the banks upon the liquidation of the bills of exchange.   This was called the "reflux principle" and was part of the Real Bills Doctrine. Among the Anti-Bullionists who espoused this doctrine in the early 1800s, we find Henry Boase, Nicholas Vanisttart, Charles Bosanquet, Robert Torrens and James Mill (although Mill subsequently converted to the Bullionist camp after his interaction with Ricardo).

Henry Thornton (1802) occupies a curious intermediary position. Although dismissing the Bullionist case for resumption at this stage, citing lack of evidence that excess issue caused the inflation, he also provided an admirable critique of the Real Bills doctrine. Namely, he asked, who guaranteed that the demands of commerce were limited? Suppose actual capital yields returns higher than the rate of interest (or discount) charged by the banks? Would not merchants' demand an interminable amount of notes - however "real"? Bills offered for exchange into notes, he argued, might not readily be "limited" as the Real Bills advocates argued. Inflation must thus ensue. Thornton's analysis formed the germ for the later "cumulative process" of Knut Wicksell (1898). 

The Bullionist debate reached its climax in 1810, with the establishment of the "Bullion Committee" by parliament, chaired by Francis Horner, and including Parnell and Thornton, to inquire into Ricardo's allegations about excess issue.  The Bullion Committee's report concluded that excess issue was indeed to blame for a recent bout of inflation, and recommended immediate resumption to convertibility (Thornton agreed with the report, with qualifications).   However, the report came out too late in the parliamentary session to be considered, and would have to wait a year.  In the interim, a veritable battle took place in the pages of the English press, attacking and defending the report.  In the Spring of 1811, when the report was finally brought up for debate and vote on the parliamentary floor, the act of resumption was resoundingly defeated.  Attention soon drifted, as the new problem facing Britain after 1812 was deflation rather than inflation, and economic debates focused on the Corn Laws.

The issue of resumption returned  for a second round in 1818, with the establishment of new committee headed by the young Sir Robert Peel.  It also recommended resumption, and this time it passed parliament in 1819.  Convertibility of paper notes to gold was resumed by 1821.

The Banking Debates of 1830s-40s

 The financial crisis of 1825-26 and the attendant wave of private bank failures had put monetary reform back on the table - this time focused on the banks.  This had been agitated for by Thomas Joplin since 1822.  Clearly a banking system reliant on a single gigantic Bank of England and a multitude of small, vulnerable, weakly-capitalized, private banks, was dangerous for the health of the financial and payments system so critical to Britain's commerce and prosperity.  In an effort to strengthen the banking sector, the Bank Act of 1826 authorized the establishment of note-issuing joint-stock banks outside a radius of 65 miles from London.  Under the new law, banking companies could have an unrestricted number of partners (previously it had been limited to six) but would not enjoy limited liability.  To compensate for the loss of its privileges (and its profitable rediscount business), the Bank of England was allowed to open branches in the provinces.

But Joplin felt that was not enough, and noted that the current banking law did not forbid joint-stock banks to operate inside of London, provided they only took deposits and did not issue notes. The issue was take up in 1833, when the Bank of England's charter was up for renewal.  Much to the Bank's protest, the government inserted an explicit declaratory clause concurring with Joplin, noting it was perfectly legal for deposit-taking joint-stock banks to establish themselves inside of London (3 & 4 William IV, c.98)   It also inserted two other important changes - one making Bank of England notes "legal tender" in redemption of country bank notes, another exempting banks from usury laws.

Immediately, a series of joint-stock London banks were created - the London and Westminster (1834), the London Joint Stock (1836), the London and County (1839) and dozens more.  But the Bank of England (in collusion with the small private banks) took a stance of unrelenting hostility towards the upstarts, refused to let them open accounts, or use their clearing facilities. The fledgling joint-stock banks responded as best they could, making up for their crippled means by offering high interest rates to their depositors - which could only be paid for, naturally, by a more reckless lending policy.  Predictably, all this unleashed waves of speculation and spectacular failures,  culminating in the Panic of 1837.  In the aftermath, the pressure was on to tighten the system, a crusade launched by Samuel Loyd (Lord Overstone).  It became known as the Banking school-Currency school debates

The eventual result was the Banking Acts of 1844, which came into two parts.  The first (7 & 8 Vict c.32, also known as "Bank Charter Act" or "Peel's Act") prohibited the creation of any new note-issuing banks and restricted those already in existence from expanding.  The Bank of England would henceforth have a de facto note-issuing monopoly. Moreover, the amount of issue would be strictly tied to gold reserves.  The second act (7 & 8 Vict .c.113, "Joint Stock Banks Act")  threw up so many restrictions and bureaucratic obstacles that made it practically impossible to create any new joint-stock banks.  And very few were - only three were created over the next decade.  These restrictions would be mildly relaxed in a series of acts 1857-62. 

