CIBH The development of nineteenth century banking

The development of nineteenth century banking

A total of 138 joint-stock banks were created in England and Wales between 1826 and 1844 following the 1826 Bank Act, prompted by the banking crisis of 1825/6, which allowed the formation of such institutions.  This work examines these new financial institutions and their development through the nineteenth century. It was initiated in a joint project with Professor P.L. Cottrell, funded by the Leverhulme Trust during the 1990s and has continued with Victoria Barnes, who completed her ESRC funded PhD. on the 1826 Bank Act in 2015.  


The key theme of the research has been to discern the relationships between the managements, shareholders and customers of each bank in order assess whether these primarily local institutions had distinct constituencies. The research has developed to drawn comparisons with banking developments in nineteenth century New England, using the work of Naomi Lamoreaux, Insider Lending: Banks, Personal Connections, and Economic Development in Industrial New England (1996). It has also drawn comparison with the predecessors of joint-stock banks – private banking institutions – drawing upon the seminal work of Leslie Pressnell, Country Banking the Industrial Revolution (1956).


Victoria Branes and Lucy Newton (2017) Formalising credit markets? The entrance of English joint-stock banks. In: Coffman, D.'M., Lorandin, C. and Lorenzini, M. (eds.) Financing in Europe. The evolution, coexistence, and complementarity of credit typologies from the Middle ages to the 19th century. Palgrave Studies in the History of Finance. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke. (In Press)

Victioria Branes and Lucy Newton, (2017) How far does the apple fall from the tree? The size of English bank branch networks in the nineteenth century. Business History. ISSN 1743-7938 doi: 10.1080/00076791.2017.1323883

Lucy Newton (2010) The birth of joint-stock banking: a comparison of England and New England in the nineteenth century. Business History Review, 84 (1). pp. 27-52. ISSN 2044-768X

 Lucy Newton (2007) 'Change and Continuity: The Development of Joint Stock Banking in the Early Nineteenth Century'.  University of Reading Business School Discussion Papers, Economics and Management Series, 040, 2007, Download (PDF > 500 KB).