Baring Brothers & Co. (London, England)

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Barings Bank was founded in 1762 as the John and Francis Baring Company by Francis Baring, with his older brother John Baring as a mostly silent partner. They were sons of John (né Johann) Baring, wool trader of Exeter, born in Bremen, Germany. The company began in offices off Cheapside in London, and within a few years moved to larger quarters in Mincing Lane. Barings gradually diversified from wool into many other commodities, providing financial services for the rapid growth of international trade, including the lucrative slave trade which enriched the family and the business considerably and allowed significant expansion of the bank's activities and prestige. In 1774, Barings started business in the USA. By 1790, Barings had greatly expanded its resources, both through Francis's efforts in London and by association with leading Amsterdam bankers Hope & Co. In 1793, the increased business necessitated a move to larger quarters in Devonshire Square. Francis and his family lived upstairs, above the offices. In 1796, the bank helped to finance the purchase of about 1 million acres (4000 km2) of remote land that would become part of the state of Maine.

In 1800, John retired and the company was reorganized as Francis Baring and Co. Francis's new partners were his eldest son Thomas (later to be Sir Thomas Baring, 2nd Baronet) and son-in-law, Charles Wall. Then, in 1802, Barings and Hope & Co. were called on to facilitate the largest land purchase in history: the Louisiana Purchase, which doubled the size of the USA. It is regarded as "one of the most historically significant trades of all time". This was accomplished even though Britain was at war with France and the sale helped to finance Napoleon's war effort. Technically, the United States purchased Louisiana from Barings and Hope, not from Napoleon. Baring was willing to help Napoleon in the short term because he, and British politicians who backed him, predicted that American expansion into Louisiana would ensure Barings' profits in Britain. After a $3 million down payment in gold, the remainder of the purchase was made in United States bonds, which Napoleon sold to Barings through Hope & Co. of Amsterdam at a price of $87.50 per $100 face value (a discount of one-eighth). Francis's second son Alexander, working for Hope & Co., made the arrangements in Paris with François Barbé-Marbois, Director of the Public Treasury. Alexander then sailed to the United States and back to pick up the bonds and deliver them to France.

In 1803, Francis began to withdraw from active management, bringing in Thomas's younger brothers Alexander and Henry to become partners in 1804. The new partnership was called Baring Brothers & Co., which it remained until 1890. The offspring of these three brothers became the future generations of Barings leadership. In 1806, the company relocated to 8 Bishopsgate, where it stayed for the remaining life of the company. The building underwent several expansions and refurbishments, and was finally replaced with a new high-rise building in 1981.

