Skip to main content

Seminar - Twenty fours from barter ‘ The use of satiric images in analysing the 1825 British Banking crisis

016859 A1 Henley Web Images 0002 Earth
Event information
Date 16 February 2022
Time 13:00-14:30 (Timezone: Europe/London)
Price Free
Venue Henley Business School
Event types:

You are cordially invited to attend a research seminar by Henry Sless, University of Reading. Follow the link in your calendar email invitations(Join Microsoft Teams Meeting) to join the seminar on Wednesday 16th February, at 13.00.


The 1825 British Banking crisis was one of the most severe banking crises in Britain in the nineteenth century. The British Banking system was at almost total collapse when the BoE stepped in. A government minister of the time, William Huskisson, was quoted ‘The country was twenty- four hours from a state of barter’

In the talk, I undertake a detailed contextual review of four contemporary images of the crisis.

This reveals the detailed sophisticated financial/political knowledge of the crisis required by readers of the time (and since) to appreciate fully these images. It also highlights the sophistication of the artists in conveying complex financial issues using tropes and iconography.

Overall, the talk introduces emotional discourse, a notion often not fully considered by traditional financial historians. It has much in common with behavioural economics, and concepts around ‘herd’ mentality at times of financial stress.