19 January, 1867. N. 346.

The Money Market Review, 19. Januar 1867. S. 63/64.
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The Overends. Evidence of J. H. Gurney as to the Sale and Transfer of the Norwich Bank.

At time of transfer old firm handed to the new list of assets which were indeed bad debts, no less than £4,199,000. The management and liquidation of these debts was made the subject of a separate and special arrangement which was embodied in the private deed of arrangement so carefully concealed from the shareholders and the public. The loss losses upon those debts were said to be amply provided for by the so called guarantee of the partners and their private estates etc [.] (Sieh Seite 245 dieses Hefts) The Private estates were given at £2,320,000. But, so far as we can learn, there was, in fact, no conveyance or assignment of these private estates, nor any mortgage, trust, or charge upon them, which rendered them subject or liable to make good these losses. The partners, it is true, in the deed of arrangement, covenant to guarantee 20s. in the pound upon these assets, and they seem to have shown, on paper, that, besides the other items enumerated, they had private estates which they estimated or valued at £2,320,000, and it does not at present appear that they were ever called upon to do more. The properties appear to have been left in the hands of the owners to dispose of as they might think fit; and, as to one part at least, they have done it.

The sum of £2,320,000 is made up of several items, two of which relate to the Norwich Bank (with its 25 branches). The Norwich Bank estate figures for nearly half the aggregate amount of the private estates ⦗Goodwill: £300,000, Undrawn balances due to the respective partners £,767,000. Zusammen £1,067,000.⦘ Now the Norwich Bank and all its belongings had, by virtue of these transactions, become the equitable property of the new Co. until all the obligations of the old firm had been liquidated and discharged. But we now learn from the lips of John Henry Gurney that this property and interest in the Norwich Bank which had been thus pledged as a guarantee to the new Co. was on 1 March, 1866, actually sold and disposed of by the partners in the old firm to Henry Ford Barclay, one of the directors of the new Co., and to Samuel Gurney Buxton, who was one of the promoters of the new co., and signed the articles of association. In February 1866, it had become apparent, Mr. Gurney admitted, that there would be little or no surplus (!), as the losses would be more disastrous than they had led the new Co. to expect. And at that moment the partners in the old firm and their friends on the new direction were only intent to secure something for themselves. In the transfer of the Norwich Bank, Barclay and Buxton were only to pay the £300,000 for the goodwill on 1st March 1870; ditto the whole or a larger proportion of the £760,000 to be postponed until the same period; and the payment of either of them, even at that time, is to be contingent upon the business and the profits and losses of the concern in the meantime. These larger amounts are to be retained by Barclay and Buxton, as a „material guarantee“ against possible losses from any deficiency of assets of these Norwich Banks until March 1, 1870. And the unrealised portion of the other „private estates“ are, we believe, in like manner, pledged to the same parties, and for the same period, as a further guarantee on the part of the vendors, in favour of the purchasers of this Norwich Bank business. The partners in the old firm, after pledging this private estate to the depositors and creditors of the limited Co., had no right to sell and dispose it to a couple of their private friends and relatives. Nor had Barclay, one of the promoters and directors of the limited Co., and Buxton, one of its promoters, a right to purchase it for their own benefit. The liquidators, solicitors in „winding up“ etc hielten dieß willig geheim, denied all access to the books etc.

The Money Market Review, 19. Januar 1867. S. 64/65.
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Joint Stock Discount Co. and its late managing Director, Wilkinson.

Wilkinson, the scapegoat of public virtue, for having fraudulently applied to his own use, property of the Co. (i.e. in diesem Fall cheques paid to stockbrokers in discharge of his own private debts) verurtheilt to 5 years penal servitude. Die Sache kam heraus beim winding up in chancery. James Freeling Wilkinson, formerly billbroker. 1863 a joint stock Co formed for taking over that business; he became its managing director mit minimum salary of £3000 a year. 80,000l. bills were abstracted from the billcase, and became utterly lost to the Co.

Kleman, a commission agent in the City, had many and large transactions with the Joint Stock Disc. Co. as well as other Cos in the city. Kleman has left the country without leaving any „address“, being heavily indebted to all of them.

According to Mr. Henry White, the director who had signed these fraudulent cheques, Wilkinson had power to grant loans, and to take securities which in ordinary transactions were not submitted to the directors. |251 Any special matter might be referred to the directors at their weekly meeting, „but that reference would depend upon Mr. Wilkinson making it“. „Each director“, says White, „attended a week in rotation at the bank“, and Wilkinson says that „ordinarily the director who was on the weekly rota for signing cheques, when he went to the office, would go up-stairs and sign a lot of cheques, and then go away.“ These were all blank cheques which Wilkinson could fill up and sign, and deliver to whomsoever he pleased“ pleased, and Wilkinson „believed that the cheques for the advances that appeared to Kleman’s debt in the loan ledger were signed in that manner.“ The advances on to Kleman increased from 30 000£ to £108,000 between 1st Jan. and 1st Feb. 1866, without any security. Further advance to Kleman of £12,000 on 3d of Febr. 1866, without security. Ebenso subsequent advances to Kleman, during the month of February, when the Co. was struggling in extremis, which raised the total amount of Kleman’s debt to £184,838? Wilkinson had a private account with Kleman, but declined to show it or say anything about it. Were there any other such private accounts?

The Money Market Review, 19. Januar 1867. S. 70.
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The Overends.  Zusatz von Marx.
(Swindlers) (Old firm in the new directorate)

In the board of 7, the 3 members of the private firm were sufficient to form a quorum, one of them, moreover, being chairman, and the 2 others being the managing directors.

3) Board of Trade Returns.

  • Week ending June 2, ’66 (196) Their Incompleteness (Week ending Nov. ’66 etc (257) Food Supply Nov. ’66. (232)


  • London. 1868.
  • 1866 „The Economist“ (Jahrgang 1866) vol. XXIV.
  • The Social Economist, 1. Oktober 1868
  • „The Economist“ (Jahrgang 1866) (Fortsetzung)
  • Jahrgang 1867.
  • Register der obigen Auszüge aus dem Economist für 1866 und 1867.
  • The „Money Market Review“. Jahrgang 1866.
  • The Money Market Review. Jahrgang 1867.
  • Register Money Market Review Jahrgänge 1866 und 1867