The eighteenth and nineteenth century correspondence archive

House Correspondence Old Series [series HCOS; 17 vols]

This series, which covers the years from 1784 to 1810, pre-dates the main House Correspondence series and mostly comprises papers found in a deed box in 1973. This is the only surviving pre-1820s business correspondence of the firm [apart from that in the Northbrook Papers and that in DEP]. It seems that the natural order of these papers was considerably disturbed, and thus their usefulness reduced, after sorting by clerks sometime in the 1920s or 1930s.

The papers relate mostly to Barings' work as merchants, agents for overseas merchants, and, to a lesser extent, financiers of trade. Routine documents, including bills of lading and accounts of sales, are at HCOS 1 and a collection of letters of credit and guarantee are at HCOS 12. Much of the remaining correspondence relates to the business of American merchants and to the Continental Blockade during the Napoleonic Wars, although there are papers relating to merchants in other parts of the world, including Cape Town and Buenos Aires. Of particular note, however, are some boxes of papers relating to the business of Atkinson, Mure & Bogle of Jamaica and elsewhere, following the failure of their London agent in 1793.

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