©1997 by Gerry Rough <politico8@maplenet.net>

This essay is an add-on to the first essay I wrote on the history of
the Bank of England. With this essay, all of the arguments the conspiracy
theorists have written on this issue in book form will have been dealt
with exhaustively, at least to my knowledge. The few arguments that are
not dealt with were considered to be too trivial. There are some other
arguments on this issue as well that were skipped because I chose to stick
with the history and the operations of the Bank itself, without getting
too far off course. There are a few here that overlap my first essay, but all of the arguments
presented are new material. Let’s take a closer look at the credibility
of the conspiracy theorists on this issue. G. Edward Griffin, author of
The Creature from Jekyll Island is our first writer examined:

      England was financially exhausted after half a century of war”.Unable


      to increase taxes and unable to borrow, Parliament became desperate for


      some other way to obtain the money”.There were two groups of men who saw


      a unique opportunity arise out of this necessity. The first group consisted


      of the

political scientists

      within the government. The second was


      comprised of the

monetary scientists

      from the emerging business


      of banking”.The two groups came together and formed an alliance. No, that


      is too soft a word.

The American heritage dictionary

      defines a


as “A conspiratorial group of plotters or intriguers.” There is no other
word that could so accurately describe this group”.The Cabal met in Mercer”s
chapel in London and hammered out a seven point plan which would serve
their mutual purposes.[1]

Now let’s take a look at the accuracy of Griffin’s paragraph. His narrative
from here almost immediately begins to show serious signs of fabrication.
The two groups mentioned, the “monetary scientists” and the “political
scientists,” never existed. At this point, Griffin has fabricated two historical
boogiemen for his reader. There are no historical accounts anywhere that
detail a meeting between any two groups that formulated the idea for what
would later become the Bank of England. Griffin had to have known this
since his main historical source for this passage is R.D. Richards, one
of the premiere writers on the Bank of England. In no historical accounts
of the era is any credit ever given to other than that of William Paterson
alone for the founding of the Bank of England. Of the three standard works
on the early history of the Bank of England, Richards is the only one cited
in Griffin’s bibliography.[2] Richards’ text even directly contradicts Griffin”s
assertion of a private meeting between two groups that formed the Bank
of England:

      The Bank was established, under the authority of sixteen sections of


      the Tunnage Act of 1694, for “the better raising and paying into the Receipt


      of the Exchequer the sum of Twelve hundred thousand pounds, Part of the


      sum of fifteen hundred thousand pounds.” Their Majesties were authorized


      to appoint Commissioners to receive subscriptions on, or before, 1st August


      1694, by “any person or persons, natives or foreigners, bodies politic


      or corporate,” who, provided the full loan or “a moiety thereof” was subscribed


      before 1st August 1694, were to be incorporated under the title of “The


    Governor and Company of the Bank of England.”[3]

As you can see, a public subscription for a new joint-stock enterprise
has been deliberately twisted into a private meeting of “a conspiratorial
group of plotters or intriguers.” Further, Richards states two pages later:

      The Bank’s original capital of £1,200,000 was quickly subscribed.


      Narcissus Luttrell, the diarist of the day, states that the subscription


      lists were opened in “the Mercer’s Chappel” on 21st June 1694; that the


      Lords of the Treasury “came themselves and subscribed £10,000 for


      the Queen”; that Sir Robert Howard, the auditor of the Exchequer of Receipt,


      and his son were responsible for £18,000 and Sir John Houblon for


      £10,000; that the total of subscriptions for the first day amounted


      to £300,000, and for the first three days to £600,000, which


      meant that the subscribers became a corporation, and that by noon on 2nd


    July the total of £1,200,000 had been completed.[4]

The above is on the very page that Griffin himself cited. Griffin had full
knowledge that the meeting at Mercer’s Chapel was a public invitation to
a subscription list, yet deliberately fabricated otherwise. Further, even
if we confine ourselves only to Richards” text which Griffin used, we find
quickly that chapter 4 is entitled “Tudor and Stuart banking schemes.”
Chapter four begins thus:

      The petitions, propositions, “humble proposals” and “seasonable observations”


      appertaining to banks and banking, the earliest of which appeared in England


      during the Tudor period, increased in number and in volume during the Stuart


      regime, particularly during the two decades preceding the foundation of


      the Bank of England. They form an important field of economic literature


      from which it is evident that a large number of Tudor and Stuart writers


      fully realised the need of a well-organised credit system. The great expansion


      of English domestic and overseas trade in the seventeenth century created


      big financial problems; the many banking schemes which accompanied this


      expansion give an excellent insight into the wide commercial activities


    of this important era.[5]

From here Richards” chapter cites literally dozens of banking schemes dating
as far back as the sixteenth century. Even Paterson himself was rejected
twice before finally submitting a workable concept for a bank. Clapham
mentions upwards of “several scores of financial schemes” for a Bank of
England,[6] Glyn Davies” text even cites “100 or more schemes for a public
bank.”[7] It is clear that the founding of the Bank of England was a development
dating as far back as the sixteenth century, far from any conspiracy of
the late seventeenth century. It is clear as well that Griffin’s statement
has been fabricated.

