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the 17th century. The Bank of Amsterdam was founded in 1689. The moneyed goldsmiths first got the name of bankers in England in the reign of King Charles II. The Bank of England was projected 1694 by Mr. William Paterson, a Scotchman (whose name is not found in our biographical dictionaries), and who, by some, is said to have also established the Bank of Scotland, in 1695, though, by others, this is stated to have been done by Mr. John Holland, a merchant of London. The charter of the Bank of England is dated 27th July, 1694. It commenced business in Grocers' Hall, Poultry, 1st January, 1695. Its capital at the commencement was 1,200,0001. It is now about 14,000,0001. Its transactions in discount have been known to extend to as much as 4,000,000l. in one day. Its composition for stamp duties on its notes has been as much as 70,000l. a year. On 17th January, 1857, the bullion in its possession amounted to upwards of 10,000,0001. Its notes in circulation at the same date were upwards of 19,000,0001. in value. The whole of the notes in circulation at that date, belonging to all the banks in England, Scotland, and Ireland, amounted to upwards of 37,000,000l. in value. The amount of gold and silver then held by the Scotch and Irish banks was upwards of 4,500,0001. The capital of the Bank of France, since 1806, is 3,650,0001. sterling. That amount is now to be doubled. Notes in circulation, about 23,000,0001. sterling. Discounts in 1856, about 176,000,0001. sterling ; its legitimate business extending to about 223,000,0001. sterling. (Savings Banks.) The first institution of this sort was formed at Wendover, in 1799 ; in 1804, another was formed at Tottenham, by Priscilla Wakefield; in 1808, another at Bath ; and in 1810, another was established in Dumfrieshire. In 1817, when the first legislation on the subject took place, there had been formed nearly eighty associations of this description. The sums at present invested in the names of the Commissioners for the Reduction of the National Debt, belonging to savings banks, amount to about 38,000,0001.
BANKRUPT.-From bancus, or banque, the table or
counter of a tradesman, and ruptus, broken ; denoting one whose place of business is broken. It was formerly supposed that the Roman law in this respect was very severe, and that the debtor's body might be cut in pieces by his creditors, or sold to foreigners. A new and evidently better construction put upon the words used in the Roman law, in that respect, is to the effect that it was the debtor's estate (and not his body) that was to be divided amongst his creditors : (see Eunomus, Dialogue II). The first English statute concerning bankrupts was 34 Hen. 8, c. 4. The last act on the subject is the
12 & 13 Vict. c. 106. BARRATRY.-A fraud committed by the master or crew
of a ship on the owners or insurers; such as sinking, deserting, or taking away the ship, or embezzling the
cargo. BARTER.—The exchanging one kind of goods for those of
another description. Commerce consisted at first in the exchange of those things which are most necessary to life, by bartering superfluities for things that were wanted, and which could be supplied by other persons. The inconvenience of this mode of trading led to the introduction of articles of a fixed value, as media of exchange, such as shells, salt, fruits, pieces of valuable kinds of wood, and, with the most civilized nations, the precious metals. Those metals, at length, became, by the unanimous consent of all nations, the most efficient representative signs of the value of the objects of commerce, though trade by barter is still carried on in
various parts of the world : (see Coin.) BILLS OF EXCHANGE.-It is stated by various authors
that this sort of document was invented by the Jews who were banished from France in 1182, and took refuge in Lombardy. That on that occasion they committed to friends whom they could trust, such of their property as they could not carry along with them, and afterwards furnished various foreign merchants and travellers with secret letters, drawn upon those to whom they had entrusted their effects in France, by whom they were accepted, and thus fetched away their fortunes : (see Montesquieu, book 21, c. 20.) A bill of exchange is defined by Blackstone to be “ an open letter of request from one to another desiring him to pay a sum named therein to a third person." The person requesting is called the drawer; the party requested to pay is the drawee, who, when he signifies his assent by acceptance, is called the acceptor, and the person to whom the money
is to be paid is the payee. Bills are either foreign or inland. Foreign bills only were properly bills of exchange. Foreign bills must be protested by a notary, in case of nonpayment, before the drawer can be charged ; but inland bills need no protest. A bill of exchange is a debt due at its date, though not payable until afterwards. Although a bill of exchange be a chose in action, yet, according to the custom of merchants, any indorsee (to whom it is assigned) may maintain an action in his own name, against any one who has rendered himself responsible for its payment. A bill must not be altered after it is complete and negotiated ; and it must be drawn for a specific sum, and not payable on a contingency. It is the duty of the holder of a bill, whether accepted or not, to present it for payment within a limited time, otherwise the law will imply that payment has been made. Notice of dishonour of a bill, should, generally, be given the day after the dishonour. Parties availing themselves of the provisions of the 18 & 19 Vict. c. 67, with reference to unpaid bills or notes, must take proceedings within six
months after they become due. BILL OF LADING.-A memorandum signed by the
master or captain of a ship, acknowledging the receipt of goods, to be delivered at a certain place. The bill of lading is signed in three parts, one part being kept by the consignor, another being sent to the consignee, and the third kept by the captain. The consignee is named in the bill. The bonâ fide transferee of the bill, for value, is entitled to the goods : (Gurney v. Behrend, 23
Law T. Rep. 89.) BILL OF SALE.-A contract under seal, whereby goods
and chattels, or any kind of moveables, are transferred. It should always be by deed, as a man is stopped from denying his own deed. If the goods are intended to be left in the possession of the transferor (as in the case of a mortgage), it should be so stated, in case of his bankruptcy. Under the provisions of the 17 & 18 Vict. c. 36, bills of sale must now be registered in the Queen's Bench, within 21 days after the making thereof. If a. bill of sale be made bonâ fide, for value, or, if the maker be not in insolvent circumstances at the time, and possession of the goods be consistent with the terms of the deed, it will not be void, as against creditors, under the 13 Eliz. c. 5. A bill of sale is the usual mode of con
veyance of a ship, which should be registered, and notice
of the transfer forwarded to the party in possession. BILL OF SUFFERANCE.-A licence granted at the
custom-house, to a merchant, authorizing him to trade from one port to another without paying custom.
