William Paterson

(1658—1719) banking projector

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Founder of the Bank of England. Paterson was born in Dumfries but brought up in England. He made a rapid fortune in trade in America and the Low Countries. A supporter of the Glorious Revolution, he was engaged during the Nine Years War in government finance and pressed upon the government the establishment of a national bank to help finance the war. In 1694 when the bank was founded, Paterson became a director. He was one of the leading protagonists of the Darien venture and worked for the Company of Scotland raising investment. He was lucky to survive the first expedition in 1698, in which his wife and only son perished, but continued to be consulted by the government, urging a union with Scotland.

Subjects: Economics.

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