Banking Collapse in Cork in the 1820s Roches and Leslies Bank and House of Commons, London, Select Committee Query re Collapse, only functioning Bank left Pikes. First run 1820 Deputation including Messrs Crawford and Gerard Callaghan deputed to see Lord Lieutenant in Dublin to solicit loan o £100,000. 2nd failure of Leslies 1825.
Banking Collapse in Cork in the 1820s Roches and Leslies Bank and House of Commons, London, Select Committee Query re Collapse, only functioning Bank left Pikes. Newenhams had been engaged but withdrew.
A long boom, unprecedented started in Britain and Ireland in 1785 and ended suddenly on the day the Battle of Waterloo ended in 1815.
War prosperity had disguised the weaknesses of the Irish economy and suddenly producers were exposed to competition from the most advanced economy in the world and agricultural products faced competition from North America.
This caused widespread distress. See:
It also commenced large scale emigration from West Cork to New Brunswick and other parts of North America.
The local banks were undercapitalized and when there was a run on them the authorities sought to help but then as now these phenomena were not fully understood.
The recently digitized papers from the Chief secretaries Office suggest that official action was stymied by among other things at the lack of appropriate legislation, The Attorney General and de facto head of the Irish Administration William Saurin advised that there was no legal power to intervene:
The effects of the banking collapse were felt in all area and made a bad situation immeasurably worse. For example in Dunmanway the Church of Ireland Vestry return for 1827 state that the previous years collection was deposited with Leslie’s Bank in Cork and lost when the Bank collapsed even though that happened in 1820.
See Ballincollig site re Leslie family, the Bank and their Gun powder Mills, their house as Wilton House later a religious seminary and adjoining Wilton Shopping Centre:
House of Commons Select Committee:
|TITLE:||File of papers relating to collapse of banking house of Messrs Leslie, Cork|
|SCOPE & CONTENT:||File of papers relating to the collapse of the banking house of Messrs Leslie in Cork city in 1820, and their request for financial aid from the government and from the commissioners for assistance of trade and manufactures, to re-establish their bank, and thereby facilitate trade in Cork city. Includes letters from Richard Hely-Hutchinson, 1st earl of Donoughmore, on behalf of Messrs Leslie; legal opinions of William Saurin, Attorney General of Ireland, and of John Sealy Townsend, KC and legal advisor to Chief Secretary’s Office, Dublin Castle, on the case; and letters from John Galloway, secretary to the commissioners for assistance of trade and manufactures, on the subject. Also includes letter from Robert Banks Jenkinson, 2nd earl of Liverpool, Prime Minister of Great Britain and Ireland, to William Gregory, Under Secretary, Dublin Castle, enclosing letter from Donoughmore, to Liverpool, on behalf of Messrs Leslie, expressing concern at the ‘the most unpromising state of Credit in the City and County of Cork’. Also expressing his belief that ‘the commissioners have done every thing in their power to interrupt the liberal policy of the Government, and to prevent the re-establishment of the Banking House of the Messrs Leslies again in Cork’, 6 September 1821. Also encloses detailed statement of the circumstances surrounding the bank’s collapse, and subsequent requests for government aid, [September 1821]. Also includes copy of letter from Liverpool, Fife House, Whitehall, London, to Donoughmore, explaining the details of the legal position of both the government and the commissioners, concerning a possible advance of money to Messrs Leslie, 17 September 1821.|
|EXTENT:||18 items; 70pp|
|DATE(S):||21 May 1821-27 Dec 1821|