Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

“ We ourselves have heard a story ledgment to his benefactress. With about one of these bank directors, but the help of a clique of adventurers enone remove more creditable. The joying a standing somewhat superior fellow was better known than trusted to his own, he succeeded in his bank, in more than one place, and therefore which, tottering as it may perhaps be, he had the sagacity to lay the scene at is yet in existence. Only think of a a distance from associations and recol- person, not only without a shilling, lections that might mar his enterprise. but without a shirt, establishing a He, too, singularly enough, lived bank !” somewhere about Park; he was,

We have heard of more than one moreover, so destitute as to be utterly band of conspirators which, after inshirtless beyond that upon his back- undating with rival zeal their own lowhich, therefore, as the joke goes, was calities with joint-stock excrescences, turned, when desirous of enjoying the have coalesced and betaken themselves luxury of clean linen. Fortunately to the tramp in order to view, not the for him, the servant took a penchant fruitfulness, but the nakedness of other in his favour; fully aware of the tat districts, so as to select the sites most tered state of the linen department, she abundantly stocked with fools, and purchased, and with a delicacy worthy least encumbered with money traders, of a better station, placed in his cham- whereon to raise the gaudy superstrucber, without comment or communica- tures of promises to pay. One of these tion, some half dozen neat and new ambulatory caravans—these companpower.loom fabrics ready made up. žas ambulantes, as a Spaniard would Well knowing the while the source say-of monetary entrepreneurs, exfrom whence the bounty flowed, our tended their travels for orders in the adventurer took and wore the godsend bank-concoction line, from the city of gifts with ignorance, apparently un- York to the Land's End, to the signal conscious, and thankless of acknow. “ fructification," doubtless, if we may

a comparison with the most reputed organs of the metropolis.

On its first appearance, a person known to be of Conservative opinions, could hardly hope to pace the streets of Newcastle-on-Tyne without insult or molestation—the change, of which it has been the instrument no less wise than fearless, may be significantly illustrated by the last election—the popular candidate was a Conservative, and enthusiastically returned. The story is well known of the remorseless persecutions endured and braved by the editor with unexampled intrepidity. The harpies of law were let loose upon him, hallooed on with all the influence and wealth, prodigally expended, of the unprincipled scions of a neighbouring Whig aristocracy-assaults so dastardly were perpetrated on him, as to resemble in their atrocity the deeds of Italian bravoes with the midnight stiletto. That he has nobly triumphed over all, and achieved golden opinions even from the more worthy of his liberal opponents, redounds the more to his honour, and we are glad to learn, from incontrovertible sources, that more substantial reasons for consolation are not wanting in the circulation and success, ever increasing, of the Journal and the property he so ably presides over and has created—a circulation indeed equalled by few of its provincial contemporaries any where. The trumpery trash, voided hy a cheap periodical in this vicinity respecting the vast increase in the Radical press since the reduction of the duty, is, for the most part, utterly devoid of truth-as, were it worth the while, it would be easy to demonstrate, from this and other instances within our own observation. The task indeed, has been sufficiently executed already by the more respectable part of the Whig-radical press, amongst others, by the Yorkshireman, a leading and ably conducted paper of York in the liberal interest.

We cannot take leave of the Newcastle Journal without acknowledging our obligations to various articles on the monetary affairs and the money crisis, which have lately appeared in its columns. And we may be permitted here to remark, that it would be well if the same duty towards others were more scrupulously fulfilled by some of our contemporaries. In the first number of the Quarterly Review of last year, for example, a considerable portion of our preceding January article on “ Foreign Policy and the Prusso-Germanic League" was transferred without the slightest certificate of origin into the review of a work of Sir John Walsh. The omission of acknowledgment was the less pardonable, as well as courteous, as the facts and matter thus ungraciously appropriatel, of commanding interest as they were, and derived from peculiar sources, had been for the first time and exclusively made public in our pages.

