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Loan subscriptions

Regrettably, very few lists of original subscribers to loans and purchasers of bonds and loans survive. Information about the original subscribers to a particular loans varies tremendously. For most loans little information survives.

Some information about subscribers survives for the first loan contracted for by Nathan Mayer Rothschild, the Prussian loan of 1818. The loan issued by Nathan Rothschild for Prussia in May of 1818 is considered by many to be the true precursor of the public borrowing which transformed the international capital market in the nineteenth century. Although the five sons of Mayer Amschel Rothschild had arranged loans for sovereign clients before 1818, the Prussian 5% £5,000,000 bond issue was the first of many Government bond issues following this model.

Ledger VI/10/5 in the General Ledger series relates solely to the Prussian loan of 1818, and contains a list of names of subscribers to this loan. Entries in this ledger give the name of the subscriber/client and the amount in pounds of stock purchased. A lower number after the subscriber's name refers to the page (in the same ledger) where further details of the subscriber's account and transactions are recorded. Because this was the first major loan contracted by Nathan Mayer Rothschild in London, this volume was placed in what was to become the General Ledger series; however, separate volumes containing subscriber information for subsequent loans do not appear to have been kept.  A further Cash Book containing information about subscribers to the Prussian loan 1818-1819 will be found in records of the Cashiers Department, VIII/14/1.

Despite the lack of original subscriber information, it may be possible to gain a deeper understanding of the bondholders and purchasers from other sources in the collections of the Archive; if researchers know the names of particular individuals, it may be possible to trace subscriptions and purchases from entries in the General and Home ledgers series, but researchers should note that this is not an easy task and will require much detailed research.

Loans and Conversions Books, 1884-1905

XI/154/0-2, 3 volumes

The three volumes in this series list the names of applicants for stock in NMR issues, the amount requested and the amount allowed. They were deposited in the Archive by the Correspondence Department but have been included here for clarity.