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‘Writes a fair hand and appears to be well qualified’: the recruitment of Bank of England clerks, 1800–1815

  • Anne L. Murphy (a1)
Abstract

The financial strains of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars had a significant impact on the Bank of England. In its position as banker to the state and manager of the state's debt, it experienced a significant increase in workload and thus was forced rapidly to expand its workforce. From a complement of around 300 in the mid 1780s, the number of clerks employed had increased to over 900 in 1815. Using a unique set of records preserved in the Bank's archives, this article investigates the backgrounds and skills of the men recruited during the expansion of the early nineteenth century. It finds a significant gap between the skills required by the Bank and the skills possessed by its potential workforce.

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      ‘Writes a fair hand and appears to be well qualified’: the recruitment of Bank of England clerks, 1800–1815
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      ‘Writes a fair hand and appears to be well qualified’: the recruitment of Bank of England clerks, 1800–1815
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      ‘Writes a fair hand and appears to be well qualified’: the recruitment of Bank of England clerks, 1800–1815
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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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Financial History Review
  • ISSN: 0968-5650
  • EISSN: 1474-0052
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