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Virginia. Office of the Second Auditor. Transfer of stock books for James River and Kanawha Company, from the Office of the Second Auditor, 1825-1865. Library of Virginia
creatorOf Baring Brothers & Co. Letter, 1849 August 17, London, to Ebenezer Chadwick, Boston, Mass. New England Historic Genealogical Society
referencedIn Magoun, Thatcher, 1775-1856. Business records, 1816-1885 (inclusive). Harvard Business School, Knowledge and Library Services/Baker Library
referencedIn Sumner, Charles, 1811-1874. Correspondence, 1829-1874 Houghton Library
creatorOf Vol. XVII (ff. 189). 29 Aug. 1816-1824, n.d.Montefiore Brothers; stockbrokers: Accounts, etc., of business transacted for N. M. Rothschild: 1816-1817: Signed.includes:ff. 172, 176-179v Baring Brothers & Co; bankers: Correspondence with J. C. Herrie... British Library
referencedIn Rollins, Edward Henry, 1824-1889. Papers, 1859-1883. New Hampshire Historical Society Library
referencedIn Pratt, George. Journal, 1837-1845 (inclusive). Harvard Business School, Knowledge and Library Services/Baker Library
referencedIn Madison, James, 1751-1836. Letters of James Madison, 1828. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Gillchrest, Levi B. Levi B. Gillchrest papers, 1833-1865. G. W. Blunt White Library
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referencedIn Russell & Co. Russell & Co., Guangzhou, China, records, 1812-1894 (bulk 1819-1840). Library of Congress
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creatorOf Langhorne, Elizabeth Coles. Papers of Elizabeth Coles Langhorne [manuscript], 1870-1973. University of Virginia. Library
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referencedIn Consolidated Association of the Planters of Louisiana. Consolidated Association of the Planters of Louisiana papers, 1791-1912 (bulk 1827-1882). Louisiana State University, LSU Libraries
creatorOf Le Roy, Jacob, d. 1815. Jacob Le Roy papers, 1791-1832 (bulk 1810-1820). New-York Historical Society
referencedIn Vol. L (ff. 292). Oct.-16 Dec. 1803.Francis Drake, Minister at Genoa and Munich: Despatches,: 1803, 1804.: partly in cypher, decyphered and sympathetic ink.Cyphers: Various British and foreign diplomatists: 1800-1804.includes:ff. 1, 247 Francis Drake... British Library
referencedIn Inventory of the Thomas William House Papers: Texas ARCH 00255., 1864-1872. Cushing Memorial Library,
creatorOf Hooper, Robert, 1790-1868. Hooper Letterbooks, 1824-1839. Peabody Essex Museum
referencedIn Mary Hyde Eccles papers Houghton Library
referencedIn Bronson family papers, 1790-1875 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Virginia. Office of the Second Auditor. West Virginia interest bearing one third certificates, September 11, 1873-July 23, 1887. Library of Virginia
referencedIn Virginia. Office of the Second Auditor. Messrs. Baring Brothers and Company sterling debt, July 1855, January 26, 1867-July 25, 1875. Library of Virginia
creatorOf Baring Brothers. Letter, 1812 August 18. American Periodical Series I
referencedIn Vol. CCCCXXVII (ff. 258).Sept.1826-1839.includes:f. 1 John Charles Herries, statesman: Correspondence with Sir R. Peel: 1823-1842.ff. 3, 7 Frederick John Robinson, Viscount Goderich; 1st Earl of Ripon: Correspondence with Sir R. Peel.: 1812-1846.... British Library
referencedIn Frank Whitson Fetter Papers, 1902-1992 David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn Russell & Co., Guangzhou, China, Records, 1812-1894, (bulk 1819-1840) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Adams, John Quincy, 1767-1848. John Quincy Adams papers, 1796-1848, 1820-1848 (bulk). Cornell University Library
referencedIn Ward, Samuel G. Letter, 1864 October 14. American Periodical Series I
referencedIn John Jay Chapman papers, 1841-1940. Houghton Library
referencedIn Ward, Thomas W. (Thomas Wren), 1786-1858. Thomas W. Ward correspondence, 1841 February 11. Library of Congress
referencedIn Gallatin, Albert, 1761-1849. Papers, 1258-1947 (bulk 1780-1849). Churchill County Museum
creatorOf Bowditch, Jonathan Ingersoll, 1806-1889. Papers, 1836-1862. Massachusetts Historical Society
creatorOf Baring Brothers & Co. Ltd letters and documents, 1805-1861 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn Meredith, Jonathan D., 1783-1872. Papers of Jonathan D. Meredith, 1795-1859 (bulk 1810-1859). Library of Congress
referencedIn Higginson, Henry Lee, 1834-1919. Business records, 1799-1919 (bulk: 1870-1919) Harvard Business School, Knowledge and Library Services/Baker Library
creatorOf HERRIES PAPERS. Vol. XXXI (ff. 84). Undated, [circa 1806-1807]-[1815], n.d.includes:ff. 26-27v John Charles Herries, statesman: 'A Report [to the Lords of the Treasury] of the Progress made by the Commissary in Chief' by John Charles Herries: [1811..., approximately 1806-1807 British Library
