The Hidden Origins Of the Bank of England
UNCENSORED HISTORY OF THE RISE OF A BANKING EMPIRE (www.barnesreview.org)
BY STEPHEN GOODSON 0) Currently Director in the South African Reserve Bank
AS THE FINANCIAL CRISIS WORSENS IN AMERICA and across the globe, people want to know: “When did it all start”? In fact, the privately owned Federal Reserve Bank in the United States is a spinoff of the Bank of England, established in the 1694. And, as the earl of Anglesey presciently observed in 1658: “It is dangerous to the peace of the kingdom when it shall be in the power of half a dozen or half a score of rich, discontented or factious persons to make [an accumulation] of our own coin and bullion beyond the seas and leave us in want of money when it shall not be in the king’s power to prevent it.
From A.D. 757 to his death in 791, the great King Offa ruled the kingdom of Mercia, 1 one of the seven autonomous kingdoms of the Anglo-Saxon heptarchy. Offa was a wise and able administrator and a kindhearted leader, though he could be hard on his enemies. He established the first monetary system in England (as distinguished from Romano-Keltic Britain). On account of the scarcity of gold, he used silver for coinage and as a store of wealth. The standard unit of exchange was a pound of silver, divided into 240 pennies. The pennies were stamped with a star (Old English stearra), from which the word “sterling” is derived. In 787 Offa introduced a statute prohibiting usury: charging of interest on money lent. The laws against usury were further entrenched by King Alfred (r. 865-99), who directed that the property of usurers be forfeited, while in 1050 Edward the Confessor (1042-66) decreed not only forfeiture, but that a usurer be declared an outlaw and be banished for life.
The most powerful of the Anglo Saxon kings, Offa of Mercia from Lichfield Cathedral. Offa conquered most of the other half-dozen or so English kingdoms except for Wessex and Northumbria.
ORDERING FIRST JEWISH MIGRATION AND EXPULSION The Jews first arrived in England in 1066 in the wake of William I’s defeat of King Harold II at Hastings on October 14. These Jews came from Rouen, 75 miles from Falaise, where William was born illegitimately as William the Bastard. Although the historical record does not indicate whether they promoted the idea of a military invasion of England, these Jews had at the very least financed it. For this support they were richly rewarded by being allowed to practice usury under royal protection. 2
The consequences for the English people were disastrous. By charging rates of interest of 33% per annum on lands mortgaged by nobles and 300% per annum on tools of trade or chattels pledged by workmen, within two generations one-quarter of all English lands was in the hands of Jewish usurers.
Furthermore these Jewish immigrants undermined the ethos of the guilds and enraged the English merchants by selling a large variety of goods under one roof. They also played a large role in the clipping of silver coins and the melting of them into bullion and the plating of tin with silver.
The famous economist Dr. William Cunningham compared “the activity of the Jews in England from the 11th century onward to a sponge, which sucks up all the wealth of the land and thereby hinders all economic development. Interesting too, is the proof that even at this early period the government did everything in its power to make the Jews take up decent trades and honest work and thereby at the same time amalgamate with the rest of the population, but all to no purpose.”3
In 1233 and 1275 Statutes of Jewry were passed which abolished all forms of usury. As most of these Jews could now no longer earn a “living,” a statute was passed by King Edward I (1272-1307) on July 18, 1290 compelling the entire Jewish population of 16,000 to leave England forever. 4 Unlike the modern practice of ethnic cleansing, the Jews after paying a tax of 1/15 of the value of their movables and 1/10 of their specie were permitted to leave with all their goods and chattels. Any Jew who remained after Nov. 1, 1290 (All Saints Day) was liable to execution.
THE GLORIOUS MIDDLE AGES With the banishment of the moneylenders and the abolition of usury, 5 there were hardly any taxes to pay and no state debt, as the interest-free tally stick was used for government expenditures. England now enjoyed a period of unparalleled growth and prosperity. The average laborer worked only 14 weeks a year and enjoyed 160 to 180 holidays. According to Lord Leverhulme, 6 a writer of that time: “The men of the 15th century were very well paid,” in fact so well paid that the purchasing power of their wages and their standard of living would only be exceeded in the late 19th century.
