Subscription book

Contributed by Bank of England Museum

This is the original book containing the names of the Bank's subscribers and the amounts they invested in order to found the Bank of England in 1694. Their investment was on-lent to the Government to help pay for the war against Louis XIV of France. Because interest on it was guaranteed by Parliament and paid for out of taxes, this represented the birth of the funded National Debt.

The total amount required was £1,200,000, and this was received from 1268 individual subscribers (it was open to any member of the public) in sums ranging from £25 to £10,000. It only took 11 days to raise the whole amount, and some people even subscribed more than once, when it became clear that the Bank of England might be a success, and thus a solid investment. The first entry in the book shows a contribution of £10,000 in the names of the King and Queen.

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