Front Page Titles (by Subject) Inconvenience of Metallic Money. - Money and the Mechanism of Exchange
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Inconvenience of Metallic Money. - William Stanley Jevons, Money and the Mechanism of Exchange 
Money and the Mechanism of Exchange (New York: D. Appleton and Co. 1876).
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Inconvenience of Metallic Money.
Closely involved with the previous motive for the use of representative money is that of avoiding the trouble and risk of handling large amounts of the precious metals. In order to keep large sums of metallic money in safety a person must have strongholds and watchmen. The origin of banking in England has never been sufficiently investigated, but, so far as we know, it arose for the purpose of safe custody. While public and well-regulated deposit banks had existed for centuries in Italy, the only trace of such an institution in England was found in the mint in the Tower of London, whither merchants were accustomed to send their specie for safe keeping. Unfortunately, in 1640 King Charles I. appropriated as a loan £200,000 thus deposited, and the merchants, no longer trusting the government, and finding it dangerous to keep large sums of money in their own houses during the troubled times which followed, resorted to the practice of depositing their money with goldsmiths, who probably had vaults and guards suitable for the purpose.
As acknowledgments of the possession of such sums of money, the goldsmith gave receipts, and at, first these documents were special promises, like dock warrants. The practice arose of transferring possession by delivery of these receipts, or "goldsmith's notes," as they were called. Such notes are frequently referred to in Acts of Parliament, and even as late as 1746 most of the London bankers continued to be members of the Goldsmith's Company. It is plain from the manner in which these notes were mentioned in some statutes that they had become general and not special promises—mere engagements to deliver a sum of money on demand, without conditions as to keeping a reserve for the purpose.