The debates leading up to the 1844 Banking Act pitted the "Currency School" (which supported the Act) against the "Banking School" (which preferred to retain the status quo), and resurrected some of the issues of the earlier Bullionist controversy.  The "Currency School", argued that there needed to be a maximum amount of note issue (which the gold standard provided) or else inflation would result.  They argued that the problems of the 1830s banking system resulted from the fact that the Bank of England's had conflicting objectives, that its note-issuing was tied to its private banking activities, and urged a strict separation between the two.  Note-issuing should be "like currency", and follow a 100% gold reserve requirement, completely independently of the bank's other activities (a proposal already made by Joplin back in 1823).  The Currency School after 1837 was led by Lord Overstone and counted among its proponents James R. McCulloch,  Mountiford. Longfield and Robert Torrens.

Rallied against the act was the "Banking School", who argued that convertibility was enough, that imposing strict note-issuing restrictions and gold parity was unnecessary. Although not accepting the old Real Bills doctrine in its entirety, they resurrected some of its essentials, and argued there was little danger of excess.  The new reflux principle was even simpler: excess note issue might induce inflation, but that would lead to a race to redeem notes in gold, thereby removing the excess money supply.  As a more general point, and a little ahead of its time, the Banking School argued that note restrictions were pointless, since deposits and bills of exchange are effectively also money, and that concerns about inflation are better dealt with by focusing on the restriction of bank credit, rather than note-issue. The Banking School was led by Thomas Tooke, John Fullarton and the young John Stuart Mill.

As it happened, several circumstances during this period led to the suspension of the Banking Act three times (1847, 1857, 1866), lending credibility to the position of the Banking School. Nonetheless, the Currency School won the day and gold parity to note issue introduced in 1844 was generally maintained until the First World War.   


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Resources on the Bullionist Controversies

(most pamphlets are contained in their respective author profile pages; following just collects those without explicit profiles).

Early Bank of England

  • The Writings of William Paterson of Dumfrieshire, founder of the Bank of England and of the Darien Colony. Saxe Bannister, editor, [1858 ed.  London: Effingham Wilson,. 2 vols:  v.1, v.2]; [1859 ed  London: Judd & Glass. 3 vols:  v.1, v.2, v.3]
  • A Vindication of the Bank of England from the Misrepresentations, and Groundless Suggestions of a Late Pamphlet, Entitled, 'Remarks Upon the Bank of England', to which is added, by way of Appendix, Essays upon banks, upon credit, upon plenty and scarcity of money, by a Merchant. by "A Merchant" [Simon Clement], 1707. London: R. Parker. [online]
  •  A Concise and Authentic History of the Bank of England: with dissertations on metals and coin, bank notes and bills of exchange, to which is added, their charter. by Thomas Fortune, 1797 [1802 3rd ed]  London: Boosey.

1797 Suspension

  • Letters Written to the Governor and Directors of the Bank of England, in September, 1796, on the Pecuniary Distresses of the Country, and the Means of Preventing Them, with some additional observations on the same subject, and the means of speedily re-establishing the commercial credit of the country. by Sir John Sinclair, 1797, London: W. Bulmer. [online]
  •  A Few Reflections upon the Present State of Commerce and Publick Credit, with some remarks upon the late conduct of the Bank of England by Anon ["An Old Merchant"], 1796 [xx]
  • Reflections on the Present State of the Resources of the Country by Anon [Robert Banks Jenkinson, Earl of Liverpool], 1796 [bk]
  • A Letter to Sir William Pulteney, Bart. in consequence of his proposal for Establishing a New Bank: with some remarks on his quotations from Dr. Adam Smith  by [Anon] 1797 [bk]  (review in CR, p.219)
  • Observations on the Establishment of the Bank of England and on the Paper Circulation of the Country. by Sir Francis Baring, 1797 London: Sewell [online]
  • Considerations on the Propriety of the Bank of England Resuming its Payments in Specie, at the period prescribed by the Act 37th, George III. by Anon [Jasper Atkinson], 1802 London: Sewell [online]
  • Utility of Country Banks Considered, by Anon 1802, [bk] (review in MR, p.107)

