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The Crisis of 1820: 200th Anniversary

Posted: 26 May 2020 23:31
by DOC
The Banking Crisis of May-June 1820 signaled the beginning of the end of private banking in Ireland. The Crisis started on May 25th with the closure of Roches’ Bank in Cork followed immediately by Leslie’s. The resultant shock lead to a number of bank failures in the south of the country culminating in the closure of Alexander’s Bank in Dublin on June 12th.

Re: The Crisis of 1820: 200th Anniversary

Posted: 27 May 2020 12:46
by LimerickNomad
Has this particular area even been studied and written about properly?

What caused the Roches' and Leslie's Banks to bankrupt? General depression after the Napoleonic wars?

Re: The Crisis of 1820: 200th Anniversary

Posted: 27 May 2020 22:58
by DOC
Good question. The Old Private Banks and Bankers of Munster by Eoin O’Kelly, provides good insight on the background to the Crisis.

O’Kelly proposes that the failure of Roches’ Bank Cork, related to a collapse in grain prices in the post Napoleonic War era followed by a sharp drop in land prices. Banks which made loans with land as security came under great pressure. The fall of Roches’ Bank lead to a domino effect and other banks already in a weakened state for similar reasons also collapsed.

Re: The Crisis of 1820: 200th Anniversary

Posted: 28 May 2020 10:33
by Mac
Here is an article on the 1820 crisis "Through the Ages: The Munster Banking Crisis", published Limerick Life Newspaper, October 2017.

Re: The Crisis of 1820: 200th Anniversary

Posted: 31 May 2020 20:45
by DOC
Nice article providing some entertaining background. Interesting to see Crisis labelled as ‘The Munster Banking Crisis’. In many ways, the Crisis was confined to Munster although two banks in Leinster also collapsed and a general nervousness pervaded the entire country.

The Munster Banks were more vulnerable to a downturn in agricultural prices. In Dublin, The Bank of Ireland stepped in to support the private banks. In Belfast, the private banks were well supported by influential business interests and weathered the storm.

Re: The Crisis of 1820: 200th Anniversary

Posted: 07 Jun 2020 11:13
by DOC
The banking landscape changed dramatically over the course of a few weeks. The timeline of the 1820 Crisis is summarised in the attachment. An inevitable consequence was the loss of public confidence in the note issues of the Private Banks. Observations to date suggest a general absence of Private Bank notes issued during the latter half of 1820, 1821 & 1822.

Re: The Crisis of 1820: 200th Anniversary

Posted: 13 Jun 2020 01:47
by ThePloughman
Very interesting article and summary guys.
I can see sort of a parallel with the crisis of a few years ago.

Re: The Crisis of 1820: 200th Anniversary

Posted: 14 Jun 2020 12:29
by DOC
Here is an example of one of a 4 Guineas Post Bill issued by William Alexander & Co. just 5 days prior to the collapse of the Bank. This is the latest date I have seen for this bank.

Re: The Crisis of 1820: 200th Anniversary

Posted: 14 Jun 2020 16:03
by Mac
I wonder if it is still outstanding!

Re: The Crisis of 1820: 200th Anniversary

Posted: 17 Jun 2020 00:45
by ThePloughman
The bank went bust 2 days before it was due for payment. Somebody lost there.

Re: The Crisis of 1820: 200th Anniversary

Posted: 17 Jun 2020 19:35
by DOC
Well spotted. It looks like the holder of the note lost out and it is still outstanding. ;)