presume to borrow from the Poulett their contemplated operations, obThomson coinage, of various commu- stacles, to those less undaunted apnities more overrun with sovereigns parently insuperable, did not appal. than wit. The inhabitants of Merthyr The cornucopia of wealth to overflow Tidvil, the principal seat of the great was to be replenished from afar-the iron works of South Wales, were magic powers of steam were to be electrified one fine Saturday morning taxed for the fabrication of signs of with an announcement of their excel. value as for calicoes_South Wales lent representative, the Merthyr Guar- was to be irrigated with a continuous dian, that the “ land of the mountain stream of watermarks from plates cast and the flood” was in its turn to be and tempered in the founderies of Laninundated with an occan of transparent cashire. foolscap-that a joint-stock Jupiter Amongst the most busy of the was about to descend into the lap of schemers, and the patrons most apt to his Danae, seated amidst her fires ever- the hands of projectors, the Quakers, lasting, in a shower not of gold but of pa- as in 1825, were found to be the most per. With wonder stricken they turn- prompt, and, loath are we to say it, ed them to seek the bounteous unbidden the least punctilious. This public redispensers of mysterious treasures. buke we have been the less reluctant The iron-clad potentate of Cyfarthfa to administer, inasmuch as, from persat tranquilly in his castle, complacent- sonal communication with many honly enjoying the roar of furnaces and ourable and justly honoured individus the frightful blasts of blow-pipes in his als among the highest of the class, city of fame below, as native elements in whom we are proud to rank among the which alone he “breathed, moved, and number of our friends, we know how had his being." The owner of sur- earnestly this pestiferous yearning plus millions, if visited with the con- after unrighteous speculation—this templative mood, was surely not greediness of unholy gain-is reprodreaming of airy nothings and shadowy bated, and the down-sliding parties wealth wherewith to surcharge the denounced. To this departure among hcap of already countless stores, but others from the purer practice of their forecasting, if at all, of the tens fathers, may the recent schism so deof millions still buried in the cidedly pronounced in the body be bosom of rugged Hirwain, and the perhaps attributed. Members of chatriumphs of art and industry still re- racter so unstained and of principles served for accomplishment by himself so uncompromising as Isaac Crewdson, and those of his race. The lord of may well revolt from contact with Dowlais, with his ladye of high degree, brethren of unclean hands, and queswas reposing at home in silken state, tionable doctrine. soothed perchance with the Cyclopian Reports are current of princely dodin of a thousand hammers reducing ings in the way of the reciprocal rehis bars of iron into ingots of gold, or partition of the spolia opima of salaries ever and anon regaling his eyes with and emoluments by and among secrethe refulgent floods of fiery metal, as taries and directors, of complexion so torrentlike they issue, after the tap of auriferous that scrip shares should rethe towery recipient withdrawn, and present not merely pepitas of gold, but serpentine along their indented bed of gems of Golconda, and the paper sand. Neither he, nor the civic digni. tokens of the companies roll like the tary of Pen-y.darran with its cloud- Pactolean river over sands of precious capt regions, nor the father, benevo- The secretary of one of these lentas intelligent, of his tribes of work- Oriental or Milesian fictions, which, if people of Plymouth, with their several the tale be truly told, does not deserve to hundreds of thousands of sterling un- survive the Thousand and One Nights, placed and unbearing of interest, were is said to be oppressed with the hardthe crowning capitals of the new tem- earned stipend of some L.800 or ple to Plutus. The unknown artists L.1000 per annum, whilst a director in were in sooth of a strange land and the same concern, with a cormorant lineage, too well practised in their organ of acquisitiveness more boldly craft even to require the dimensions of developed, has, with an effort of moral the ground-plot previous to the con- restraint sufficiently exemplary, seen struction of a plan. Friendless and fitting to rest content with a tixed honounknown as they were in the scene of rario of some L.1800 or L.2000 a-year (we cannot charge our memories have therein originated. The repuwhich), with remainder in tail to his tation, justified or not to the extent, is wife, of L.500 or L.600 a-year, should, neither safe nor honourable for the by a lamentable bereavement, the luck- greatest, as it should be the most inless shareholders lose the benefit of his telligent, manufacturing community in services. The conjugal foresight of the the world. It is a subject of wonder dowry legacy is equally meritorious to see a race of men, proverbial no less with the thrifty provision of Sterne's for sagacity than ingenuity and plodparson for his son, and substituting ding industry, become the dupes of petticoat for breeches, is a faithful copy artifices long stale and worn thread of the original. What other make- bare on the Exchange and the Stock weight to incline the beam of such House of the Metropolis. Some twelve short allowance still more in his favour months ago only, sojourners could not the paper functionary may have had fail to be struck with the parade of rail. cast into the scale in the shape of way carriages through the town, richly shares to be unpaid upon, or reserved painted in bright blue, relieved in bur. for him at par to be disposed of when nished gold, with letters importing Lonat a premium, or a per centage upon Don and Greenwich, No.--. As Manissues, is yet among the secrets of the chester, too, has its Vauxhall and Picca. prison-house, that is, the board-room dilly, there seemed no reason why it of direction ; in any case the fixed should not dignify some villages on the salary is equivalent to the full pay outskirts with the names of London and of a veteran admiral of forty years Greenwich ; but the stranger learned standing, and the lady dower little to his surprise, that it was not so—the short of the half-pay or pay off active machines were absolutely intended for duty of a vice-admiral. The special the veritable Amphitryons two hundred allotment was not earned, be it re- miles off. The mystification was membered, by long service and grey soon cleared away; London and Greenhairs, or awarded on the plea of spe- wich shares were discussed on all sides cial fitness and great experience, or as familiarly as the new crop of cotton bestowed in compensation for sacrifices in the United States, the last prices of made, social position abdicated, or bowed Georgias at Liverpool, the brighter prospects abandoned. The prospects of the spring trade, and the former condition of this provident bettings at Tattersalls for the Spring director and fortunate projector was Meeting at Newmarket. Letters were obscure ; in circumstances he was read from London directors or officials, poverty-stricken, if not abject.

