Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Scottish Banking(part 16)

One of the smaller Glasgow banks, Messrs.
Thomsons’, which was opened on 4th October 1785
, was the sufferer by a remarkable robbery of notes
which took place on Friday night, 29th October 1791.
 A mahogany box containing £1600 in guinea and
 twenty-shilling notes,of Messrs. Thomsons’ issue,
 and twelve bills, which had been put in a small sack
 and sent on a carrier’s cart by Mr. Gavin Stewart
of Cumnock,addressed to the bank,was stolen off
the cart in going along the streets. A reward of £200
 was advertised, and " no questions asked.".

 On the 17th November following the box was found
 by a country lad while clearing out a dunghill in
Saltmarket, where it had been hid and never opened.
The reward was promptly paid to the lucky finder.

The Ship Bank used to be closed from one till two
 o’clock daily; and it was part of the duty of the youngest
apprentice to protect its treasure during the night,
for which purpose he was armed with a gun, powder-
horn, and a few charges of slugs, and locked in till
morning, a "box-bed" being fitted up in the telling-
room for his convenience. A bugle lay beside him
 to sound an alarm. For this dangerous service
 he received a present at the annual balance of

The year 1793 was one of extraordinary commer-
cial depression in this country, and particularly in
Glasgow which suffered at the time from the loss
 of its colonial trade. Dr. Strang writes thus of this
 calamitous period :-

(£1600 - TODAY = £181,000 approx)
(£200- TODAY = £22,600 approx)
(£1.10.6d - TODAY =£93.00 approx)

More to follow..........

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