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of loyalty, however, caused his ruin. In 1642, he was ejected from his Mayoralty and lodged in the Tower. There, for refusing to pay the fine of 5000l. appointed by Parliament, he was kept a prisoner for seven years, and there he died in 1649.

His contemporary, Francis Gournay, had his share of trouble. On the 17th of June, 1622, the corporation of Lynn lent to him and two partners of his a sum of 200l., for 'setting the poor to work within the town.' According to the terms of the agreement between them, the money was to be repaid in three years' time, and in the meanwhile Gournay was to freely provide, find, and deliver sufficient wool and other material to all those poor people dwelling within the borough who shall come to be set on work in spinning of worsted yarn.' He was also to instruct all the poor children who were sent to him in the spinning of wool; in fact, he was to do all he could to establish in the town a branch of the woollen manufacture that for some time past had formed the chief business of Norwich and its neighbourhood. Therein, however, he failed. Good churchmen attributed the failure to the circumstance that his factory was a desecrated church. A century before, it seems, the corporation of Lynn had received certain monasteries and ecclesiastical foundations during the spoliation under Henry VIII. One of these, the church of Saint James, in Lynn, according to Sir Henry Spelman, was 'perverted to be a town house for the manufacture of stuffs, laces, and tradesmen's commodities, whereby they thought greatly to enrich their corporation and themselves. Great projects and good stocks, with a contribution from some country gentlemen, were raised for this purpose-two several times, to my knowledge. But the success was that it came to nought, and all the money employed about new building and transforming the church hath only increased desolation; for so it hath stood during the whole time almost of my memory, till they lately attempted, by the undertaking of Mr. Francis Gournay and some

artisans from London, to revive the enterprise of their predecessors; but, speeding no better than they did, have now again, with loss of their money and expectation, left it to future ruin.'

Whatever was the cause of it, Francis Gournay's experiment failed. He was not able to pay back the money he had borrowed from the corporation; and he seems to have been in trouble, by reason of it, to the end of his life. His son, Francis, born in 1628, was a merchant or shopkeeper at Maldon, in Essex, and apparently a man of not much substance. But the fortunes of the house were revived by old Francis Gournay's grandson, John Gourney, or Gurney, of Norwich. He was born at Malton on the 7th of October, 1655, and, as soon as he was old enough, was apprenticed to Daniel Gilman, a cordwainer of Norwich. For a time his business energies were restrained by the bigotry of his fellow-townsmen. Some five-and-twenty years after George Fox's public preaching of the doctrines of the Society of Friends, before 1678, at any rate, John Gurney became a convert to those doctrines. He was one of the fourteen hundred and sixty Quakers imprisoned on account of their religious opinions, and for three years he lay in Norwich Gaol. After that he was released; but still considerable difficulty arose through his refusal to take the freeman's oath required before he could be allowed to practise as a merchant within the city walls. At last, however, an exception was made in his favour, and for some thirty years or more he was a famous and very thriving merchant in Norwich, living at a house in Saint Augustine's parish. He was chiefly engaged in trade with the silk and wool dealers of France and the continent. He had connections in Holland, among others, with the Hopes of Amsterdam, just then entering on their wonderful career of commercial prosperity. Like them, he added a sort of banking business to his occupations as a merchant. He was also a manufacturer. A brother of the Sir Thomas Lombe who established

the celebrated silk-mill at Derby was a Quaker, and, for a time, a fellow-prisoner of Gurney's. Gurney afterwards bought of Sir Thomas some property that he possessed in Norwich, and placed thereon a silkmill, imitated from that set up at Derby. In these ways he soon grew rich, being much aided in his business by his wife, Elizabeth, a daughter of Sir Richard Swanton. It was said, indeed, that Elizabeth Gurney had the greater business abilities of the two, and that she was the real founder of the commercial greatness of the Norwich Gurneys.* Be that as it may, the

*This amusing letter was addressed by her to her husband, while he was up in London, in 1716:—

'Ffor John Gurney, Senr., att Theodore Ettleston's, in Crown Court, in Gracechurch Street, London.

'Norwich, ye 17 of 3d mo., 1716. 'MY DEARE,-Theise are to acquaint thee that I have drawn a bill on John Ettleston, to William Crowe, or order, for James Paynter. Thou told me he nor his father would want no money, but he have been with me twice for sum, but I had none for him nor nobody else. I never knew such a week of trade all the hard weather as I have known this week. I could have had some if Richard How had sent culord and the book muslin and those goods I have sent for; but when he have served all his customers, so that they have forestalled the market, then I shall have the rubbish they leave. I take it very ill that thou tye me to those people, for I am sure we are both sufferers by it. He know right well if there be anything to do, it is at this time of yeare, but I have been served so severall years. Branthwait have not sent me the money, nor Lilly have paid none, nor the country have sent none, nor I have taken scarce any; so I know not what they wil do att John's. What pleasure thou meet withall at London much good may it doe thee; but I am sure I am in trouble enough. I can hardly tell how to forgive Richard How, to think how he have done by me. My neibour Alice desire thee to buy her 2 hundred of gold, and 2 pound of the best coffee. Pray desire John to think to buy me sum silk gloves of the maker, as I ordered him by my letter. So with deare love to thee and my children, I conclude,

Thy discontented Wife at present,

My daughter Hannah have now sent for me strait. Her child is taken very ill.'

business prospered mightily, and when John Gurney died, in 1721, he left a goodly fortune and very profitable connections to his sons, John and Joseph.

