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

Anne Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
120 Downloads (Pure)

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-44
JournalFinancial History Review
Volume22
Issue number1
Early online date9 Jun 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sept 2015

Keywords

  • banking; recruitment; human capital; skills.

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