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11 Pages

Deposit Banking in London, 1700-90 FRANK T. MELTON

Since the late Professor D. M. Joslin’s two articles appeared in 1954 and 1960 describing the structure of private banking in London from 1700 to about 1785, no overview of the same period has rivalled his grasp of the sources and his deep understanding of the interplay (and contradiction) of the various forces at work in banking practice. Today students of the period must acknowledge the pioneering work he made in the archives of London banks. Joslin was the first historian to scrutinise critically and comprehensively the accounting records of London banks, recognising the omissions and other serious limitations in interpreting these records. His own caveat that any conclusions must be tentative concerning the subject of eighteenth-century banking has inspired this article, which is intended to be a supplement to Joslin’s work. The seventeenth-century background to the succeeding century is examined here, briefly, as well as the few sources Joslin did not cover; at the same time, and in con­ trast, H oare’s and Gosling’s records are re-examined in light of these conclusions.