PP/GC/LE/29 Letter from Sir G.C.Lewis to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston, explaining the status of Russian gold held by the Bank of England, 23 August 1855
Letter from Sir George Cornewall Lewis, [second Baronet, Chancellor of the Exchequer], Monnington, to Henry John Temple, third Viscount Palmerston: he has received an answer from the Governor of the Bank of England about the Russian gold. Mr Pycroft's discovery turns out to be a "mare's nest". "The Russian gold is Russian in one sense of the word, that is to say, it was coined at the Russian mint; but it is the property of the Bank of England. The Bank holds this large sum in coin, because they save the expense of melting, and in the event of its being profitable to remit gold to Russia, the merchants will give something more for Russian coin than for bullion." All of the Russian government's money and securities held in the Bank of England were withdrawn by the order of the [Russian] finance minister in November 1853. Mr Pycroft is a very sedulous applicant for the vacant charity commissionership; he wishes to establish some claim upon the government. Lewis travelled about 150 miles into Herefordshire the previous day [22 August]. A large part of the corn is cut and the harvest promises to be a fair one. 23 Aug 1855 [Postscript] He has sent Waddington the letters from the Governor of the Bank and from Pycroft. Lewis has asked Waddington to put these before Sir G.Grey. 23 Aug 1855
Two papers
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Sir George Cornewall Lewis, second Baronet, Chancellor of the Exchequer; travel; Herefordshire
Thomas Mattias Weguelin, Governor of the Bank of England
Mr Pycroft; patronage
Agriculture; crops; harvest; Herefordshire
Horatio Waddington, permanent Under Secretary for Home Affairs
Sir George Grey, second Baronet, Secretary of State for Home Affairs
Mare's nest: to make what you suppose to be a great discovery, but which proves to be no discovery or else all nonsense
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