Edinburgh World Heritage - News Article


Archive Anecdotes: All Hallows 2

Snippets from the City's archives.

Nov 1, 2013

All Hallows Day, 1st of November 1695, is a key date in the history of Scotland's first bank. This was the date chosen by the new Bank of Scotland to open its subscription books to prospective shareholders ('Adventurers') in a bid to raise the capital required to begin business.

Two subscription ledgers were opened, one in Edinburgh and one in London. These were to lie in a 'public place' from the 1st of November to the end of the year.

In this period the Bank succeeded in raising a working capital of £120,000 Scots (£10,000 sterling). 172 Adventurers each pledged between £1,000 and £20,000 Scots.

The Edinburgh ledger was placed in Patrick Steill's 'Cross Keys' tavern in Covenant Close, just off the High Street. It lay open every Tuesday or Friday until the 1st of January 1696 and attracted 136 subscribers.  They were mostly from Scotland's political and mercantile elite.  A detailed examination of who they were reveals that they included 24 nobles, 39 landed proprietors, 41 merchants, and 14 lawyers and judges. Seven female Adventurers subscribed in their own right including the Countess of Rothesay who was listed as the third subscriber.

The subscription ledgers, and other records relating to Bank of Scotland, are held by Lloyds Banking Group Archives in Edinburgh and can be consulted by appointment.

Images of records are published courtesy of Lloyds Banking Group plc Archives.

How was All Hallows celebrated in the Grassmarket?...read more.



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