These sons were partners in both the manufacturing and mercantile concerns, prosecuting both with considerable success. John Gurney, the younger, who was born on the 16th of July, 1688, and died on the 23rd of January, 1740, was a famous man in his day. He was an intimate friend of both the Walpoles, and by them urged to enter Parliament; but he preferred to devote himself to his business, and take all his relaxation at home. In 1720 he was examined before the House of Lords concerning the intended prohibition of Indian calicoes, which had lately come to be freely imported into England. He drew a dismal picture of the evils consequent to the woollen trade from this innovation. Worcester and Gloucester, Bristol and York, he said, were being ruined through the preference that was being shown to cotton over woollen clothing. In York, 'the poverty of the manufacturers was so great that they were obliged to eat unwholesome diet, which had occasioned a distemper among them.' In Norwich, he represented, there was the greatest distress of all. Thousands of workpeople were thrown out of employment; and the paupers were so numerous, that on many of the houses twenty-four shillings were assessed for every pound of rent for poor-rates. These arguments, and the arguments of other monopolists prevailed. A law was made in 1721 to preserve and encourage the woollen and silk manufactures,' whereby all cotton clothing was forbidden, with a fine of 57. for each offence upon the wearer, and 20%. on the seller; and John Gurney was henceforth known as the famous advocate of the weavers.'

Joseph Gurney, four years younger than his brother, survived him by ten years, inheriting the entire manufacturing business, and leaving most of the mercantile work to be conducted by his nephews. In 1747 he was rich enough to buy the Old

Hall at Keswick, which, with subsequent additions and improvements, was made a splendid possession for his descendants. His two elder sons, John and Samuel, succeeded him as manufacturers. They introduced into Norwich the Irish plan of making home-spun yarns, besides employing great numbers of native Irish, and were in their time accounted great benefactors both to the eastern counties of England and to the northern districts of England. Samuel Gurney left only a daughter, and Richard's three sons soon retired from the manufacturing business; Richard and Joseph to settle down as country gentlemen; John, after some prosperous work as a woolstapler and spinner of worsted yarn, to become a partner with his cousin, Bartlett Gurney, in the management of the Norwich Bank. This Bank had been founded by John and Henry Gurney, sons of the John Gurney who had defended the woollen monopoly before the House of Lords in 1720. Succeeding their father as merchants, they followed the example of many other wealthy traders, and added an irregular banking business to their ordinary trade. Finding this a great source of further wealth, they at last devoted themselves exclusively to banking, and to that end converted the old house in Saint Augustine's parish into the original Norwich Bank, in 1770. From them the business descended in 1779 to Bartlett Gurney, Henry Gurney's son, and by him it was transferred to its present quarters, and enlarged by the admission of other partners, the principal being the younger John Gurney already named, and he, after Bartlett Gurney's death in 1803, was its chief proprietor and manager.

Himself a good and useful man, he was the father of a famous family. One of his daughters was Elizabeth Fry, another married Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, and a third was Priscilla Gurney. His two most notable sons were Joseph John Gurney the philanthropist, and Samuel Gurney the millionaire.

Samuel, the one whose history most concerns us, was born at Norwich on the 18th of October, 1786.


He was John Gurney's second son and ninth child. At the age of seven he was put to school with the celebrated Doctor Parr, and at fourteen he was apprenticed to the Clothworkers' Company in London, and placed in the counting-house, in Saint Mildred's Court, Poultry, in which his brother-in-law, Joseph Fry, as partner in the firm of Frys and Chapman, carried on an extensive trade as a tea-merchant, with some irregular employment as a banker.

'He took to business and liked it,' according to the report of the niece, whose first remembrances of him were as an inmate in the Saint Mildred's Court household. 'In the counting-house as well as in domestic life, he was extremely amiable and cheerful, and was beloved by the whole establishment. Although not brought up in conformity to the costume or speech of the Society of Friends, he showed no propensity to follow fashions or gaiety of appearance, beyond a suitable neatness of attire.' From the very first, indeed, he seems to have been so thoroughly a man, or rather a boy, of business, as to have cared for no lighter occupations. In 1807, when his sister Hannah married Thomas Fowell Buxton, he went down to the wedding, but, it is recorded, tired of the festivities long before they were over, and was glad to get back to his book-keeping and money-changing.

In the following year, however, Samuel Gurney was married himself, his wife being Elizabeth, the daughter of James Sheppard of Ham House, in Essex, a handsome residence that soon descended to the young couple and was their place of abode during nearly the whole of their married life. The wealth that came to Samuel Gurney from his father-in-law, as well as that bequeathed to him by his father, who died in 1809, helped him to make rapid progress in the new business in which he had embarked a little while before, on his reaching the age of twenty-one.

