The Bank Of England
The Bank Of England was established in the wake of the nation’s Navy. During the Battle of Beachy Head, dozens of warships fought. The battle took place during the Nine Years’ War on July 10, 1690. France defeated both the Dutch and their English allies. The French navy didn’t lose any of their ships.
After the battle, England refocused its efforts on rebuilding its navy. They wanted a force stronger than the one that lost the Battle of Beachy Head. The only problem was that they didn’t have the money to fund the navy. The government, led by William III, could not borrow the £1.2 million needed to fund the project. To get the money, the government brought back the Bank Of England in 1694. To get things started, lenders would pay into the bank with cash, and they would receive bank notes against government bonds. Within two weeks, William III had the money necessary to strengthen the country’s navy.
This was a significant turning point for the country. With the loan in place, England could fund the industries necessary to build up the navy. This initiative was helpful for the country. Soon, the bank was a booming industry which made Great Britain a principal player in the 19th century. In 1946, the bank changed hands when it became a national organization. In 1998, it became an independent public organization. This meant that the government’s Treasury Solicitor technically owned the bank, but the bank controlled its own financial policies.
With all of the changes that occurred in the Bank Of England over the years, one thing remained consistent. They kept a huge stock of gold bars in the vaults. Since many traders invest in gold when the market becomes unpredictable, and the value of precious metal doesn’t change much, this was a good idea. This was also a good idea because gold can be traded between countries.
Just because the gold might change ownership, it never really leaves the bank. This is because each bar has its own serial number. When a person trades bullion, it becomes officially listed as belonging to a new owner, but the record of the trade always remains. The Bank Of England protects 4,600 tons of gold, which makes it the world’s 15th largest keeper of gold reserves. The gold bars it holds is worth about £156 billion.
In 1974, the Bank of England moved to London’s Threadneedle Street, where it has been ever since. In 2013, the Bank of England released an app that allows you to take a virtual tour of the gold vaults. It also shows the high-security measures that the bank takes to protect the gold. The vault is huge. The floor space is greater than London’s 13th tallest building, Tower 42. This is because if the bank employees piled too many gold bars into one area, they would slump into the ground.
The bank’s vaults have walls that are 8-feet thick. The walls are believed to be bombproof. During the World War II air raids, the bank employees found protection inside the vaults. The same was true when the Germans dropped explosives onto the English capital. The vault was said to be so secure that in 1973, the bank got rid of the Brigade of Guards soldiers who patrolled and protected the building at night. The bank has never been robbed.
The Rumored Letter
There is a rumor of a letter that arrived at the bank in 1836. The anonymous author who sent the letter claimed to know how to get into the bank’s gold vault. The bank directors laughed it off as a joke. When they got a second letter, they took it more seriously because the author asked the bank directors for a time that they could meet in the gold vault. They didn’t believe the author, so they agreed on a date and time to meet in the vault. They didn’t take it seriously until they heard planks moving and a man climbed into the vault. He was able to do what he claimed.
The man claimed to have been performing sewer repairs on Threadneedle Street. During an inspection, he found an old drain. He followed the drain and realized that it led him right below the bank’s vault. After finding the vault, he told the directors that he could easily figure out how to get inside. As soon as the directors realized that this man could get into the vault, they took stock of the bars of gold, only to find that they were all there. The worker could have stolen the gold, but he didn’t. Rumor has it that they gave him a reward of £800, which would equal $115,000 today as a reward for letting them know about the security breach.
In 1836 A Sewer Worker Followed An Old Drain – And Found A Secret Haul Of Treasure At The End. Today, there are people who believe that this wasn’t just a rumor. Shortly after the rumor of the man got out, the bank spent a great deal of money to add security to the vault. Why would they have done this if the vault was as strong as they always believed? Most people believe the rumor is true, and the sewer worker is the most honest man on Earth.