Houston Stewart Chamberlain, the Anglo-German philosopher, confirms these living conditions in The Foundations of the XIXth Century:
END OF A GOLDEN ERA During the 17th century this golden era came to a tragic end. Large numbers of Jews, who had been expelled from Spain in 1492 by Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon8 had settled in Holland. Although the Dutch were at that time an important maritime power, the Jewish usurers based in Amsterdam desired to return to England, where their prospects for expanding the operations of their money lending empire were far more promising.
During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603) small numbers of Marranos—Spanish Jews, who had converted to a sham form of Christianity—settled in London. Many of them practiced as goldsmiths, accepting deposits of gold for safekeeping, and then issuing ten times the amount of gold received as gold receipts, that is loans with interest. These receipts, a forerunner of the fraudulent fractional reserve system of banking, were initially lent to the crown or treasury at 8% per annum, but according to Samuel Pepys9 , the diarist and Secretary to the Admiralty, the interest rate increased by as much as 20% and even 30% per annum. 10 The rate of interest merchants paid often exceeded 33% per annum, even though the legal rate was only 6% per annum. 11 Workmen and poor people bore the brunt of these extortionate rates of interest by having to pay 60%, 70% or even 80% per annum. 12 According to Michael Godfrey, the author of a pamphlet entitled A Short Account of the Bank of England, 2 to 3 million pounds had been lost through the bankruptcies of goldsmiths and the disappearance of their clerks. 13
CROMWELL ANDTHE ENGLISH CIVILWAR In 1534, by the Act of Supremacy, the Church of England was established as the official religion of England by King Henry VIII (1509-47). During the 16th and 17th centuries Puritan beliefs based on the teachings of John Wycliffe and John Calvin14 gained an increasing number of adherents. The Puritans considered the Bible to be the true law of God and emphasized Bible reading, prayer and preaching and the simplification of the ritual of the sacraments. The Stuart King Charles I (1625-49), who wished to maintain the pre-eminence of the Anglican Church, came into intensified conflict with the Puritans, who were making great progress in proselytizing the entire population. After the assassination of Charles’s trusted friend and adviser, the duke of Buckingham, in 1628, he gradually became more isolated.
This growing religious division provided a perfect opportunity for exploitation by the Jewish conspirators. As Israel Disraeli, the father of Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, wrote in The Life and Reign of Charles I, ”the nation was artfully divided into Sabbatarians and Sabbath Breakers.”15
In 1640 one of the leaders of the clandestine Jewish community Fernandez Carvajal, a merchant and spy, who was also known as “the Great Jew,” organized an armed militia of about 10,000 operatives, who were used to intimidate the people of London and sow confusion. Large numbers of pamphlets and leaflets were also distributed. 16
Civil war soon followed between the Royalists (Anglicans) and Roundheads (Puritans) and lasted from 1642-48. The Roundheads with their “New Model Army” were victorious and an estimated 190,000 persons or 3.8% of the population died. The leader of the Roundheads was Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658), whose New Model Army was not only outfitted and provisioned by the chief contractor and professional agitator, Fernandez Carvajal, but also bankrolled by the Jewish moneylenders in Amsterdam. The leader of the Dutch Jews, Manasseh Ben Israel, 17 now sent begging petitions to Cromwell asking that the Jews be allowed to immigrate to England in return for the financial favors, which he had so generously arranged. 18
THE MURDER OF KING CHARLES I The treachery to which Cromwell descended is revealed in correspondence between himself and the Synagogue of Mulheim, Germany:
A reply was dispatched the following:
July 12, 1647 - To O.C. by Ebenezer Pratt:
King Charles was staying as a virtual prisoner in Holmby House, Northamptonshire. On June 4, 1647, 500 revolutionaries seized the king, but then allowed him to escape to the Isle of Wight, where he was subsequently arrested. On Dec. 5, 1648 the House of Commons decided “That the king’s concessions were satisfactory to a settlement.”20 Cromwell then purged the House of Commons with the assistance of Colonel Pryde until there was only a “rump” of 50 members left, who then duly voted that the king be put on trial.
