[Sir Francis Baring and H. L. Wickham.] Printed transcript of letter from Baring to Wickham, as Chairman of a 'Committee of Secrecy', inquiring into 'the recent Commercial distress', with a Wickham letter to the Bank of Scotland, signed by him.
Both items are uniform in appearance, each 3pp., foolscap 8vo, with the texts printed in copperplate from engraved plates. Both in fair condition, on aged paper, and with loss along the spine where the two have been disbound. The reason for the printing of the two documents, as is clear from the text, is for their circulation to various banks. Baring's Letter: Facsimile signature reads '(signed) F. T. Baring', and is uniform with the copperplate text. The reason for the printing of the letter is for copies to be enclosed with Wickham's. Baring writes to Wickham as chairman of the committee 'to inquire into the causes of the recent Commercial distress and how far it has been affected by the Laws for regulating the issue of Bank Notes payable to bearer on demand'. He points out that 'The Committee is a Committee of Secrecy.' He is writing to instruct Wickham to provide the committee with a report, as the 'returns in your office will I apprehend enable you to furnish this information so far as regards the later years, but for the time previous to the passing of the 8 & 9 Victoria C.38, you have no means of giving this return, and the information can only be obtained from the Scotch Banks.' He continues in his instructions, enjoining secrecy. Wickham's Letter: Addressed to 'Gentlemen', and a circular intended for distribution to banks. In addition to his autograph signature it contains a minor emendation by him, with the address to 'The Govr & Compy of the Bank of Scotland'. He begins by stating that he is enclosing Baring's letter, and that he requests 'that you will in pursuance of the directions contained in that Letter, prepare and forward to me at this office with as little delay as possible, An Account of the aggregate amount of your notes in circulation, and of the aggregate amount of Gold Coin and Bullion held by you on the last day of the second week of February and November, [added by Wickham: 'respectively'] in the years 1842, 1843, 1844, 1845, 1846, & 1847'. Note: see Hansard etc and articles such as "The Gold Standard and the Bank of England in the Crisis of 1847" by Rudiger Dornbusch, Jacob A. Frenkel.