The business had begun a few years earlier than that, growing out of a yet earlier connection between Joseph Smith, a wool factor in Lon


don, and the Norwich Bank. Joseph Smith had found the advantage of applying part of his savings as a merchant to the then very slightly developed trade of bill-discounting, and John Gurney of Norwich, with whom he had been acquainted long before, when both were simply dealers in raw wool and manufactured cloths, also found the advantage of sending up to him some of the surplus money of the Norwich Bank, for investment in the same way, paying to Smith a quarter per cent. on the money laid out in each transaction as his commission. This arrangement having continued for

some time, it occurred to Smith's confidential clerk, John Overend, by whom most of the bill business had been done, that there was room in London for a separate establishment devoted to trade in bills. He asked his master to open an establishment of that sort, taking him as managing partner therein. This Joseph Smith refused to do, and Overend resigned his clerkship in consequence. He found the Norwich Gurneys, however, more favourable to his project, and about the year 1800 the house of Richardson, Overend, and Company was founded, the chief management being in his hands, and for a

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few years in those of Thomas Richardson, formerly chief clerk in the bank of Smith, Wright, and Gray, afterwards Esdaile and Company. Simon Martin, an old clerk, and afterwards a partner in the Norwich Bank, went up to London to help build up the business and to watch its movements on behalf of the Bank, whence most of the money Iwas obtained for investment. enterprise throve wonderfully from the first, one great source of its popularity being the change introduced by the new firm, which charged the quarter per cent. commission against the borrowers of the money,


instead of the lenders as heretofore; and in 1807 John Gurney added vastly to its strength by introducing his son Samuel as a partner. About that time Thomas Richardson retired from the business, and it was carried on under the name of Overend and Company, even after John Overend's death, until the secret of its connection with the Norwich house could no longer be kept, and it assumed its world-famous title of Overend, Gurney, and Company.

Its prosperity was in some measure the cause, but in much greater measure the consequence, of the new views on banking and trade in

money that came into force in the early part of the nineteenth century. Banking, which had existed in some other countries for a long time before, came into fashion in England about the middle of the seventeenth century, soon to lead to the foundation of the Bank of England, at William Paterson's suggestion, in 1694. It immediately proved very helpful to British commerce in lowering the rate of interest for borrowed money, strengthening all sorts of financial operations, and in other ways giving encouragement to all the branches of trade and industry. The Bank of England, however, was from the first, and is to this day, only a private bank on a large scale, endowed with special privileges on account of its loans to the government, amounting at its foundation to 1,200,000l., and now to upwards of 11,000,000l. Its first charter offered no obstacle to the establishment of other like institutions, and no law could ever be passed preventing private individuals from following the banker's trade. But in 1709 the governors of the Bank obtained an Act forbidding the formation of any banks of issue under more than six proprietors, and so secured for themselves a practical monopoly in jointstock banking. Their company was allowed to issue paper money to the extent of its loans to the state, but no paper money not covered by government securities was allowed, and the quantity issued could not be forced on people against their will. During the eighteenth century a great number of other banks were formed, both in London and in the country. In 1750, there were in England hardly a dozen bankers out of London; in 1793 there were more than four hundred. Scotland also, untouched by the law in favour of the Bank of England, had three joint-stock banks, with branches in various parts, besides a great number of private establishments. These

banks, growing out of the commercial prosperity of the country, helped the tide of speculation which, if it might have been fortunate in times of peace, led to terrible failures on the revival of a European war and

the disasters consequent thereupon. In 1784 there were in circulation six millions of bank-notes, that is, of the paper vouchers given by bankers for the money deposited with them, which in those days took the place for ordinary trading purposes of the modern cheques. In 1792 the number had risen to nearly eleven millions and a half. Next year war was declared between England and France, and in the panic that ensued at least one-fourth of the English country banks stopped payment, most of the others being grievously shaken. The London banks also suffered considerably, the suffering being everywhere attributed in great measure to the restrictive policy of the directors of the Bank of England, who, in spite of the advice of the Government and the prayers of thousands of merchants and manufacturers, sought to strengthen their own position by issuing as little money as they possibly could for the assistance of their neighbours. For this their best excuse was in the fact that their resources had been, and continued to be yet more and more, materially crippled by the immense drains made upon them by Government on account of the expenses of its continental wars. In October, 1795, the directors, brought almost to bankruptcy, informed Pitt that they could not hold out much longer. Other messages followed, and at last, in February, 1797, the Bank was authorised by the Privy Council to refuse cash payment for its notes, or the issue of any coin in sums larger than twenty shillings. In the following May an Act was passed enforcing that resolution, and sanctioning an almost unlimited issue of notes. Sheridan declared it a farce to call that a bank whose promise to pay on demand was paid by another promise to pay at some undefined period,' and Sir William Pulteney introduced a bill for the erection of a new bank in case the Bank of England did not pay in specie on or before the 24th of June, 1798.' But this opposition was ineffectual, and the Bank Restriction Act remained in force for two-andtwenty years, without any serious

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