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iv: The Loan of 1807 - David Ricardo, The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Vol. 10 Biographical Miscellany 
The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, ed. Piero Sraffa with the Collaboration of M.H. Dobb (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2005). Vol. 10 Biographical Miscellany.
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First published by Cambridge University Press in 1951. Copyright 1951, 1952, 1955, 1973 by the Royal Economic Society. This edition of The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo is published by Liberty Fund, Inc., under license from the Royal Economic Society.
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The Loan of 1807
The Loan of £14,200,000 for England which, with a Loan for Ireland, was negotiated in March 1807 was the first in which Ricardo played a prominent part. He was one of four ‘contractors’ who acted on behalf of members of the Stock Exchange1 and made a successful bid for the Loan in the face of several competitors among whom were the Barings and the Goldsmids. It was the task of the contractors, having secured the Loan, to distribute it among the subscribers whom they represented, while retaining a share of it for themselves: an operation which in the past had been the subject of abuse and had given rise to much complaint. The fairness of the distribution on this occasion resulted in the exchange of letters which follows. The MSS are in R.P.
letter to ricardo2
We have particular satisfaction, in enclosing you, a Copy of Resolutions passed at a General Meeting of Subscribers to the Loan of 1807, held on the 20th May in the same year; the object of which has been to mark with distinguishing memorials the Integrity of your Conduct as Joint Contractor, on that occasion, as well as, to convey to you that Testimony of public Approbation which you and your Brother Contractors, have so eminently deserved, at the hands of your Subscribers, for the equitable arrangements and final distribution of the Loans, entrusted to your joint appropriation amongst them.
We present you at the same time with a Silver Vase made under our directions, as The Committee appointed to carry the enclosed Resolutions into Effect.
We present it to you in the Name of your Subscribers as a Token of their respect and of their unanimous Approval, in which Number we most cordially join our own; requesting you to accept the assurances of our friendly consideration, we have the honor to subscribe ourselves Sir
Your very obedt Servts
C. H. Hancock
Stock Exchange 11 March 1808
To David Ricardo Esqre.
COPY OF RESOLUTIONS OF THE SUBSCRIBERS TO THE LOAN OF 1807
At a General Meeting of The Subscribers to The Loan of 1807, held the 20 May 1807.
It was unanimously Resolved
1st That, The conduct of The Contractors, in the distribution of the English and Irish Loans had been such as to entitle them to the united acknowledgements and Approbation of their Subscribers.
2dly That, In conformity with the wishes of the general body of The Stock Exchange Subscribers, some appropriate and lasting Testimony of such approval should be presented to each of the Contractors.
3dly That, A Silver Vase, be accordingly presented to each of The Contractors, with an appropriate Inscription thereon; the cost of such Vase, to be regulated, by the Amount of Sums subscribed thereunto.
4thly That, A Committee be appointed, consisting of the following Gentlemen, to order the vases, and to present the same to The Contractors vizt Messrs John Hodges, John Street, John Spicer, Willm Shepherd and C. H. Hancock.
5thly That, The Subscription be considered open to every Subscriber to the Loan of 1807 and as perfectly voluntary.
6thly That, A Copy of these resolutions, with the Names of the Subscribers, be addressed to each of the Contractors, at the same time that The Vases, shall be presented to them, by The Committee aforesaid.
C. H. Hancock Chairman at the General Meeting.
Stock Exchange 11th March 1808.
[There is also enclosed with the letter a ‘List of Subscribers to the Four Vases voted to The Contractors’ which comprises 222 names.
The silver vase which was presented to Ricardo and which he bequeathed to his son Osman is now in the possession of Mr Frank Ricardo. It bears the following inscription:
Presented to David Ricardo Esq.—by the—Subscribers to the Loan of 1807 in Testimonyof their unanimous approval of his conduct as Joint Contractor on that occasion—Whereby—the just and equitable principle of mutual participation between Contractor and Subscriberhas been so manfully asserted, and so fully recognised, to the honor of Himself and his Brother Contractors; and to the satisfaction of the Subscribers at large]
Anxious as I have ever been to merit the good opinion of the gentlemen of the Stock Exchange, amongst whom I have passed so many years of my life, it would be difficult for me to convey to your minds the gratification which I feel at receiving the proofs, which you have this day presented to me, of their approbation of my conduct at a period of considerable anxiety to me, an anxiety caused by the importance of the concern which I had undertaken and by my desire to give satisfaction to those who had placed so flattering a confidence in me. That I had succeeded has been repeatedly manifested as well by the support which the loan experienced at their hands, as by the demonstrations of kindness which my colleagues and myself have received since and which have more than compensated the little merit that may have belonged to us. But the approbation of the subscribers as expressed at their general meeting and the elegant Vase with its accompanying inscription which you have this day in their name presented to me, are so disproportioned to that merit, that it is impossible for me not to feel that I owe them to their viewing my zeal in the common cause through the most partial medium. As they record their approbation they will ever be highly prized by me, and they will recall to my mind at the most distant time of my life a period of unalloyed gratification. Be pleased to accept yourselves and to assure the gentlemen who have so highly honored me of my heartfelt thanks, and my earnest wishes for their1 unceasing happiness and prosperity.
I have the honor to be Gentlemen Your obed Servt.
March 11. 1808 Mile end
Messs. John Street
C. H. Hancock
[1 ]Of the four, only John Barnes and James Steers, besides Ricardo, are named in the contemporary newspapers.
[2 ]Addressed ‘David Ricardo Esq.’
[1 ]A draft in Ricardo’s handwriting.
[1 ]First written ‘and you and they have my wishes for’.