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Journal cover: Journal of Management History

Journal of Management History

ISSN: 1751-1348

Online from: 2006

Subject Area: Management Science/Management Studies

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The bank clerk in Victorian society: the case of Hoare and Company

Document Information:
Title:The bank clerk in Victorian society: the case of Hoare and Company
Author(s):Ingrid Jeacle, (The University of Edinburgh Business School, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK)
Citation:Ingrid Jeacle, (2010) "The bank clerk in Victorian society: the case of Hoare and Company", Journal of Management History, Vol. 16 Iss: 3, pp.312 - 326
Keywords:Banks, Social norms, Victorian Britain
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/17511341011051225 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:The assistance and expertise of the archivist of Hoare's Bank, Ms Pamela Hunter, was invaluable in the researching of this paper. The author would also like to acknowledge the financial support of the Nuffield Foundation in the undertaking of the research project.

Purpose – This paper aims to consider the role of the bank clerk in the Victorian era and to provide insights into clerical life in a London bank during the period.

Design/methodology/approach – The paper draws on the archival records of Hoare and Company. Founded in the seventeenth century, it is the oldest surviving independent bank in the UK.

Findings – Drawing on the company's archival records, the paper examines issues such as recruitment, house rules, acts of paternalism and the overwhelming concern with maintaining respectability. While Hoare's clerks humorously referred to themselves as the Association of the Sons of Toil, the records support the literature in revealing the relatively cosseted career of the bank clerk within Victorian clerical circles. He generally enjoyed a higher salary, longer holidays and more favourable working conditions than his clerical counterparts. It was therefore a highly sought after position. Only those of impeccable character however, were recruited into its ranks.

Practical implications – The paper suggests the potential significance of Victorian values to the recruitment and general working conditions of contemporary members of the financial community.

Originality/value – The paper's value lies in supplementing the existing literature with further insights into the life of the Victorian bank clerk.

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