Not a single English lawyer was prepared to draw up a charge sheet against the king. Eventually it was provided by a Dutch Jew, Isaac Dorislaus. The king was forced to participate in a show trial in a High Court of Justice in which two-thirds of its members were Levelers21 from the army.
King Charles refused to plead, but was found guilty and executed anyway on Jan. 29, 1649. As the procession approached the scaffold large numbers of the crowd shouted, “God save the king!” After the deed had been done there was an enormous groan of anguish.
SECOND JEWISH MIGRATION From Dec. 7-18, 1655 Cromwell held a conference in Whitehall, London in order to obtain approval for the large-scale immigration of Jews. In spite of the conference being packed with Cromwell’s supporters, the overwhelming consensus of the delegates, who were mainly priests, lawyers and merchants, was that theJews should not be permitted to enter England. 22 In October 1656 the first Jews were surreptitiously allowed to land freely in England, in spite of strong protests having been lodged by the sub-committee of the Council of State, who declared that these Jews “would be a grave menace to the state and the Christian religion.”23 “The merchants, without exception, spoke against the admission of the Jews. They declared that the proposed immigrants would be morally harmful to the State, and that their admission would enrich foreigners at the expense of the English.”24
Cromwell died on Sept. 3, 1658 and was succeeded by his son, Richard, who ruled for nine months. Charles I’s son Charles II (1660-85) succeeded his executed father. Although he would be the last English monarch to issue money (notes) in his own right, he made two fatal errors of governance. On August 1, 1663 he passed the euphemistically sounding Act for the Encouragement of Trade, which enabled the “export of all foreign coins or bullion of gold or silver, free of interdict, regulation or duties of any kind.”25 Three years later by means of An Act for the Encouragement of Coinage he permitted private persons i.e. bankers and goldsmiths to mint the coins of the realm at the Royal Mint and thereby acquire the considerable benefits of the seigniorage26 income for their own private account
His brother James II’s (1685-88) reign only lasted three years. He was a victim of unscrupulous pamphleteering and propaganda, which emanated mainly from Holland. A military expedition undertaken by Prince William of Orange eventually dethroned him. Although James’s army was numerically superior, he was discouraged from attacking after John Churchill, first Duke of Marlborough had suddenly deserted him. According to the Jewish Encyclopaedia, Churchill subsequently received an annual stipend of 6,000 pounds from the Dutch Jew Solomon Medina in payment for his treasonous conduct. 27
William of Orange’s military campaign like that of the other William (the Conqueror) in 1066 had been financed by Jewish bankers. In return for their support William III (1689-1702) would surrender the royal prerogative of issuing England’s money free of debt and interest, to a consortium known as the Governor and Company of the Bank of England. A.N. Field in All these Things summarizes these momentous events as follows:
Thirty-three years after Cromwell had let the Jews into Britain, a Dutch prince arrived from Amsterdam surrounded by a whole swarm of Jews from that financial center. Driving his royal father-in-law out of the kingdom, he graciously consented to ascend the throne of Britain.
