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PRINCIPLES AND PERACTICE OF
BY THE LATE
JAMES W. GILBART, F.R.S.,
ONE OF THE DIRECTORs of THE LONDON AND westMINSTER BANK,
THOROUGHLY REVISED AND ADAPTED TO THE PRACTICE OF
L ON DO N :
THE public appreciation of the late Mr. Gilbart's works on banking has been testified by their frequent reissues. Of his various publications, the “History and Principles of Banking,” and the “Practical Treatise on Banking,” have been the most popular, and still rank as standard text-books. In the present volume they are combined, with the double view of preserving the more valuable characteristics of both, and, by lessening the cost, of bringing them within the reach of the
Entrusted by the publishers with the preparation of this combined edition, I have laboured to do them justice, if not intelligently, at least assiduously. In one respect I have been singularly fortunate. Wheresoever, or to whomsoever, I have applied for information—to the Bank of England, the Clearing House, Joint-Stock Banks, Country Banks—to directors, managers, stock-brokers, clerks—I have been received courteously, answered unreservedly (confidential matters of course excepted), and have heen afforded the information I sought, rather as if I were conferring a favour on my informants, than
as if I were the party benefited and honoured. One honourable peculiarity, common to all, especially struck me, namely, the ready frankness with which each confessed his inability to enlighten me on matters unconnected with his own department.
Would I were at liberty to give the names of these highly informed and cultivated gentlemen to whom I owe so much, but to whom I must only return, generally, my sincere and grateful thanks. Yet, however pleasurable this would be to my sense of obligation, I doubt its turning to my editorial repute. Their names, like “the King's,” would, indeed, be “a tower of strength;” but, on the credit of them, it would naturally be presumed that the following pages were free from errors; an exemption which, from the very nature of the subject matter, not to speak of my own “shortcomings,” is impossible.
They who are familiar with Mr. Gilbart's writings will see at a glance that numerous alterations have been made in the present edition. Almost the entire section on “Banking Calculations” has been expunged, many “tables” omitted, the “reports of the joint-stock banks” left out, the excellent advice (which would now be considered “old-fashioned") contained in the section, “The Duties of Public Companies,” much abridged, and forms of letters, guarantee bonds, prospectuses, legal undertakings, &c. &c., ruthlessly excised.
Not one omission of the kind, however, has been made unauthorized by the best authorities—bankers themselves.
£n revanche, if, under advice, I have omitted much, I have added not a little; to wit, an account of the panics of 1857 and 1866, a description of the present admirable system pursued at the Clearing House, the existing rules for regulating the Scotch exchanges, and many minutiae respecting the Bank of England, and the Scotch and Irish banks. Some of these