creatorOf CODEX SINAITICUS PAPERS. Vol. V (ff. 159). Letters; 29 Jan.-13 Feb. 1934.James Ramsay MacDonald, Prime Minister: Correspondence rel. to Codex Sinaiticus: 1933-1934: Partly signed and copies.Sir Harold Idris Bell, Keeper of Manuscripts, British Museum... British Library
referencedIn Jonathan D. Meredith Papers, 1795-1859, (bulk 1810-1859) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Comstock family. Papers, 1782-1904, 1931-1939. American Antiquarian Society
referencedIn Vol. LI (ff. 323). 21 Dec. 1803-Apr. 1804.Cyphers: Various British and foreign diplomatists: 1800-1804.includes:f. 1 John Rous, Baron Rous; 1st Earl of Stradbroke 1821: Letter to C. P. Yorke: 1803. ff. 1-266 passim Army; England: Papers rel. to the... British Library
referencedIn Parish, David, d. 1826. Letter books, 1802 Nov. 2-1808 Jan. 16, 1811 Jul. 24-1816 Jun. 27. Churchill County Museum
creatorOf Parker, William B. (William Bradstreet), b. 1801. William B. Parker, Jr. Papers, 1823-1854. Peabody Essex Museum
creatorOf Forbes family. Forbes family papers, 1732-1931. Massachusetts Historical Society
creatorOf Baring Brothers & Co. Ltd. Excerpts from the Baring Papers for 1846 to 1850, relating to the Mexican War. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Baring Brothers & Co. Baring Brothers & Co. records, 1803-1833. Library of Congress
referencedIn Gardner family. Gardner family business records, 1780-1936 (inclusive), 1857-1934 (bulk). Harvard Business School, Knowledge and Library Services/Baker Library
referencedIn Vol. LXXI (ff. 433). 23 Oct.-Dec. 1814.includes:f. 1 Edward Bootle-Wilbraham, 1st Baron Skelmersdale 1828; formerly Wilbraham-Bootle: Correspondence with the 2nd Earl of Liverpool: 1802-1825. f. 3 Lady Caroline Wood, wife of Colonel Thomas Wood, of... British Library
referencedIn Gordon & Talbot. Gordon & Talbot letter : New York, N.Y., to Capt. William B. Drew, Ship [Lebanon?], Le Havre, France, 1850 Feb. 5. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Bolton, John. Letter, 1836. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Keen, Amelia F. 19th century business journal: ledger, 1875-1876. Temple University Libraries, Paley Library
creatorOf Wigglesworth, Thomas, 1814-1907. Thomas Wigglesworth, Jr. Papers, 1824-1868. Peabody Essex Museum
referencedIn Gillchrest, Levi B. Papers, 1833-1865. G. W. Blunt White Library
referencedIn Bronson family. Bronson family papers, 1790-1875. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Ward, Thomas W. (Thomas Wren), 1786-1858. Thomas Wren Ward papers, 1717-1943; 1778-1858. Massachusetts Historical Society
referencedIn Virginia. Office of the Second Auditor. Record of coupons received in the Second Auditor's office, from the Office of the Second Auditor, 1872-1879. Library of Virginia
referencedIn Vol. CXXX1V (ff. 188). June 1871-April 1872.includes:ff. 1, 22, 57, 70, 85-88b, 91 Sir John Alexander Macdonald, GCB; Prime Minister of Canada: Correspondence with Lord Ripon: 1871.ff. 7-168b passim Mountague Bernard, international lawyer: Corres... British Library
creatorOf HERRIES PAPERS. Vol. XXIX (ff. 149). 1814-1815.includes:ff. 68, 69v Thomas Dunmore, Acting Commissary General: Letters, etc., to J. C. Herries from Thomas Dunmore: 1815, 1816.f. 75 Burgmann Sir George)Commissary General: Letter to J. C. Herries f..., 1814-1815 British Library
referencedIn Lord, Daniel Walker, 1800-1880. Daniel Walker Lord papers, 1811-1941. Maine Historical Society Library
referencedIn Thatcher Magoun business records, (inclusive), 1816-1885 Baker Library, Harvard Business School
referencedIn Stevens, John Austin, 1795-1874. Papers, 1811-1885. Churchill County Museum
referencedIn Sparks, Jared, 1789-1866. Jared Sparks collection of American manuscripts, 1582-1843 Houghton Library
referencedIn Stillman, James, 1850-1918. Papers, 1830-1955. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn William Appleton and Company. Records, 1840-1889 (inclusive). Harvard Business School, Knowledge and Library Services/Baker Library
referencedIn Washington Irving Collection, 1789-1869 University of Virginia. Library. Special Collections Dept.
referencedIn Fuller, B. A. G., 1879-1956. Autograph collection, 1620-1920 Houghton Library
referencedIn Norton, Charles Eliot, 1827-1908. Papers, ca.1845-1908 Houghton Library
referencedIn Palfrey family papers, 1713-1915 Houghton Library
referencedIn Graves, William, 1811-1877. William Graves letter book, 1846-1860. Harvard Business School, Knowledge and Library Services/Baker Library
creatorOf HERRIES PAPERS. Vol. XXX (ff. 65). 1816.includes:ff. 1-3v, 6 Baring Brothers & Co; bankers: Correspondence with J. C. Herries of Baring Brothers & Co. (bankers): 1815, 1823: Partly draft. Partly signed.ff. 7-10v, 25, 28 Thomas Luscombe, Deputy Co..., 1816 British Library
creatorOf Sibley, Josiah. Letters, 1824-1867. Alabama Department of Archives and History