A very natural result following on this event was the inauguration of the national debt by the establishment six years later of the Bank of England for the purpose of lending money to the crown. Britain had paid her way as she went until the Jews arrived. The pawnshop was then opened, and the resulting situation in which the nation finds itself today could not be better described than in the words put by Shakespeare with prophetic vision in the mouth of the dying John of Gaunt:
“This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England, . . . / This land of such dear souls, this dear, dear land / Dear for her reputation through the world, / Is now leas’d out, (I die pronouncing it,) / Like to a tenement, or pelting farm:/England, bound in with the triumphant sea, / Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege / Of wat’ry Neptune, is now bound in with shame, / With inky blots, and rotten parchment bonds: / That England, that was wont to conquer others, / Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.” (Richard II, Act 2, Scene 1)
The history of the second Jewish settlement in Britain is one long trail of parchment bonds shackling the nation in debt. Every step in the ascent of the Jew in the nation’s affairs has been marked by the increase and multiplication of debt.”28
Prior to its listing, the bylaws of the bank were carefully scrutinized by Serjeant Levinz in order to ensure that the bank complied with its hidden purpose, viz. to fleece the English people in perpetuity by allowing the creation of the nation’s money and means of exchange out of nothing, at interest. All this fake money was accompanied by compounding interest. Levinz was a Jew from Amsterdam who practiced as an advocate. 33
There was much opposition to the establishment of the bank. Foremost were the goldsmiths and moneylenders, who correctly foresaw that it would bring an end to their usurious racket of fractional reserve banking based on their gold receipts. Landowners and country gentry feared an escalation in interest rates, as the bank would control the nation’s money supply. There were allegations that the bank would favor certain merchants with low rates of interest. The biggest fear was that “the bank would grow too powerful and would become the keystone of the commercial world.”34 Unfortunately, this is exactly what happened, as the Bank of England became the model on which all subsequent central banks were replicated.
At that time the House of Commons had 512 members, consisting of 243 Tories, 241 Whigs and 28 members whose allegiance was unknown. 35 About twothirds of the members were country gentlemen and it is believed that of the 512 members approximately 20% were illiterate. The bill was debated in July 1694, the high point in summer, when most of the rural members were engaged in summer pursuits and the harvesting of their crops. 36
On that fateful Friday, July 27, 1694, when the charter of incorporation was granted, only 42 members were present, all of them Whigs as the Tories opposed the bill. All the Whigs voted for it. [This begs the question as to what a quorum consisted of in those days.]
The title of the bill made no mention of the proposed Bank of England, which is only described or one might say secreted, two-thirds down in the unintelligible verbiage—to the layman that is—of the bill.
The opening sentence of the bill reads as follows: “William and Mary by the grace of God, King and Queen of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, defenders of the faith etc. To all for whom these presents shall come greeting.” The third sentence, which contains 242 words starts:
The gist of the first two-thirds of the bill details the necessity to levy a complicated array of new rates, duties and taxes on ships, beer, ale and other liquors. The true purpose of these taxes is that they were needed in order to fund the interest on all future government loans. Shortly thereafter further taxes were introduced including a land tax, paper tax, poll tax, salt tax, stamp tax and window tax, which replaced the hearth or chimney tax. Other taxes initiated were a tax on pedlars, a tax on hackney coaches, a tax on births, marriages and deaths and lastly a tax on bachelors. 38 However, the most punitive tax introduced was an income tax, levied at a rate of 20%. It was applied not only on companies, but laborers too. 39
WAR AND DEBT SLAVERY Henceforth a pattern would emerge where unnecessary wars would be embarked upon which simultaneously increased the national debt and the profits of the usurers. Significantly, many of these wars were started against countries, which had implemented interest-free state banking systems, as was the case in the North American Colonies and France under Napoleon. This pattern of attacking and enforcing the bankers’ system of usury has been deployed widely in the modern era and includes the defeats of Imperial Russia in World War I, Germany, Italy and Japan in World War II and most recently Libya in 2011. These were all countries that had state banking systems, which distributed the wealth of their respective nations on an equal basis and provided their populations with a standard of living far superior to that of their rivals and contemporaries.
Within two years of its establishment in 1696 the Bank of England had 1,750,000 worth of bank notes circulating with a gold reserve of only 2% or 36,000 pounds. 40 On May 1, 1707 the union between Scotland and England was established, motivated in no small way by the necessity to seize control of the royal mint in Edinburgh, which took place in 1709.
