Victorian London - Professions and Trades - Service Industry - Bankers

    The number of persons employed in one way or other in the Bank of England is so great, that they may be said to form a little community of themselves. The number of clerks alone, though occasionally varying, is never under 900. The number of engravers, and printers of notes, in the constant employment of the Bank, is 38. The salaries of the clerks vary from 5001. down to 751. per annum. The entire amount paid to the various servants of the establishment, about 1,000 in number, is upwards of 200,0001.
    Every one has his own department in the Bank, and no one knows what any of his colleagues are about. Two clerks may have stood for years next to each other, as regards the locality of the establishment, and yet know no more of one another's business than if they were in the service of different employers. Perhaps there are few establishments in the world which afford a better exemplification of the accuracy and regularity which may be secured in the most extensive and most complicated concerns, by the adoption of a proper system of business.

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James Grant, The Great Metropolis, 1837

see also George Sala in Twice Round the Clock - click here