Bullionist debates to 1811

  • Thoughts on the Effects of the Bank Restrictions by Lord Peter King, 1803 [bk]
  • A Treatise on the Coin of the Realm, in a letter to the king by Charles Jenkinson, Earl of Liverpool, 1805.[bk]
  • Essay on the Theory of Money and Exchange by Thomas Smith 1807 [bk] [1811 2nd ed "with considerable additions, including an examination of the Report of the Bullion Committee"]
  • Observations on the Principles which Regulate the Course of Exchange, and on the present depreciated state of the currency by William Blake, 1810 (May) [bk]
  • ["Bullion Report"] Report, together with minutes of evidence, and accounts, from the Select Committee on the High Price of Gold Bullion, 8 June, 1810 [bk] [1919 Cannan ed: av, McM]
  • Practical observations on the Report of the Bullion-committee by Charles Bosanquet, 1810 [bk]
  • Observations on the Report of the Bullion Committee,  Sir John Sinclair, 1810 [av] [2nd ed. av]
  • A Short investigation into the subject of the alleged superfluous issue of bank notes, the high price of bullion, and the unfavourable state of the foreign exchanges: in two letters, extracted from the Times newspaper, of the 18th and 20th of April 1811 : to which is added the substance of the Earl of Rosse's speech in the House of Lords, on the exchange and currency of Ireland, taken from the Morning Post of the 17th of April by [Anon]. 1811
  • Defence of Abstract Currencies; in a reply to the Bullion Report, and Mr. Huskisson, by Glocester Wilson
  • A Plain Statement of the Bullion Question, in a letter to a friend, by Davis Giddy, 1811 [bk]
  • The Expediency and Practicability of the Resumption of Cash Payments by the Bank of England, by J.L. Tavers
  • Observations on the report of the Committee of the House of Commons, appointed to inquire into the high price of gold bullion, together with some remarks on the work of Francis Blake [sic], entitled, Observations on the principles which regulate the course of exchange, and on the present depreciated state of the currency, by Edward Thornton, 1811 [bk]
  • Observations on the present State of the currency of the Bank of England, by Earl of Rosse
  • Theory of Money; or a practical inquiry into the present state of the circulating medium by [Anon], 1811
  • A Review of the Controversy Respecting the High Price of Bullion, and the State of Our Currency, by [Anon] 1811 [bk]
  • "Summary of Bullion Report", 1811 Christian Review, p.653

Intermediary debates

  • Paper against Gold; or, the history and mystery of the Bank of England, of the debt, of the stocks, of the sinking fund, and of all the other tricks and contrivances carried on by means of paper money. by William Cobbett, 1812 [1828 edition]
  • Theory of Money and Exchanges; and the causes of its present depreciation indisputably pointed out; with some thoughts on the progress and termination of the sinking fund, illustrated in a series of familiar dialogues, by William Major, 1812 [bk]
  • A Further Defence of Abstract Currencies by Glocester Wilson, 1812 [bk]
  • Observations on Paper Currency, the Bank of England notes, and on the principles of coinage and a metallic circulating medium. by George Booth (1815) Liverpool: J. Lang. [online]
  •  A Letter to the Proprietors of the Bank of England: on the division of the surplus profits of that corporation by Charles Arnott (1818). London: Effingham Wilson. [online]
  • Considerations on the Alarming Increase of Forgery on the Bank of England, and the neglect of remedial measures, with an essay on the remedy for the detection of forgeries, and an account of the measures adopted by the Bank of Ireland. by Charles Wye Williams (1818),  London: Longman et al. [online]
  • An Address to the Right Hon. Robert Peel, late chairman to the Committee on the Currency, by Thomas Smith, 1819 [bk]
  • A General View of the History and Objects of the Bank of England, in a series of letters. by John McCay (1822) London Longman et al. [online]
  • Observations on the Effects Produced by the Expenditure of Government during the Restriction of Cash Payments by William Blake, 1823 [bk]
  • The Bank of England and the Country Bankers: Three letters addressed to the editor of the Tyne Mercury, under the signature of Alfred, pointing out the danger to be apprehended from the provincial establishments of the Bank of England, and in particular the inexpediency of the establishment of a branch in Newcastle upon ["Alfred"] (1828). Newcastle: T&J Hodgson. [online]
  • The Currency Question Freed from Mystery: in a letter to Mr. Peel, showing how the distress may be relieved without altering the standard, by Anon [George Poulett Scrope?], 1830 [bk]
  • Thomas Moores's poems