By 1720 after the conclusion of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-14) the national debt had risen to 30 million pounds with the war itself having cost 50 million pounds. 41 After the American War of Independence (1775-83), which had been fought after the Colonists were forced to replace their debt-free Colonial scrip with English money that resulted in 50% unemployment, the national debt soared to 176 million pounds.
In 1786 Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger tried to abolish the national debt with a sinking fund which generated interest of 1 million pounds per annum to repay the debt. 42 This scheme was soon abandoned by the enormous increase incurred to finance the war against Napoleon. In 1797 in order to pay for the burgeoning interest burden, a system of graduated income tax had to be introduced.
The war against France lasted from 1792 until 1815. Among the principal objectives of this pointless bloodletting was to destroy Napoleon’s debt and interest-free system of finance.
On Jan. 18, 1800 Napoleon established the Banque de France as a state bank. As Napoleon detested the bankers, he made himself not only governor of the bank, but also appointed himself first minister of Treasury. During this period England waged a war against the United States from 1812 until 1814. This war was instigated by England after the United States Congress refused to renew the charter of the foreign-owned Bank of the United States, which had been the central bank of America from 1791 until 1811. 43
By 1815 the national debt had ballooned to 885 million pounds. This completely unnecessary and unwinnable war which resulted in approximately three million military personnel and at least one million civilians losing their lives, cost 831 million pounds 44 of which over 2.5 billion pounds were still outstanding in 1914. The principal of 504 million pounds increased fivefold as a result of compound interest.
An astute agrarian and parliamentarian, William Cobbett (1763-1835), at this time perceived what was afoot and wrote as follows: “I set to read the Act of Parliament by which the Bank of England was created. The investors knew what they were about. Their design was to mortgage by degrees the whole country . . . lands . . . houses . . . property . . . labor. The scheme has produced what the world never saw before: starvation in the midst of abundance.”45
The affairs of the Bank of England remained secret, and it was not until 1833, 139 years later, that a sanitized version of its accounts was presented to Parliament by means of the Act of 1833. 46
In 1800 a member of Parliament, Sir William Pultney, proposed the formation of a national bank after having made “vigorous attacks” against the bank. 47 In 1824 another member of parliament, David Ricardo, submitted a detailed plan48 to convert the Bank of England into a national bank. Both attempts failed.
At the start of World War I in 1914, the British national debt stood at 650 million pounds. On March 31, 1919 it had increased to 7.434 billion pounds, 49 of which 3 billion pounds is still outstanding after 94 years at a coupon of 3.5% per annum. In World War II the national debt rose by almost 200% from 7.1 billion pounds in 1939 to 20.1 billion pounds in 1945. Currently it stands at almost 1.2 trillion pounds. 50
CONCLUSION For over 300 years England has been drawn into the thrall of a ruthless clique of international bankers, whose parasitic empire now threatens the existence of this island nation. The once proud people of yeomen and peasants, out of ignorance and indifference, has become a multicultural melting pot of debt slaves. Unless its original citizens take responsibility to familiarize themselves with the true nature of their problem, they are doomed within a few generations to irreversible enslavement and genetic destruction.
1 Latinization of Mierce. Mercia was bounded by the rivers Trent and Mersey in the north, the Thames Valley in the south, Wales in the west and East Anglia and Essex in the east.
2 S.M. Goodson, “In Praise of Medieval England,” Spearhead, July 2005.
3 W. Cunningham, The Growth of English Industry and Commerce during the Early and Middle Ages, Cambridge University Press, 3rd edition, 1896, 201.
4 D. Astle, The Tallies: A Tangled Tale, and The Beginning and the Ending, Toronto, 1997, 40 & 43. The author is of the opinion that some of these Jews settled in Switzerland and established the original three cantons of Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden.
5 In 1364 Edward III empowered the City of London to issue an Ordinatio contra Usurarios, and a further act was passed in 1390.
6 R.K. Hoskins, War Cycles—Peace Cycles, the Virginian Publishing Company, Lynchburg, Virginia, 1985, 54.
7 H.S. Chamberlain, The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century, the Bodley Head, London, 1912, Vol. II, 354-5.