ore.

with flaming accounts of arches comThe money mania of these times pleted, and the Tooley Street terminus differs in no essential feature from that in rapid progress ;– Wetenhall quoted of 1825, but the absence of foreign for London and Greenwich at 10 schemes and el Dorado enterprises to premium, all - buyers and no sellers, the shores of the Atlantic and Pacific, with hints significant that shares might the sores of which were still too recent possibly pause at 20, but must eventuand unhealed for further experiment- ally advance to 40,—the whole wound ing. The plague spot changed places up with a pathetic lament, that such only-from the exhausted south the was the rush for the new Gravesend, virus has been transplanted to the no more than ten actions could be more plethoric and susceptible north, secured for the writer's most particular where its baleful ravages found grosser friend and correspondent, after every food for contact and propagation. possible exertion of favour and influManchester, the second money capital ence; so that London and Greenwich of the three kingdoms, has been beyond carriages in blue and gold were not all most deeply impregnated with the built and made a raree show of in joint-stock malaria. It is thought that Manchester streets without an objectone half the joint-stock bank, railway, premiums were to be kept up, and a and mining shares, publicly created market made for London speculators during the last three years, have been to realize, which could only be accom. absorbed, and are most of them still held plished by tempting Manchester holdin that town and its densely populated ers with the prospect of a more exorneighbourhood alone. Certain it is, bitant bonus hereafter, and Manchester moreover, that a large proportion of capitalists to despatch their orders for joint-stock follies for the whole empire purchase whilst the tide was at “ the

flood which leads on to fortune." In of depositors, and it was actually in. vain did that cautious but most ably solvent by L.8150 beyond the capital conducted journal, the Manchester stock entirely annihilated, which then, Courier, in the true Conservative at Midsummer 1828, was, according to sense oppose itself, courageously and Mr Gilbert, one of the directors, paid alone, to the frenzy, ever fitful but still up to the extent of L.17,000 only. spreading. Notwithstanding a series We know that the directors indiviof sketches, graphic and powerful, dually were highly responsible and rewherein the gatherings and machina- spectable persons, and their co-proprietions of well-known bands of plotters tors probably not less so; but we know were portrayed to the life, the dreaded also, that, in the case of a break-up and shafts of ridicule itself failed, proved a litigious disposition, the remedy of pointless against the raging epidemic, creditors against a joint-stock company, as would the resistless laughter inspir- under a trust-deed, by suits transfer ing grimace of Liston upon the distem- able into Chancery, is neither prompt, pered fancies of a dweller in St Luke's. inexpensive, nor beyond the reach of

The disastrous results of joint-stock accident and chicane. A cautious banking extravagance will hereafter board of business-like men had at this prove a manual of useful reference time two straightforward courses bewhen all accomplished, of which we fore them on which to take the sense are far from thinking that the worst of their fellow-shareholders :-either has been witnessed. The “enquiries to wind up the concern, and apportion (of the Parliamentary Committee) the pro rata damage incurred, or to have not been yet brought to a close," call up a larger quota on the whole as we are told in the first line of their of their nominally subscribed stock. report. The crop promises to be They took neither one

