Early Adopters

Amy M. Froide

in Silent Partners

Published in print October 2016 | ISBN: 9780198767985
Published online November 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780191821837 | DOI:
Early Adopters

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)
  • Economic History


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This chapter explores the women who were early adopters of the new financial investments brought about by England’s Financial Revolution. A survey is provided of female subscribers to the Bank of England, the Land Bank, the Royal African, and East India Companies, the Company of Mine Adventurers, and various early government loans in the 1680s–1700s. The remainder of the chapter provides three case studies of women who were early adopters to the Financial Revolution: the courtier Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, the tradeswoman Martha Hutchins, and the provincial gentlewoman Elizabeth Freke. These women acclimated easily and enthusiastically to public investment, showing themselves willing to take on some risk for a good return. All three women also invested on their own, despite the fact they were married women. In the early decades of the Financial Revolution femes coverts were able to be investors.

Keywords: early adopter; Bank of England; Royal African Company; East India Company; Land Bank; Elizabeth Freke; Sarah Churchill; Martha Hutchins; Company of Mine Adventurers; government loans

Chapter.  16254 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700) ; Economic History

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