Historical Returns | Financial Bubbles

Historical Gallery

All of the images in this gallery come from the historical collections of Baker Library at Harvard Business School. They are some of the many artifacts in the library that bring the historic events of the South Sea Bubble to life.

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Bank of England

Bank of England

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Plate IX from W. Marston Acres, The Bank of England from Within, 1694-1900, London: Oxford University Press, 1931. Baker Old Class Collection KCBV A187.

The Bank of England, supported by Whig interests, was established in 1694 and given permission to circulate paper money. There were two substantial reasons for creating the bank: the need for a national bank or fund of money to facilitate trade as new, international markets expanded rapidly and the need for money to help manage the sizable national debt that was generated by recent wars. When the South Sea Company is established in 1711, it will receive substantial support from Tory interests who favor a competitor for the Whig Bank of England.