"Comedy always works best when it is mean-spirited" - John Cleese

Author John Corby also writes as "Bulldogge" for the British Canadian newspaper.

A Farthingsworth of Tall Tales from Blighty's Fameless Blog
Newsflash from New York (no, not that one!) |  Are the British better drivers? |  The Story of the Telephone Kiosk |  Drinking Nelson's Blood |  Screaming Jelly Babies |  Flying to the UK is very dangerous! |  Brits to drive on the right |  Who hung the monkey? |  Upper class virgins |  Double, double trouble |  What a Lovely Morning for a War

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Old Scottish Lady of Threadneedle Street

In an amazing and curious reversal of logic, history tells us that the Bank of England was founded by a Scotsman and the Bank of Scotland was founded by an Englishman. How and why did that happen?

Our story starts in 1658 when the future Sir William Patterson was born at his parents' farmhouse in Tinwald, Scotland. William pursued his destiny as an entrepeneur to Bristol and then the Bahamas where he hatched a scheme to create a gateway to the Far East through Panama. Moving back to London, he unsuccessfully attempted to persuade the British government to support his scheme. Meanwhile he made his fortune as a merchant and came up with an idea to create a central bank to the government that would have the power to print money. This time his proposal was accepted and the Bank of England received its charter in 1694.

The Bank of Scotland was proposed by John Holland, a retired London merchant in 1696 and established by an act of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh that same year. The Bank of Scotland was modelled after the Bank of England and was incorporated with the same startup capital of 1.2 million pounds sterling.

Strange, but true.