You will also note that Griffin mentions a “seven point plan which would
serve their mutual purposes.” This as well has been fabricated. The accounts
of the era never hint of this, and his reference sources for this document
are historical narratives of the era written 300 years after the fact,
having no relation to a specific document written in the late seventeenth
century. Griffin’s text all but admits the obvious fabrication in his footnote
to the seven point plan, citing an “overview” rather than a specific document
or reference source for the document:

      For an overview of these agreements, see Murray Rothbard,

The Mystery
of Banking

      (New York: Richardson & Snyder, 1983), p. 180. Also


      Martin Mayer,

The Bankers

      (New York: Weybright & Talley, 1974),pp



Bill Still, author of On the Horns of the Beast: The Federal Reserve
and the New World Order
describes the same set of events this way:

      Frantic government officials met with money changers to beg for the


      loans necessary to pursue their political interests. The price was high.


      The money changers demanded nothing less than a government-sanctioned privately-owned


      monopoly over monetary power-over who got to coin or print English money.


      Naturally, the monopoly would be owned by a combination of money changers,


    and the English monarchy, and would be designed for their exclusive profit.[9]

Still’s fabrication on this issue is simply breathtaking. It is extremely
unlikely that any government in history has ever given its authority to
coin or print money to a private enterprise. In order for this act to take
place, parliament would have to pass a law allowing for the sale of the
English mint. It is certain that the English mint was never sold since
this event is not mentioned in any known texts on the subject. Both the
law itself and the subsequent sale of the mint would be impossible to miss
as a significant historical event. The sale of the English mint is not
mentioned in any of Still’s reference sources either. It is clear in this
instance that Still’s statement has been fabricated.

Still’s ignorance on the issue of the history of the Bank of England
is perfectly understandable when viewed from his bibliographical reference
sources. Of the 37 reference sources in his bibliography, there are no
serious historical accounts of the Bank of England. Without exception,
all of his reference sources on this issue are conspiracy theory writers.
It is interesting to note as well that most of these are heavily anti-Semitic
in content. On the issue of anti-Semitism, Still even admits his own blindness
to the anti-Semitism of one of his main sources for the history of the
Bank of England. Still writes:

      Some authors make the mistake of saying that the Scotsman William Paterson


      led the English money changer group, but Commander William Guy Carr, writing


      in 1958-despite his silly, anti-Semitic contention that Calvinism was the


      invention of a Jewish conspiracy designed to cause a split in Christianity-gives


    what is probably the most accurate account.[10]

It is difficult to imagine that Still could be so blind after reading the
obvious anti-Semitic writings of William Guy Carr and still cite him as
a credible source of information. For Still to miss Carr’s obvious incompetence
from his anti-Semitic bias is analogous to missing the forest from the
trees. It is clear from the above that Still’s own admission of Carr”s
anti-Semitism calls into serious question his own credibility.

Still continues the aforementioned paragraph:

      He claims that Paterson only conducted the negotiations with money


      changers on behalf of the English government and that the other party to


    the negotiations were: “money lenders WHOSE IDENTITY REMAINED SECRET.”[11]

The statement is a classic example of multiple absurdities contained in
the same statement. There were no negotiations, no money changers, Paterson
did not work on behalf of the English government, and the money lenders
whose identity remained secret were actually London merchants. The real
money lenders of the era were actually the goldsmith bankers, not the London
merchants whom Paterson represented.

Still continues again on the next page:

      According to Carr, the system set into motion with the chartering of


      the Bank of England was a system of perpetual debt from which no nation


      is meant to escape: “The international bankers never intended that England


      be allowed to pay off the national indebtedness. The plan was to create


      international conditions which would plunge ALL nations concerned deeper


      and deeper into their debt.” Believe it or not, this is actually what transpired.


      The Parliament was so desperate and/or so bribed, that they accepted these


      terms, which amounted to nothing less than legal counterfeiting of a national


      currency for private gain. The initial stock offering sales pitch for the


      Bank read: “Paterson hath benefit of interest on all moneys which it, the


    bank, creates out of nothing.[12]

Again, Still’s fabrication of fact here is simply breathtaking. There are
no known historical records that remotely suggest that any members of Parliament
were bribed in any way. Further, his next idea of “legal counterfeiting,”
is grossly absurd. The term counterfeit means to imitate or copy with the
intent to defraud-strictly illegal. The term “legal counterfeiting” is
an oxymoron-a self-contradictory statement. Governments alone have the
power to declare any currency legal tender, making it impossible to legally
counterfeit a legal currency.

