To conclude: The laudable author of this project squares the measures of it so much according to the scripture rule, it may reasonably be presumed, that all good Christians in England will come as fast into the subscriptions for his encouragement, as they have already done throughout the kingdom of Ireland. For what greater proof could this author give of his Christianity, than, for bringing about this Swearing-act, charitably to part with his coat, and sit starving in a very thin waistcoat in his garret, to do the corporal virtues of feeding and clothing the poor, and raising them from the cottage to the palace, by punishing the vices of the rich. What more could have been done even in the primitive times!
From my House in St. Faith’s
London, August 10, 1720.
P.S.—For the benefit of the author, application may be made to me at the Tilt-Yard Coffee-house, Whitehall.
THE SWEARER’S BANK.
The plan for the establishment of a National Bank in Dublin was first put forward in 1720 in the form of a petition presented to the King by the Earl of Abercorn, Viscount Boyne, Sir Ralph Gore, and others. It was proposed to raise a fund of L500,000 for the purpose of loaning money to merchants at a comparatively low rate of interest. The King approved of the petition, and directed that a charter of incorporation for such a bank should pass the Great Seal of Ireland. When the matter came up for discussion in the Irish Houses of Legislature, both the Lords and Commons rejected the proposal on the ground that no safe foundation for such an establishment could be found. (See note post.)
During and after the discussion on this project in the legislature a pamphlet controversy arose in which two able writers distinguished themselves—Mr. Henry Maxwell and Mr. Hercules Rowley. The former was in favour of the bank while Mr. Rowley was against it.
Mr. Maxwell argued soundly from the ground on which all banking institutions were founded. Mr. Rowley, however, pointed out that the condition of Ireland, dependent as that country was on England’s whims, and interfered with as she always had been, by English selfishness, in her commercial and industrial enterprises, would not be bettered were the bank to prove even a great success. For, should the bank be found in any way to touch the trade of England, it might be taken for granted that its charter would be repealed, and Ireland find itself in a worse state than it was before.
The pamphlets written by these gentlemen bear the following titles:
(1) Reasons offer’d
for erecting a Bank in Ireland; in a letter to
Hercules Rowley, Esq., by Henry Maxwell, Esq. Dublin, 1721.
(2) An Answer to a Book, intitled
Reasons offered for erecting a
Bank in Ireland. In a Letter to Henry Maxwell, Esq. By Hercules
Rowley, Esq. Dublin, 1721.