3rd February 1730. Exchange Alley.
The tradition of competitive market information started in 1698 when John Casting from his base at Jonathan’s Coffee House published prices, on Tuesdays and Fridays, for coal, salt and paper in, ‘The Course of the Exchange and Other Things’.
The Joint Stock Companies emerging in the 1600.s gave men a means of something to do with their money other than buy land or lending. So middlemen rose between investors and entrepreneurs as the commercial boom of the 17thc led to a growth in the number of companies.
By 1695 there were at least 140 of these companies requiring parliamentary regulation in 1696 for a licensing system for brokers.
At that time Lloyds Insurers and city merchants operated from coffee-houses before moving into the Royal Exchange, (near the Bank of England), but not those dealing in Stocks as they were banned owing to ‘Rude Manners’. They were thus forced to continue to operate from coffee houses such as Garroways and Jonathan’s.
However these houses had become so numerous, with all the potential for sedition and political ferment, that Charles II in 1675 ordered them to be closed down believing they ‘originated malicious rumours about the government’.
But this knee-jerk reaction of the King had to be reversed quickly as his Ministers were great coffee drinkers and demanded the abolition of the edict.(1)
By TODAY in 1730 the first stock market quotations were published in the London Daily Advertiser.
The first Stock Exchange was opened in 1773 in a custom built building on the corner of Threadneedle Street and Sweetings Alley in the City.
By the middle of the 19thc therefore a Stock Exchange with more than 1,000 brokers joined the Royal Exchange and Bank of England in the City of London, and set to become the world’s financial centre and epitomising the liberal laissez-faire international order.
(1) Banned on December 29th and set to come into force on January 10th, but reopened on Jan 6th.
Prints Old and Rare/Pic of Liverpool.
conversational.leadership/Pic of sign.
Britishmuseum.org/Pic of Jonathan’s.