Thursday, 29 October 2009

Scottish Banking(part 18)

" Amidst the general panic which took place in the
above-mentioned year, the Ship Bank stood as firm
as a granite rock. Mr.Carrick regarded not the effects
of the storm upon the mercantile interest, except in so
far as his pouch was concerned; and upon this pouch
he now placed an additional button and guarded its
contents. He was much blamed for want of liberality,
and for narrowing his discounts almost to a point.
But he secured the bank from all danger; and if it was
true (as then reported) that there was nearly £600,000
sterling of deposits in the said bank in 1792, perhaps
his caution was absolutely necessary, even for the sake
of the public itself. As an instance of the state of mer-
cantile matters at this critical period, I may mention
that it was in the year 1793 that I commenced busi-
ness, and the fall upon goods was then so great that I
got 45 per cent discount for cash upon my First trans-
action. The gentleman from whom I purchased the
above-mentioned goods is still alive (1854), and walks
the boards of our Royal Exchange."

Human nature being what it is,one need not be
surprised that attempts were made to forge the notes
of the various banks. From 'Glasgow Past and Present'
one learns that on 5th June 1805 David Scott, engraver,
from Edinburgh, and Hugh Adamson, potter in
Glasgow,were executed at the Cross for making and
uttering notes in imitation of those of the Ship Bank-
ing Company. These young men were respectably
connected, and their fate much lamented.

When the above—mentioned individuals were taken
up and imprisoned, the partners of the Ship Bank
were impressed with the idea that the said prisoners
formed merely part of a gang of forgers, and that some
person of a higher station in life was concerned along
with them in the manufacture of Ship Bank notes.

In order to discover if possible whether this was the
case or not, Mr. Carrick visited the accused men in
prison; and as no person knew the effect of the sauviter
in modo
better than the Ship Bank cashier, he
spoke to the poor men with such affability and kind-
ness, and seemed to take so deep an interest in their
favour, that they unbosomed themselves to him without
reservation, and told him everything regarding the
forgery, and the mode of their accomplishing it-con-
ceiving that they were speaking to a friend anxious
to save them. Mr. Carrick, however, having now learn-
ed that the prisoners had no associates in the forgery
of the Ship Bank notes, rested satisfied with his
information, and used little or no exertion to save the
lives of the unhappy culprits, but left them to their fate.

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

No comments:

Post a Comment