nor the most plenteous of results lamentable, other, but preferred to trade on with and will be of facts discreditable, this millstone around their necks, in should future investigation embrace the delusive expectation of gradually Ireland as well as England, and be recruiting their finances from out a directed in the mode we have indicated fund reserved of gains to come. The to probe the evil to the roots. Incom- contingency of other risks seems not plete as the labour performed and the to have been taken account of; they experience gleaned still is, it cannot came to maturity, however, in due be without its uses briefly to advert to course, and in thundering sums, such some portion of the matter officially as a deficit in the best part of L.20,000 in evidence, or sufficiently public and of the Franklingham agent, L.6500 notorious. The Norfolk and Nor- by one Tuck, with other minor sums wich Bank, now defunct, may be cited of thousands. All these brought the as a sample of gross improvidence in establishment to a stand-still at last, the management, and of a ruinous bu- and so the directors made the best of siness carried on in the face of a first a bad bargain, by selling the goodloss exceeding in amount the whole will of the old to a new and better paid up capital :—the play of the gam- fitted out joint-stock company for the õler, who throws the more blindly as liberal bonus of L.20,000. The Nor. his stakes disappear. This bank was folk and Norwich Bank, be it obestablished in the year 1827, with served, was all the while, apart these seven branches; the nominal stock special calamities, realizing an annual L.200,000, the paid up and bona fide balance of profit of L.5000, L.6000, capital, from first to last, L.23,000 or L.7000, and dividing 5, 6, or 74 only. In less than a year, one bad per cent per annum on its shares. It debt alone was made, exceeding is fair to record, that otherwise the geL.30,000; and yet a dividend was neral management appears to have formally declared and paid at the rate been commendably correct and econoof 5 per cent, at the expiration of mical. No costly settlements were twelve months from the opening. Sup- lavished upon secretaries or directors, posing the profit on the general busi- or weeping relicts quartered upon the ness to have been L.6000, and this funds. The total sum of salaries to deducted from the bad debt, the bank the whole clerkly or executive departwas still deficient in real assets by ment amounted to

more than L.7000; to which add the dividend L.1488, 16s., or 75 per cent more declared, and paid out of the monies only than the one secretary alone

no

pockets, and not equal to the princely defalcation was yet unascertained, but income the one director alonc absorbs presumed to be considerable, they voin the Oriental affair to which we luntarily undertook, and have pledged have formerly alluded. The whole their well-known responsibility, to pay charges of superintendence by the di, off the shareholders in full. They, rectors as a body are stated at L.370 therefore, and they alone, will be the only, being L.130 per annum less sufferers by the crude and ill-digested than the contingent remainder saddled speculation. In answer to the query in the guise of widow's weeds upon by Sir Thomas Freemantle, “ Whattheir more magnificent contemporary. ever loss falls upon the company will The shares, 1000 only of L.200 each, be borne by the directors ?" Mr Bigwere too few in number to afford the nold, one of them, replies, “ The dimeans of jobbing, and of those less rectors have guaranteed it." than three-fourths were taken up. Having so largely entered into the The resident director states, in his case of the Norfolk and Norwich examination before the committee, Bank, which is but too rose-coloured that “the directors of the Norfolk and a type of many others not yet in erNorwich Bank have never derived any tremis, we shall content ourselves with advantage to themselves by the trans- a more brief reference to such defects fer of shares ; they never have in the constitution of a few other banks derived a farthing on their private ac- as most readily strike the eye, and are count, nor had one sixpence by the remediable without legislative interpopurchase or sale of shares." How sition. Our meaning more especially many of their fellow-directors in other points to the enormous discrepancy bank schemes could venture conscien- too often exhibited between the appatiously to say as much ? However rent and the real capitals, and of the misled and misjudging they may have glaring inadequacy of the latter, as been, let us not fail in a tribute of ho- contrasted with the sphere of operamage to honourable men, so justly tions. The following abridged extheir due. When the bank finally tracts will explain our meaning :closed for business, and the extent of The Hull Banking Company, nominal capital, L.800,000

L.42,200 Nominal number of shares,

8,000 Shares issued only

4,220 Number of branches, the most distant 46 miles,

15
Amount of advances for which the bank has a

lien on shares (account made up to 21st May,
1836),

8,842 Net real capital, therefore, only

33,358 Last rate of dividend,

6 per cent. York City and County, nominal capital,

L.500,000

75,000 Shares (all issued),

5,000 Rate of last dividend,

12 per cent. Surplus fund,

12,930 Real capital, therefore,

87,930 Number of branches (the most distant 40 miles), Lichfield, Reigate, and Tamworth, nominal capital, L.100,000

26,000 Coventry Union Bank, nominal capital,

L.200,000

28,050 West of England and South Wales, nominal capital, L.1,000,000

209,882 Number of branches and agencies (the most distant 110 miles),

17 Stackey's Banking Company (Bristol), nominal capital, L.300,000 Paid up (exclusive of reserve fund),

60,000 Branches, all in Somersetshire,

16 Dudley and West Bromwich, nominal capital, L.400,000

30,025

Paid up,

Paid up,

5

Paid up,

Paid up,

Paid up,

Paid up,

« AnteriorContinuar »