Chapter

The Financial and Political Agency of Female Investors

Amy M. Froide

in Silent Partners

Published in print October 2016 | ISBN: 9780198767985
Published online November 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780191821837 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198767985.003.0007
The Financial and Political Agency of Female Investors

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

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This chapter explores a number of ways in which female investors exercised financial agency: by actively managing portfolios of stocks that they inherited, instead of passively collecting dividends; by serving as financial agents or brokers for both kin and unrelated individuals; and by getting involved in legal proceedings against fraudulent companies as well as engaging in shareholder meeting votes and company politics. The examples of Mariabella Elliott, Hester Pinney, and Eleanor Curzon illustrate these various types of financial agency. A case study of Pinney, a lace trader turned public investor, is provided. A final section explores the financial agency of female investors in aggregate, and what I term their “financial patriotism.” Women’s capital enabled Britain’s rise to a military, economic, and colonial power in the eighteenth century. While perhaps not always intentional, women were “functional” fiscal patriots.

Keywords: Mariabella Elliott; Hester Pinney; Eleanor Curzon; financial agency; broker; shareholder elections; public creditor; financial patriotism

Chapter.  13310 words.  Illustrated.

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

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