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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. III


THE BANK OF SCOTLAND. 93 The Mound. J whereof are to be applied for ever for the support of decayed and superannuated artists.? This property consisted mainly of ancient houses, situated in the old town, the free proceeds ofwhich were only~220. It was sold, and the whole value of it, amounting to Lt;5,420 IOS., invested in Bank of Scotland and Eritish Linen Company Stock, and has been s6 carefully husbanded that the directors now possess stock to the value of more than A6,618. ?It was originally given in annuities varying from A;5o to LIOO a year; but the directors some years ago thought it advisable to restrict the amount of these, so as to extend the benefit of the fund over a larger number of annuitants, and they now do not give annuities to a Iarger amount than if35, and they require that the applications for these shall in all cases be accompanied by a recommendation from two members of the Royal Scottish Academy who know the circumstances of the applicant? CHAPTER XIV. THE HEAD OF THE EARTHEN MOUND. The Bank of Scotland-Its Charter-Rivalry of the Royal Bank Notes for 65 and for 5s.-The New Bank of Scotland-Its Present Aspect- The Projects of Mr. Trotter and Sir Thomas Dick Lauder-The National Security Savings Bank of Edinburgh-The Free Church College and Assembly Hall-Their Foundation-Constitution-Library-Museum-Bu~~-Missiona~ and Theological Societies-The Dining Hall, &.-The West Princes Street Gardens-The Proposed Canal and Seaport-The East Princes Street Gardens--Railway TerminusWaverley Bridge and Market. ?HOW well the ridge of the old town was set off by a bank of elms that ran along the front of Tames?s Court, and stretched eastward over the ground now partly occupied by the Bank of Scot- Idnd,? says Cockburn, in his ?Memorials;? but looking at the locdity now, it is difficult to realise the idea that such a thing had been; yet Edgar shows us a pathway running along the slope, between the foot of the closes and a row of gardens that bordered the loch. Bank Street, which was formed in- 1798 a few yards westward of Dunbar?s Close, occasioning in its formation the destruction of some buildings of great antiquity, looks at first sight like a broad czdde-m blocked up by the front of the Bank of Scotland, but in reality forms the carriage- way downward from the head of the Mound to Princes Street. While as yet the bank was in the old narrow alley that so long bore its name, we read in the 2Tddnburgh HeraZd ann! ChronicZe of March, 1800, ?(that the directors of the Bank of Scotland have purchased from the city an area at the south end of the Earthen Mound, on which they intend to erect an elegant building, with commodious apartments for carrying on their business.? Elsewhere we have briefly referred to the early progress of this bank, the oldest of the then old ?chartered banks? which was projected by John Holland, a retired London merchant, according to the scheme devised by William Paterson, a native of Dumfries, who founded the Bank of England. The Act of the Scottish Parliament for starting the Bank of Scotland, July, 1695, recites, by way of exordium, that ?? our sovereign lord, considering how useful a public bank may be in this kingdom, according to the custom of other kingdoms and states, and that the same can only be best set up and managed by persons in company with a joint stock, sufficiently endowed with those powers, authorities, and liberties necessary and usual in such cases, hath therefore allowed, with the advice and consent of the Estates of Parliament, a joint stock of LI,ZOO,OOO money (Scots) to be raised by the company hereby established for the carrying on and managing a public bank.? After an enumeration of the names of those who were chosen to form the nucleus of the company, including those of five Edinburgh merchants, the charter proceeds to state that they have full powers to receive in a book the subscriptions of either native Scots or foreigners, ? who shall be willing to subscribe and pay into the said joint stock, which subscriptions the aforesaid persons, or their quorum, are hereby authorised to receive in the foresaid book, which shall lie open every Tuesday or Friday, from nine to twelve in the forenoon, and from three to six in the afternoon, between the first day of November next and the first day of January next following, in the public hall or chamber appointed in the city of Edinburgh ; and therein all persons shall have liberty to subscribe for such sums of money as they shall think fit to adventure in the said joint stock, AI,OOO Scots being lowest sun1 and ~ 2 0 , 0 0 0 Scots the highest, and the two-third parts of the said stocks belonging always to persons residing in Scotland. Likewise, each and every person, at the time of his subscribing, shall pay into the hands of the forenamed persons, or any three of them, ten of the hundred
Volume 3 Page 93
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