Thursday, 22 October 2009

Scottish Banking(part 2)

This boy was the renowned Robert Carrick, one of the
most heartily, and most unjustly, maligned bank offi-
cials Glasgow has produced. It cannot be denied that
Robert, as a member of the community, was cold,
unsympathetic, grasping, and inflexible; but in his
 official capacity, as the guardian and distributor of the
public wealth, he displayed an accurate perception of
those sound monetary principles which were
subsequently more fully developed by Dr. Adam
Smith,and in the application of which Robert evinced
 an amount of assiduous attention and shrewd sagacity
that contrasted favourably with the recklessness or stupidity
of so many official brethren in his own and in more
recent times. At any rate, he for many years piloted
the good old “ Ship " past many a dangerous reef and
through many a troublous passage ; till after eighty-
six years’ buffeting it found a harbour, sound in
 timbers and cordage, in the Union Bank.

In accordance with the advice of his contemporary
and namesake, Burns, Robert

  " Gathered gear by every wile
  That’s justified by honour."

  He yearly added house to house and field to field.

Robert Carrick(above)

No speculation was either too high or too low for him,
provided it held out a prospect that it could " pay " ;
and before his death he was reputed to be the richest
man in Glasgow. Of course speculation was rife as to
how or where all this wealth would find an owner when
he died. His old housekeeper, who was reputed to be
a more inveterate“ skinflint” than himself, was almost
his only relative. As for churches and schools, and
 infirmaries and similar institutions, they might be
 supported, he said, by those who could afford to do so, or
who needed their help. At length Robert died
 friend-less in the upper room of the old Ship which he
had served so faithfully, and it was found that the
greater part of his large fortune was left to David, the
grandson of Andrew Buchanan, his old patron.

 Although the motives of Mr. Carrick in thus
disposing of his wealth were unquestioned and
 unquestionable, nevertheless the matter formed
a nine days' wonder and a great source of gossip at the time,
 especially when it became known that not one of those
benevolent and useful institutions which were the
pride and glory of the town benefited to the value of
copper coin by the old man’s bounty ; and that even
his faithful servant John,—-his bank porter, body
servant, groom, coachman, gardener, and general
 factotum,-who carefully collected the bank candle-ends
to grease the axle of the rickety vehicle. in which
Robert was conveyed from his country house each
summer morning, in company with a supplementary
load of syboes,cabbages,and turnips, which John duly
carried to the green market, and fought the kail—wives
over in many a wordy encounter-even poor faithful
John,who had grown grey in the service of a thankless
master, was entirely neglected, and died an inmate,
and a highly respected one,of the old Clydeside

more to follow..........

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