8 Alhambra Decree, also known as the Edict of Expulsion.
9 A. Andreades, History of the Bank of England, P.S. King & Son Ltd, London, 1935, 35. Pepys described these extortionate rates of interest as “a most horrid shame.”
10 Ibid., 24. The author has also relied on Israel Disraeli’s Usurers of the 17th Century.
11 Ibid., 24.
12 Ibid., 47.
13 Ibid., 24-5.
14 A.H.M. Ramsay, The Nameless War, Britons Publishing Co., London, 1952, 11. Calvin originally came from France, where his name was spelt Cauin, a corruption of Cohen. At a B’nai Brith meeting in Paris reported in the Catholic Gazette of February 1936 he was claimed to be of Jewish extraction.
15 Ibid., 11.
16 Ibid., 12-13.
17 Ibid., 13.
18 A. Andreades, op. cit., 30.
19 A.H.M. Ramsay, op. cit., 14-15. According to a letter published in Plain English on September 3, 1921: “The Learned Elders have been in existence for a much longer period than they have perhaps suspected. My friend, Mr. L.D. van Valckert of Amsterdam, has recently sent me a letter containing two extracts from the synagogue at Mulheim. The volume in which they are contained was lost at some period during the Napoleonic wars, and has recently come into Mr. van Valckert’s possession. It is written in German, and contains extracts of letters sent and received by the authorities of the Mulheim Synagogue.”
20 Ibid., 16.
21 An informal alliance of agitators and pamphleteers, who predated the Bolsheviks.
22 H.S.A. Henriques, “The Jews and the English Law IV,” The Jewish Quarterly Review, Vol. 14, No. 4, July 1902, 653-97.
23 A.H.M. Ramsay, op. cit., 16-17.
24 A.M. Hyamson, A History of the Jews in England, Methuen, 1928 as quoted in A.N. Field, All These Things, Omni Publications, Hawthorne, California, 1936, 215.
25 D. Astle, op. cit., 44.
26 The difference between the face value of coins and their production costs.
27 A.H.M. Ramsay, op. cit., 18.
28 A.N. Field, op. cit., 218.
29 A. Andreades, op. cit., 60. At that time the profession of buccaneer was not deemed to be disreputable.
30 Ibid., 66.
31 W.G. Simpson, Which Way Western Man?, Yeoman Press, Cooperstown, New York, 1978, 621.
32 F.J. Irsigler, On the Seventh Day They Created Inflation, Wynberg, South Africa, 1980, 5.
33 J.E.T. Rogers, The First Nine Years of the Bank of England, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1887, 4.
34 A. Andreades, op. cit., 69.
35 House of Commons Information Office, House of Commons, London SW1A 2TT.
36 Similarly the privately owned U.S. Federal Reserve bank was voted on December 23, 1913, when there was only a small remnant of members present, the majority having returned home for Christmas. H.S. Kenan, The Federal Reserve Bank, Noontide Press, Los Angeles, 1966, 19-20.
37 D. Astle, op. cit., 55.
38 A. Andreades, op. cit., 55.
39 J.E.T. Rogers, op. cit., 106-7.
40 F.J. Irsigler, op. cit., 5.
41 A. Andreades, op. cit., 119.
42 W.D. Bowman, The Story of the Bank of England, Herbert Jenkins Ltd, London, 1937, 291.
43 In 1836 President Andrew Jackson closed down the Second Bank of the United States by withdrawing all government deposits. It had received its 20-year charter in 1816. The Rothschilds and their associates held 80% of the stock, and the U.S. government the balance.
44 W.D. Bowman, op. cit., 290.
45 W. Cobbett, The Political Register, Vol. XVIII, No. 1, London, July 14, 1810.
46 A. Andreades, op. cit., xii and 261.
47 Ibid., 207.
48 W.D. Bowman, op. cit., 228 and A. Andreades, op. cit., 417-27.
49 A.N. Field, op. cit., 164-5.