Banking-Currency School debates to 1844

  • Bank Committee Report (1832) Report of the Committee of Secrecy on the Bank of England Charter: with the minutes of evidence, appendix and index. London: Hansard [online]
  • On the Causes and Consequences of the Pressure on the Money Market,  with a statement of the action of the Bank of England from 1st October 1833 to the 27th December 1836 by John Horsley Palmer (1837) [online]
  • Reply to the Reflections, etc., etc. of Mr. Samuel Jones Loyd. John Horsley Palmer, 1837 [online]
  • Observations on the Recent Pamphlet of J. Horsley Palmer, Esq., on the Causes and consequences of the pressure on the money market, by Samson Ricardo, 1837 [bk]
  • A National Bank: the remedy for the evils attendant upon our present system of paper currency by Samson Ricardo, 1838 [bk]
  • Remarks upon some Prevalent Errors, with respect to Currency and Banking: and suggestions to the legislature and the public as to the improvement of the monetary system, by George Wade Norman, 1838 [bk]
  • On the Bank of England; and State of the Currency: speech of 8th of July, 1839. by Joseph Hume, 1839 Extract from London: Hansard [online]
  • A Treatise on Currency and Banking, by Condy Raguet, 1839 [bk]
  • On Currency by Anon, 1840 [bk]
  • An Inquiry into the causes of the pressure on the money market during the year 1839 by James William Gilbart, 1840 [bk]
  • Effects of the Administration of the Bank of England: Reply to the Letter of Samuel Jones Loyd, by John Benjamin Smith, 1840. [bk]
  • The Theory of Money: being an attempt to give a popular explanation of it, with an epitome of the history of the Bank of England, shewing that corporation with its charter and exclusive privileges to be an unjust, impolitic and perilous monopoly, 1844 [bk]
  • Delusions and Fallacies in the Bill brought into the House of Commons for the Renewal of the Charter of the Bank, and in the statements and arguments in support of it by Anon (author of Theory of Money), 1844 [bk]
  • The Evils Inseparable from a Mixed Currency, and the advantages to be secured by introducing an inconvertible national paper circulation throughout the British Empire and its dependencies under proper regulations, an essay by William Blacker, 1844 [bk]
  • The Letters of Nehemiah; relating to the laws affecting joint stock banks, and the effects likely to be produced, by the measures of Sir Robert Peel, upon the system of banking in London, and throughout the country by Anon [James William Gilbart], 1845 [bk]

Later debates

  • "Chronological Sketch of the principal events in British History, Relating to the Currency" by Anon [W.E. Hickson?], 1847, Westminster Review (Jan), p.240 [av] [repr. Banker's Mag, v.2, p.551]
  • Capital, Currency and Banking by James Wilson, 1847 [bk] [1859 2nd ed]
  • "The Bank of England; its Present Constitution and Operations" by Charles Jellicoe, 1856,  Journal of the Statistical Society of London, Sept. p.272-83 [jstor].
  • Sir Robert Peel's Act of 1844, Regulating the Issue of Bank Notes, Vindicated by G. Arbuthnot, 1857 [bk]
  • The Bank of England and the Organisation of Credit in England. by [Charles Tennant ?], 1865 2nd ed., 1866. London: Longmans et al.
  • The Bank of England, the Bank Acts & the Currency by ["Cosmopolite"] (1866)  Edinburgh: Blackwood. [online]

