A History of Banks for Savings in Great Britain and Ireland by William Lewins

A History of Banks for Savings in Great Britain and Ireland

byWilliam Lewins

Kobo ebook | February 14, 2014

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A History of Banks for Savings in Great Britain and Ireland

The present volume is offered as a contribution to the history of a number of provident schemes, which, though quietly working in the country for many years, and affecting to no small extent the social condition of great masses of the people, can scarcely be said to have found an annalist. I think I may fairly consider that the ground covered by this work has not previously been occupied. In saying so much, I do not forget the only book which has hitherto emanated from the British press on Savings Banks. Mr. Scratchley's Practical Treatise on Savings Banks deals, however, with the question technically, and is meant avowedly as a text-book for actuaries and those employed about Savings Banks. The present volume, on the contrary, while it may be supposed to possess some interest even for this limited circle, is not meant to take the place of the above, but seeks its public amongst general readers, and amongst those who, either from inclination in that direction, or through connexion with them as employers, take an interest in the progress of the industrial classes of our country.

Treating as this volume does of useful practical schemes and matter-of-fact topics, I have sought to avoid all matters of speculation, to speak in very plain terms and without waste of words, and, whilst noticing in their proper order all the different proposals having to do with the subject, to refrain from venturing upon any myself. My aim has been to give a full and accurate account of the early history of Savings Banks; and as subsequently to their origin the discussions in Parliament with regard to them and kindred subjects were no incorrect reflex of the feeling in the country at different periods, I have also dealt fully with the parliamentary history of these institutions. In this way Savings Bank reformers, both in and out of Parliament, and their measures of reform—many of them ending in the establishment of different kinds of supplementary banks—are made to pass under review; and the names of those who framed the original schemes, as well as of those who tried to improve upon them, are rescued, for a brief space at any rate, from a state of obscurity, if not of oblivion.

With respect to the latest modification of the Savings Bank principle, as exhibited in the measures brought about within the past few years by Mr. Gladstone, great efforts have been made—as great efforts have been needed—to treat all the questions involved fully and impartially, and to accord these important and far-reaching measures their due place amongst the other wonderful provident schemes of the present century.

Great pains have also been taken to ensure perfect accuracy, both as to facts and figures, and my acknowledgments are due to many gentlemen who are acquainted with the subject in all its bearings, who sent me information, or answered my inquiries, with great readiness and cordiality. It is less necessary to mention any of these gentlemen in this place, inasmuch as reference is frequently made to their assistance at the proper place in the body of this work; but it would be wrong to omit to state that, with regard to Mr. Gladstone's recent measures, I have had every facility granted me by the Post Office authorities for obtaining the necessary and the most recent information respecting these schemes, and that this assistance has been rendered in a manner which calls for my heartiest thanks, as the only sufficient or fitting acknowledgment.

Dealing as I have done with what Mr. Carlyle will allow to be one of the side sources of history, I venture to hope that some of the facts now gathered together may not be without their interest to the student of human progress in some of its highest aspects; while to all those who are directly concerned in such schemes, and to masters of workmen, to whom the concluding parts especially are more particularly addressed, this volume is offered, with some confidence that they will find much new and original matter in it, and some old matter put in a new light.

An Appendix is added, giving the Acts, or clear abstracts of Acts, at present in force for all the different descriptions of Banks for Savings, together with some of the latest statistical information which may be thought of value.

Title:A History of Banks for Savings in Great Britain and IrelandFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:February 14, 2014Publisher:SAMPSON LOW, SON, AND MARSTONLanguage:English

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