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Thomas Coutts     $15.00
Thomas Coutts
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Two documents (attached by embossed tax stamp), Oct. 14, 1806, signed by Thomas Coutts (1735-1822) Founder of the banking house of Coutts & Co.; Charles Watkin Williams-Wynn (1775–1850) Secretary of War, and Father of the House of Commons; and John Jeffreys Pratt- The 1st Marquess Camden (aka "The Earl of Camden) (1759-1840) Lord Lt. Ireland, Sec. of State for War & the Colonies, Lord of the Admiralty, Lord of the Treasury, and Teller of the Exchequer. The top document is a receipt of a 3,000 pound payment (signed by Coutts) in respect of contents of "annexed Debenture.' The second document (signed by both Williams-Wynn and Camden) is the original invoice for payment, dated Oct. 11, 1806. Thomas Coutts, who signs the top document, was the son of John Coutts, a Scottish banker and Lord Provost of Edinburgh in 1742. Thomas and his brother, James, brought the family banking business London. James died in 1778 leaving Thomas sole head of the firm. He expanded the business, making a fortune and founding the banking house of Coutts & Co.., which still exists today (it is now owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland Group). His sons-in-law included the 3rd Earl of Guilford, the 1st Marquess of Bute, and Sir Francis Burdett. Charles Williams-Wynn, who signs the second document, was born in Wales. His grandfather was Prime Minister George Grenville (Prime Minister when the infamous Stamp Act was imposed on America). His uncle was Prime Minister William Grenville. His great-great-grandfather, Sir William Williams, 1st Baronet, was Speaker of the House of Commons from 1680-85. Charles was schooled at Westminster and Oxford (he befriended the poet Robert Southey at Westminster and later supported Southey financially). He was first elected to Parliament in 1797 and served in Parliament for 53 years thereafter. In 1806 he was appointed by his uncle, Prime Minister Grenville, Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department-- the capacity in which he signs this document (this is the # 2 position in what is comparable to our Interior Dept. and Homeland Security Dept., combined- James Bonds MI5 is under this department). He remained in this position until late 1807 when Grenville's government fell. Around 1818 Charles was leader of a group of M.P.s that tried, unsuccessfully, to establish a third party in Parliament. In 1822 he was a member of the Privy Council. From 1830-31 he served as British Secretary of War. From 1847-50 he was Father of the House of Commons (i.e., longest serving active member). At the time of his death, he was the last member of Parliament who had served in Parliament in the 18th century. He was the first president of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. John Jeffreys Pratt, 1st Marquess Camden, who, in his capacity as Teller of the Exchequer (and 2nd Earl Camden), signs the second document as "Camden." He was the son of Charles Pratt, Lord High Chancellor of England, and the 1st Earl Camden. Educated at Cambridge Univ., John was first elected to Parliament in 1780 and became Teller of the Exchequer that same year-- a lucrative position he held until his death. From 1782-89 he served as Lord of the Admiralty. He was Lord of the Treasury from 1789-92. In 1794 he succeeded his father to the peerage becoming "2nd Earl Camden." From 1795-98 he was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. His anti-Catholic policies resulted in the Irish uprising of 1798. He resigned when the uprising was suppressed. From 1804-05 he served as Secretary of State for War and the Colonies. From 1807-12 he was Lord President of the Council. In 1812 he was created Earl of Brecknock and Marquess Camden. From 1834-40 he was Chancellor of Cambridge University. He was also a Knight of the Garter. Nice financial document with some notable bankers and members of the peerage.


Thomas Coutts    

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