BOOK DEBTS.-An erroneous notion has been enter
tained by tradesmen that book debts prove themselves, simply by the production of their books. Entries of this description certainly receive credit before Commissioners of Bankruptcy, and in courts where the party's own testimony is received; but at law they are considered as mere memoranda to refresh the memory of the writer, who must, himself, be produced, if living; if dead, his handwriting must be proved.
BOND.-A writing under seal, styled obligatory, because
the party executing it (called the obligor) binds and obliges himself, &c., to pay a certain sum of money to another (the obligee) at a time appointed. There is generally a condition added, to the effect, that if the obligor do a particular act, the obligation shall be void, or else shall remain in full force. The penalty in the bond is generally double the sum intended to be secured. If a payment be not made on account of a bond within twenty years from the time named for payment, it will be presumed to be discharged. On the forfeiture of a bond the whole penalty was formerly recoverable at law, but equity interposed, and would not permit more to be taken than was actually due, and at length the stat. 4 & 5 Anne, c. 26, was passed to that effect. A bond should be sealed and delivered, but it was not adjudged necessary to be signed. By stat. 4 Geo. 2, c. 26, bonds must be in the English language only. Money of England must be either of gold or silver : (2 Inst. 577.) Gold only is now said to be the standard coin : (see Shepherd's Touchstone ; OBLIGATION.)
BOTTOMRY, (Bot de mere), BOTTOMRY BOND.-A
contract in the nature of a Mortgage, or, as it is termed, hypothecation of a ship (usually made by the Master abroad), stipulating that the money advanced, and an agreed premium, shall be paid within a certain number of days after the arrival of the vessel at the port of discharge in England. If the ship be lost, the money
is irrecoverable, unless the bottomry be insured. BROKERS: (see Factors.) BULLION (Billion, Fr.)—Uncoined gold and silver in
the mass : (M\Culloch.). Specie, however, is constantly bought and sold as bullion, and dealt with accordingly. In former times, commerce was carried on chiefly by means of barter, or by bullion in bars or wedges. This is still the case with respect to various countries. It would seem that with regard to India and other eastern nations, commerce, from the remotest times, was carried on by means of bullion, chiefly silver : (see Montesquieu, book 21, cc. 1, 6, 16, and the authorities therein referred to.) The accumulation of silver in India, during the last 57 years is stated to be about 150 millions sterling. Twenty millions were remitted in 1857. Smith (Wealth of Nations, p. 407) says, -"Bullion, as it circulates among different commercial countries, in the same manner as the national coin circulates in every particular country, may be considered as the money of the great mercantile republic.” It has been stated that previously to the discovery of the Californian and Australian goldfields, there were considered to be about 2000 millions sterling of the precious metals existing in Europe, of which about a fourth or fifth was gold, the rest silver. The yield of gold from the two sources above mentioned has been considered to be upwards of 20 millions per
In 1856, the Mexican mines are stated to have yielded 40 millions of dollars' value, chiefly in silver: (see
BARTER, Coin, MONEY, SPECIE.) CAMBIST.-A dealer in bills of exchange, notes and
coins ; a person skilled in the business of exchanges. CAPITAL.-The amount employed in carrying on business.
Principal money, as distinguished from income. Capital is either fixed or circulating. Fixed capital may be said to consist in stock or materials, instruments of trade, lands, houses, &c. Money is “the great wheel of circulation.” Smith (Wealth of Nations, p. 345) says, that the prosperity of a country depends on the due proportion of its capital applied to the three grand objects of agriculture, manufactures, and foreign trade. The capital of this country has been stated to a certain extent as follows: