Chronicles and Characters of the Stock Exchange

Chronicles and Characters of the Stock Exchange

Author: Francis, John

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Notes

"Chronicles & Characters of the Stock Exchange", first published in 1849 is probably the earliest serious account of the London Stock Exchange. It details the origin of the exchange, its working methods, leading figures, frauds and legends. Embellished with colourful anecdotes, the story is told of the growth of the national debt and its trading, along with the enthusiasm for new companies and foreign loans in a series of sometimes manic episodes. Lesser-known figures are portrayed along with great names such as Rothschild, Goldsmid, and Barings.

The downloadable PDF is not a facsimile, but a re-formatted and lightly edited text laid out in a clear legible style.

Sample pages can be viewed on-line here.

Book length: 72,000 words

Synopses of "Chronicles and Characters of the Stock Exchange" by John Francis

Chapter 1
War and the Ancient Mode of Supporting Governments - Ignorance of Political Economy - Mercantile Greatness - Tyranny and Injustice - Accession of William, National Debt and Origin of the Stock Exchange - Tulip Mania

Chapter II
The Earliest National Debt - History of Tontines - Of the Money Interest, its Origin, Extravagance, and Folly - Royal Exchange - First Irredeemable Debt - Jobbing in East India Stock - Tricks of the Brokers, False Reports - Importance of the English Funds - Picture of the Alley - Systematic Jobbing of Sir Henry Furnese, Medina, and Marlborough - Thomas Guy, a Dealer in the Alley

Chapter III
Enormous Bribery by William - Increased Taxation - Speech of Sir Charles Sedley - Wrongs of the Soldiers - Defence of William - Moral Disorganization of the Country - First Exchequer-Bill Fraud - First Foreign Loan - Romantic Fraud in 1715 - Political Fraud of 'Change Alley - Interference of the House of Peers

Chapter IV
Charitable Corporation - Its Augmentation and Lending - Discovery of Fraud - Appalling Effects and Remedy - Marlborough's Victories, their History, and the Loans they brought - Augmented Importance of the Stock Exchange - Dislike to the Members - Increased Loans - Difficulties in procuring them - Statement of Sir Robert Walpole - Gifts of Contractors to Clothiers - First Payment of Dividends by the Bank - South-Sea Anecdotes

Chapter V
Life of Thomas Guy - Imposition in Sailors' Tickets - Guy's Fortune -His Charity - Foreign Loan attempted - Sir John Barnard - Expresses of the Jobbers - Foreign Commissions - Origin of Time-Bargains - Attempt to stop them - Its Inadequacy - Proposal to reduce the Interest on the National Debt - Opposition of Sir Robert Walpole - New Mode of raising Loans - Comparative Interest in Land and Funds - Punishment of Manasseh Lopez - The first Reduction of Interest - Life of Sir John Barnard

Chapter VI
Origin of New Loans - A Poor Treaty - Fraud of a Stock-broker - East India Stock - Sketch of Sampson Gideon, the great Jew Broker - The Question of the Sinking Fund - Seven Year War with France - Rising Stock of East India Company - Restriction of its Dividends - Liberality to its Clerks - Important Decision - Robbery at Jonathan's - Curious Calculation concerning the National Debt

Chapter VII
Crisis of 1772 - Indian Adventurers, their Ostentation, their Character - Failure of Douglas, Heron, & Co. - Neale, Fordyce, & Co. - Sketch of Mr. Fordyce - His Success in the Alley - Alarm of his Partners - His Artifice - His Failure - General Bankruptcy - Liberality of a Nabob - Reply of a Quaker - Witticism of John Wilkes - War of American Independence - Artifices of Ministers - Anecdote of Mr. Atkinson - Value of Life on the Stock Exchange - Longevity of a Stock-broker

Chapter VIII
Invention of Lotteries - Employed by the State - Raising funds in England - Public Demoralised - Evils of Lotteries - Private Lotteries spread - Suicide through them - Superstition - Insurances - Spread of Gambling - Promises of Lotteries - Reduction to Poverty - Humorous Episodes - Legal Interference - Parliamentary Report - Lottery Drawing - Picture of Morocco Men - Their Great Evil - Lottery Puffing - Epitaph on a Chancellor - Abolition of Lotteries

Chapter IX
Wholesale Jobbing - Insurance on Sick Men - False Intelligence - Uselessness of Sir John Barnard's Act - Origin of the Blackboard - Opposition to Loans - Lord Chatham's Opinion of Jobbers - Inviolability of English Funds - Favouritism in Contracts - Extravagance of the Contractors - Lord George Gordon's Opinion of them - Members' Contracts - New System adopted - Abraham Goldsmid - Bankers' Coalition broken by him - His Munificence - His Death - Sensation in the City

Chapter X
Curious Forgery - Its Discovery - Loan of 1796 - Its Management - French Revolution and its Effect - A Democratic tendency spreads - Pitt takes a stand - List of Subsidies to Foreign Powers - Removal of Business from 'Change Alley - Loyalty Loan - Preliminaries of Peace - Hoax on the Stock Exchange - War renewed - Great Fraud on the Jobbers - Its Discovery - Refuge on the Isle of Man - Rights of Stock-brokers

Chapter XI
Unfounded Charge - Joint-Stock Companies - Speculators and Projectors - Their Contributions - Mark Sprot - Sketch of the House of Baring - The Shadow of Napoleon - Policies on the Life of Bonaparte - Rumours of his Death - David Ricardo - Forgery of Benjamin Walsh - Excitement of the Nation - The fight against Napoleon and the Increase of the National Debt - Cochrane and a fraud on the Exchange - Unclaimed Dividends - Francis Baily

Chapter XII
Review of the National Debt - Bolingbroke's opinion - The National Debt and War - Opinions and Alarmists - Financial Reform Association - Extravagance of Government - Schemes for paying off the National Debt - Proposals for Debentures

Chapter XIII
Progress of Invention - Public Roads - Opposition to Progress - Selfishness of the memorialists - Duke of Bridgewater - Canals - Steam - Railroads - Thomas Gray, their Pioneer - His Difficulties - Proposals for the Liverpool and Manchester Railway - Monopoly of the Canals - Parliamentary Inquiry - Extraordinary Opinions of Witnesses - Bitter opposition - The Claims of Thomas Gray

Chapter XIV
Monetary Excitement - Crowded Approaches to the Stock Exchange - Gold Company - Equitable Loan Company - Frauds in Companies - Wild to Loan Foreign States from Chile to Columbia - Poyais Bubble - A vision destroyed - Ruin again - Australian scheme

Chapter XV
Loan to Guatemala - Dispute concerning it - Loans to Mexico - The Greek Loan - Its Mismanagement - Asserted Jobbing - Mr. Hume - Dr. Bowring - Irretrievably Sunk - Proposed Tax on Transfers

Chapter XVI
Sketch of the Life of Rothschild - Comes to England - From Manchester to London - Introduction of Foreign Loans - Large Purchases - Anecdotes concerning Rothschild - His Difficulties and Annoyances - Character and Adulation - His Death and Burial - Spain Portugal and the Crisis in Foreign Loans

Chapter XVII
Legends of the Stock Exchange - Mr. Dunbar - Duke of Newcastle - French Ambassador - James Bolland - Fraud and Kidnap - Fortunate Adventure - Morals and Manners of the Stock Exchange - Tricks - Treatment of Intruders - Constitution and Arrangements

Chapter XVIII
Life Assurance - Its Commencement - Objections - Suicide of an Insurer - The Business Expands - Mutual Benefit - Insurance of Invalid Lives - The Suffering of the Uninsured - The Gresham - Sketch of the West Middlesex Delusion