Still’s quote on the initial stock offering sales pitch for the bank
has a story of its own. The quote is one of the most widely used in all
of conspiracy theory writings. It takes its life from a book entitled Tragedy
and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time
by professor Carroll Quigley
of Georgetown University. First published in 1966, the book is widely read
and used by conspiracy theorists in their vain attempts to prove a global
conspiracy. It should be noted as well that Quigley himself repudiated
conspiracy theories. The quote comes from page 49 of Quigley’s text. The
original quote is as follows, “the bank hath benefit of interest on all
moneys which it creates out of nothing.” A quick re-read of the above quote
from Still reveals not one but two falsifications contained in the same
quote. Here again, Still’s source for the quote is another conspiracy theorist,
Eustace Mullins, author of The Secrets of the Federal Reserve, who
has falsified his data, unbeknownst to the hapless Still.[13] Further, Griffin
as well is incapable of correctly quoting the same passage: “the Bank hath
benefit of interest on all the moneys which it, the Bank, creates out of
nothing.”[14] If either Still, Griffin or Mullins had bothered to check Quigley”s
accuracy, he would have found that Paterson never made any such statement
in the circular mentioned. The circular that Quigley mentions was published
in 1694, and took as its title, A Brief Account of the Intended Bank
of England.[15]

Here is another story to the same events. The author of this version
is Eustace Mullins, author of The Secrets of the Federal Reserve.

The Mullins version is as follows:

      In 1689, the same group of bankers [the bankers that financed Cromwell”s


      seizure of power in 1649] regained power in England by putting King William


      of Orange on the throne. He soon repaid his backers by ordering the British


      treasury to borrow 1,250,000 pounds from these bankers. He also issued


      them a Royal Charter for the Bank of England, which permitted them to consolidate


      the National debt (which had just been created by this loan) and to secure


      payments of interest and principal by direct taxation of the people. The


      Charter forbade private Goldsmith’s to store gold and to issue receipts,


      which gave the stockholders of the Bank of England a money monopoly. The


      goldsmiths also were required to store their gold in the Bank of England


      vaults. Not only had their privilege of issuing circulating medium been


      taken away by government decree, but their fortunes were now turned over


    to those who had supplanted them.[16]

Here we have yet another version of the beginning of the Bank of England.
In this version is King William of Orange ordering the British Treasury
to borrow 1,250,000 pounds to repay his backers. Mullins” next statement
that the Bank of England was permitted to directly tax the people is absurd.
This is nowhere mentioned in the charter, nor anywhere in any historical
accounts of the era. The Charter, by the way, never forbade private goldsmith’s
to store gold or issue receipts. Neither were the goldsmith’s required
to store their gold in the Bank of England vaults. Glyn Davies has a decidedly
different story to tell:

      A few important goldsmith bankers, especially Charles Duncombe remained


      stubbornly hostile, but the value and convenience of having an account


      with the Bank soon began to be widely appreciated, so that in general the


      goldsmith’s followed the example of Richard Hoare and of Freame and Gould


      (forerunners of Barclays) who both opened accounts in the Bank in March


      1695. In the course of time the goldsmith’s gave up their own note issues


    and used Bank of England notes instead, to their mutual advantage.[17]

Des Griffin describes the 1694 events another way:

      As British strength and influence grew around the world toward the


      end of the 1600s the wealth, strength and influence of the elite merchants


      in the City also grew – only at a faster pace. In 1694 the privately owned


      Bank of England (a central bank) was established to finance the profligate


      ways of William III. The bank was financed by a group of City merchants


      who used William Paterson as a “front.” The names of the founders have


    never been made public.[18]

In Des Griffin’s text, it is mentioned that the Bank of England was somehow
financed by the City merchants. Here Des Griffin has fabricated his data
for his audience. It is nowhere stated that this was the case. Quite the
contrary, it is stated everywhere that it was the original stockholders
who financed the Bank in the beginning.

As you can see from the arguments presented so far, the conspiracy theorists
are sorely lacking in serious research on the history of the Bank of England.
Part two will examine more of what the conspiracy theorists have said on
this issue, then conclude with a summary.

1) G. Edward Griffin, The Creature from Jekyll Island (Appleton:
American Opinion Publishing, Inc., 1995) 175, 176

2) Until the twentieth century, there were no major comprehensive historical
narratives on the history of the Bank of England. The are now three major
works; Clapham, Richards, and Andreades, although Richards was not meant
to be a comprehensive work.

3) R. D. Richards, The Early History of Banking in England (London:
Frank Cass and Company, Ltd., 1958) 146

4) Richards, p. 148-149

5) Richards, p. 92-93

6) Sir John Clapham, The Bank of England: A History (New York:
The Macmillan Company, 1945) Vol. 1, p. 1

7) Glyn Davies, A History of Money: From Ancient Times to the Present
(Cardiff: The University of Wales Press, 1994) 254
8) Griffin, p. 176

9) Bill Still, On the Horns of the Beast: The Federal Reserve and
the New World Order
(Winchester, VA: Reinhardt & Still Publishers,
1996) 26

10) Still, p. 27

11) Still, p. 27

12) Still, p. 28

13) Eustace Mullins, Secrets of the Federal Reserve: The London
(Staunton: Bankers Research Institute, 1993) 58

14) Griffin, p. 176

15) Saxe Bannister, The Writings of William Paterson: Founder of the Bank of England (London: Judd & Glass, 1859) Reprinted New York: August M. Kelley Publishers, 1968. P. 79-91

16) Mullins, p. 58

17) Davies, p. 260

18) Des Griffin, Descent into Slavery? (Clackamas, OR: Emissary Publications,
1980) 1996 Edition, p. 44

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