Sunday, 25 October 2009

Scottish Banking(part 9)

The Lords found the action relevant for payment of
the principal sum, interest, and expenses of process.
NB.—As the defenders did not reclaim against the .
interlocutor, it became final quoad the pursuer’s de-
mand for interest and cost of suit. But the pursuer
having reclaimed and insisted for damages,the Lords
 ordered his petition to be answered. This point, however,
never came to a discussion, as the suit was carried out
of court by a submission.

It may be remarked that in tendering payment of
silver for the £ 3000 the teller of the Glasgow Arms
Bank twice kept back a sixpence on purpose,to force
Trotter to count the amount a third time.
Even in modern commercial communities there is
sometimes inconvenience created by a scarcity of
specie, and in recent times great financial trouble has
resulted in New York from this cause. It is therefore
not surprising that Glasgow in its commercial infancy
had to take steps to conserve the supply of hard cash.
Of this matter " Senex " speaks as follows :——

" When I was a boy there was a great scarcity of
silver coinage in Glasgow; and it was considered
quite a favour on the part of a shop-keeper to give
change for a bank-note even to his own customers.
On the Saturday, bakers,butchers,and grocers hoard-
ed up the smaller drawings for that day in order to
oblige their customers the ensuing week by granting
them silver in exchange for notes. As for the banks,
one and all of them set their faces against giving
silver for their own notes, if they possibly could avoid
doing so; and they held out (at least so the public
then said) threats of keeping in remembrance any
 attempt of a mercantile house presuming to drain them
of their silver by seeking change. In order to save
giving silver in change, the Ship Bank at this time
issued both guinea notes and twenty-shilling notes.
Supposing, therefore, that a person was to have
received £20, 18s., he received 18 guinea notes and
two notes of twenty shillings each, but not a six-
pence of silver; I remember, when a little boy, of
being sent out by my mother to get change of a pound
note, and having in vain tried to obtain it from our
own baker and grocer, and also having made the like
attempt at various shops without success,I found
myself, at the head of the Stockwell, opposite the Ship
Bank, and it then occurred to me that I would try
the bank, the note being a Ship Bank note. Accord-
ingly in I stepped, and, presenting my note on the
counter, asked for change. Upon doing so I was
 interrogated as follows: ‘ What’s your name, sir? ’ I
answered, ‘ My name is Senex ‘Who is your mas-
ter? ’ I -replied, ‘ I have no master ‘ Who told you
to come here,then?’ I said, ‘ Nobody told me to come
here; I just came of myself ‘But who gave you
the note to change?’ I told them my mother gave
it to me. The teller then, with a humph, gave me the
proper change. At this time,when silver was
demanded for a guinea note from any of our banks,
 it was often refused to be given and a gold guinea
 tendered instead thereof-the banks well knowing
that gold was not wanted. In fact, our banks tried
 all shifts to stave off giving silver for their notes.
The Royal Bank in Glasgow peremptorily refused
to give silver for their notes, except by way of
special favour to special favour to customers of
 their own. A stranger then seeking-change of a
Royal Bank note at the branch in Glasgow was
 told in the most cavalier manner to go to`
Edinburgh, where the notes were made payable."

MORE to follow.............

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