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SOME ACCOUNT OF THEIR PREDECESSORS.
THE EARLY GOLDSMITHS.
TOGETHER WITH LISTS OF BANKERS,
THE LONDON POST-OFFICE DIRECTORY OF 1876.
F. G. HILTON PRICE, F.G.S., F.R.G.S.
During the time I set myself the pleasurable task of investigating the early history of Child's Bank, I had occasion to look through a vast quantity of old cheques, bills, and cashnotes, extending in time over close upon two centuries; when I observed that all drafts passing through the hands of a goldsmith or banker were endorsed by such goldsmith or banker, and that in most cases the endorsements were witnessed by one of the clerks.
I applied myself, therefore, to the collection of all these drafts, or a fair sample of them, with a view to seeing how far they would throw light upon the early history of bankers. This done, the next step was to refer to the List of Goldsmiths keeping running cashes, published in the “ Little London Directory" of 1677, and to extract lists of all goldsmiths and bankers from the London Directories at the British Museum. The first of the set-a thin volume—was published in 1677; the second did not appear until 1736 ; and the next dates were 1738, 1740, 1754, 1759, 1763, and so on, with occasional intervals of a few years, down to the present date. Upon turning again to the documents at my disposal, however, I discovered that the missing data, not to be obtained from the British Museum, Guildhall Library, and other likely sources, could be supplied by the endorsements to the old drafts and cash-notes in the