creatorOf Baring Brothers & Co., Ltd., London. Letter signed (11) : London, to Henry Wheaton, 1831 Apr. 19-1846 Jan. 27. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Elisha Kent Kane Papers, Bulk, 1843-1857, 1810-1953 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Hunnewell, James, 1794-1869. Business papers, 1823-1883 (inclusive), 1823-1869 (bulk). Harvard Business School, Knowledge and Library Services/Baker Library
referencedIn Larcom, Benjamin, 1776-1832. Benjamin Larcom Papers, 1806-1811. Peabody Essex Museum
referencedIn Heard family. Heard family business records, 1754-1898 (inclusive) [microform]. Harvard Business School, Knowledge and Library Services/Baker Library
referencedIn Davis, John, 1787-1854. Diary : manuscript, 1843-1844. Houghton Library
creatorOf Bacon, William B. William B. Bacon business papers, 1865-1875. Massachusetts Historical Society
referencedIn Documents relating to Charles Sumner, 1828-1912. Houghton Library
referencedIn Virginia. Treasurer's Office. Transfer of stock books for James River and Kanawha Company, April 1, 1825-March 31, 1865. Library of Virginia
referencedIn Samuel Gray Ward and Anna Hazard Barker Ward papers, 1823-1934 (inclusive) 1837-1900 (bulk). Houghton Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Adams, John Quincy, 1767-1848. person
associatedWith Bacon, William B. person
correspondedWith Bank of the United States (1816-1836) corporateBody
associatedWith Bolton, John. person
associatedWith Bowditch, Jonathan Ingersoll, 1806-1889. person
associatedWith Branson family family
associatedWith Bronson family. family
correspondedWith Chadwick, Ebenezer person
correspondedWith Chapman, John Jay, 1862-1933 person
associatedWith Comstock family. family
associatedWith Consolidated Association of the Planters of Louisiana. corporateBody
associatedWith Davis, John, 1787-1854. person
associatedWith Eccles, Mary Hyde. person
associatedWith Fetter, Frank Whitson, 1899-1991 person
associatedWith Forbes family. family
associatedWith Forbes family. family
associatedWith Fuller, B. A. G. (Benjamin Apthorp Gould), 1879-1956 person
associatedWith Gallatin, Albert, 1761-1849. person
associatedWith Gardner family. family
associatedWith Gillchrest, Levi B. person
associatedWith Gordon & Talbot. corporateBody
correspondedWith Graves, William, 1811-1877. person
associatedWith Heard family. family
associatedWith Higginson, Henry Lee, 1834-1919. person
associatedWith Hooper, Robert, 1790-1868. person
correspondedWith House, Thomas William. person
associatedWith Hunnewell, James, 1794-1869. person
associatedWith Kane, Elisha Kent, 1820-1857 person
associatedWith Keen, Amelia F. person
associatedWith Langhorne, Elizabeth Coles. person
associatedWith Larcom, Benjamin, 1776-1832. person
correspondedWith LeRoy, Bayard & McEvers (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Le Roy, Jacob, d. 1815. person
associatedWith Lord, Daniel Walker, 1800-1880. person
associatedWith Loring, Charles G. (Charles Greely), 1794-1867 person
associatedWith Madison, James, 1751-1836. person
associatedWith Magoun, Thatcher, 1775-1856. person
associatedWith Meredith, Jonathan D., 1783-1872. person
associatedWith Merrimack Manufacturing Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Minott, Charles V. person
associatedWith Norton, Charles Eliot, 1827-1908 person
correspondedWith Palfrey family. family
associatedWith Parish, David, d. 1826. person
associatedWith Parker, William B. (William Bradstreet), b. 1801. person
associatedWith Peace Dale Manufacturing Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Pratt, George. person
associatedWith Rollins, Edward Henry, 1824-1889. person
associatedWith Russell & Co. (1818-1877) corporateBody
associatedWith Sibley, Josiah. person
associatedWith Sparks, Jared, 1789-1866 person
associatedWith Stevens, John Austin, 1795-1874. person
associatedWith Stillman, James, 1850-1918. person
associatedWith Sturgis, J. H. (John Hubbard), 1834-1888. person
correspondedWith Sumner, Charles, 1811-1874 person
correspondedWith United States. Dept. of the Treasury corporateBody
associatedWith Van Rensselaer, Stephen, 1764-1839. person
associatedWith Vidal, Gore, 1925- person
associatedWith Virginia. Office of the Second Auditor. corporateBody
associatedWith Virginia. Treasurer's Office. corporateBody
associatedWith Ward, Samuel Gray. person
correspondedWith Ward, Thomas W. (Thomas Wren), 1786-1858. person
associatedWith Wheaton, Henry, 1785-1848, person
associatedWith Wigglesworth, Thomas, 1814-1907. person
associatedWith William Appleton and Company. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
London ENG GB
Roumania, Europe
Canada 00 CA
United States 00 US
Blackheath, Kent
Europe
Dover ENG GB
Louisiana LA US
Bucharest 10 RO
West Indies 00 BS
Berne, Canton of, Switzerland
South America
Ireland 00 IE
New York NY US
Kingdom of Spain 00 ES
Subject
Banks and banking
Shipping
Finance, Public
Mexican War, 1846-1848
Travel costs
Occupation
Activity
Shipping
Bankers
Shippers

Corporate Body

Active 1763

Active 1931

Britons

English

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