History of the Bullionist Controversy

  • "Resumption of Specie Payments", 1838, US Democratic Review [moa]
  • "The Bank of England Restriction 1797-1821" by Henry Adams, 1867, North American Review, Oct, pp.393-434 [jstor, av]
  • "The Bullion Committee", in Palgrave, Dictionary of Political Economy, 1901
  • "The Development of the Theory of Money from Adam Smith to David Ricardo", by Jacob Hollander, 1910-1, QJE [McM]
  • The Paper Pound of 1797-1821: a reprint of the Bullion Report, ed. Edwin Cannan, 1919 [av] [McM]
  • The English Bank Restriction and the Bullion Report of June 8, 1810, William Graham Sumner, 1920 [bk]
  • "The Period of Restrictions 1797-1821, and Bullion Debate in England", by F.A. Hayek, 1929 [re-printed in W.W. Bartley and S. Kresge, editors, The Trend of Economic Thinking: Essays on political economists and economic history, Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, pp.177-215.]
  • "The Dispute between the Currency School and the Banking School, 1821-1848"   by F.A. Hayek, 1929 [re-printed in W.W. Bartley and S. Kresge, editors, The Trend of Economic Thinking: Essays on political economists and economic history, Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, pp.216-244.]
  • "Bullionist Controversy" by David Laidler, 1987,  in J. Eatwell, M. Milgate and P. Newman, The New Palgrave: A dictionary of economics. 1989 edition, New York: Norton.

General histories of Banking and the Bank of England

  • The History and Principles of Banking, by James William Gilbart, 1834 [bk] [1866 ed]
  • "List of Books and Pamphlets on Banks and Currencies", 1853, Bankers Magazine, p.53
  •  "The Origin of the Bank of England" by Macaulay, T. Babington  Macaulay, 1856, Bankers' Magazine and Statistical Register, Vol. 5, No. 11 (May), pp.881-90
  • Bank of England Charter, Currency, Limited Liability Companies, and Free Trade. by Edmund Phillips, 1856, London: Richardson. [online]
  • A History of the Bank of England: Its time and traditions, from 1694 to 1844, by John Francis, 1847 [1848 3rd ed. v.1, v.2]; [1862 New York ed.]
  • The Theory of Foreign Exchanges,  by George J. Goschen, 1861 [bk] [1863 2nd ed], [1864 5th ed], [1866 6th ed], [1879 10th ed], [1886 12th ed], [1892 15th ed], [1901 ed] [Germany 1862 trans], [French 1866 trans (by Leon Say), 1875 ed; 1892 ed; 1896 ed]
  • Lombard Street: A description of the money market, by Walter Bagehot, 1873, [1878 7th ed, 1892 10th ed., 1896 Johnstone ed], [American reprints: 1873, 1874, 1877, 1897, 1902, 1906, 1910, 1912, 1920] [McM]
  • Tales of the Bank of England: with anecdotes of London bankers, by [Anon], 1882 [online]
  • Die Bank von England im dienste der finanzverwaltung des staates. by Eugen von Philippovich, 1885. [online]. English translation 1911 (2nd ed)  History of the Bank of England: And Its Financial Services to the State. online]
  • The First Nine Years of the Bank of England: An enquiry into a weekly record of the price of bank stock from August 17,1694 to September 17, 1703.  J.E. Thorold Rogers, 1887, Oxford: Clarendon. [online]
  • History of the Bank of England: A comprehensive account of its origin, foundation, rise, progress, times and traditions, manner of conducting business, its officers and offices, and a full history of the bank and its entire working and management. by Joseph Hume Francis, 1888 [online]
  • A History of Modern Banks of Issue: With an account of the economic crises of the present century by Charles A. Conant, 1896 [bk]
  • "A History of Banking in Great Britain: with a historic analysis of the principles governing banking, currency and credit", Henry Dunning Macleod, 1896  in W.G. Sumner, editor, A History of Banking in all the Leading Nations, vol. II. (toc): pp.1-340, New York:  Journal of Commerce and Commercial Bulletin.
  • A Contribution to the Bibliography of the Bank of England by T.A. Stephens, 1897 [bk]
  • Chronicles of the Bank of England. by B.B. Turner, 1897  [online, av]
  •  A Contribution to the Bibliography of the Bank of England by Thomas Arthur Stephens, 1897 [online; av] - chron
  • The Story of the Bank of England: a history of English banking, and a sketch of the money market. by Henry Warren, 1903. [online]
  • Essai sur la fondation et l'histoire de la Banque d'Angleterre (1694-1884). by A. Andreades, 1901, Paris: Rousseau. [online, cont
  • Histoire de la Banque d'Angleterre by A. Andreades (1904)  Paris: Rousseau. [online: v.1 (1640-1819, cont), v.2, (1819-1903, toc);  Bankers' Magazine review; Saturday review, JSSL review],  English translation (C. Meredith, 1909) History of the Bank of England, 1640 to 1903. London: P.S. King  [two-volumes-in-one, online: gbooksarchive] [4th ed. (1969) London: Routledge]
  • The Bank of England and the State: A Lecture Delivered on 14th November, 1905. by Felix Schuster, 1906,  Manchester: University Press. [online]
  • "The City of London and the Bank of England,, August 1914" by John Maynard Keynes, 1914, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 29 (1), pp.48-71. [jstor, av]
  • The Evolution of the Money Market, 1385-1915: An historical and analytical study of the rise and development of finance as a centralied, co-ordinated force by Ellis T. Powell, 1915, London: Financial News. [online: 1916 reprint, av]
  • "The Bank of England and the Money Market" by J.E. Norton, 1921, Political Science Quarterly, vol. 36 (3), pp.433-53 [jstor, av]
  • Money: The Principles of money and their exemplificaion in outstanding chapters of monetary history. by Edwin W. Kemmerer, 1935, New York: Macmillan.
  • Studies in the Theory of International Trade by Jacob Viner, 1937, New York: Harper & Bros.
  • The Bank of England: A history,  v.1 (1694-1796), v. 2 (1797-1914) by Sir John Clapham, 1944,.  Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  • Studies in Financial Organization by Thomas Balogh, 1950
  • Development of British Monetary Orthodoxy, 1797-1875 by Frank W. Fetter, 1965, Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.
  • The Bank of England, 1891-1944: Appendices. by R.S. Sayers, 1976, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. [preview]
  • The Evolution of Central Banks by C.A.E. Goodhart, 1988, Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.
  • "The Evolution of Central Banking in England, 1821-90", by Kevin Dowd, 1991, in F. Capie and G.E. Wood, Unregulated Banking: Chaos or Order? New York: St. Martin's.

Other banks

  • Considerations on the Currency and Banking System of the United States by Albert Gallatin, 1831 [bk]
  • The History of Banking in  Ireland. by James William Gilbart, 1836. [online]
  • The History of Banking in America: with an inquiry how far the banking institutions of America are adapted to this country by James William Gilbart, 1837 [bk]
  • Remarks on currency and banking: having reference to the present derangement of the circulating medium in the United States by Nathan Appleton, 1841 [bk]
  • Dean, Sidney, editor (1884) History of Banking and Banks, from the Bank of Venice to the year 1883, including the establishment and progress of the present national banking system of the United States. Boston: Pelham. [cont]
  • Sumner, William Graham, editor, (1896) A History of Banking in All the Leading Nations. 4 vols. New York: Journal of Commerce and Commercial Bulletin.
  • []
  • Indian Finance, Currency and Banking by S.V. Doraiswami, 1915 [bk]


  • "The Poet as Economist: Shelley's Critique of Paper Money and the British National Debt", by Paul Cantor, 1997, JLS [mis]
  • "Changing Views: Twentieth-Century Opinion on the Banking School-Currency School Controversy", by Neil Skaggs, HOPE, 1999.
  • Allan Sproul's review of the Real Bills Doctrine
  • Bullion Committee at Victorian Web
  • Bullion Committee at the Peel Web
  • "The Myth of Free Banking in Scotland" by Murray Rothbard, Rev of Austrian Econ
  • "White's Free-Banking Thesis: A Case of Mistaken Identity" by Larry Sechrest, Rev of Austrian Econ
  • "The Option Clause in Free-Banking Theory and History: A Reappraisal" by Parth Shah, 1997, Rev of Austrian Econ
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