Bank of England

Bank of England
Bank of England

Like the Bank of the United States and the Federal Reserve System, the Bank of England was the focus of numerous conspiracy theories almost from the time of its founding in 1694 through the Tonnage Act.

William of Orange, the king of England, who needed money for a war in France, authorized the formation of a bank under the act that had the authority to issue notes, using the loans against the crown as collateral. The Bank was privately owned, but, according to conspiracy theorists, the names of the founders were kept secret, although the names of all stock subscribers appeared in the subscription book.

A myriad of complaints about the Bank’s operations arose, and to even reference all of them would border on the impossible. Among the main criticisms by the conspiracy theorists were the supposed inconvertibility of the notes into gold and silver (“paper money created out of thin air,” as Pat Robertson claimed); connections with the Rothschild family; a pipeline to stolen gold supplied by Dutch thieves; and manipulations of the international financial system in concert with the Federal Reserve, Jews, and/or the Vatican.

Among the many attacks on the Bank of England were theories that the Bank was a pawn in the hands of a Jewish cabal whose intention was to split Christianity, or that the monarchy had simply confiscated the gold of the London goldsmiths.

One version included allegations that the king had obtained the capital from the Bank through taxation, while another claimed it was (as with other central banks) controlling the economy through its manipulation of the money supply, even as early as 1700. Through the Bank, then, secret groups could control the monarchy and thus control England.

In more recent years, the Bank of England has become one of the villains in the New World Order conspiracy theories, usually aligned with either the Federal Reserve, the Rockefellers/Rothschilds, or Jews. In this view, the Bank of England as early as 300 years ago had been used by conspirators to control international finances outside of parliamentary scrutiny (despite the fact that it was nationalized by the British government in 1946).

Even the nationalization of the Bank, though, has been viewed as a continuation of the conspiracy, with the Bank now powerful enough to demand that the government incorporate it into the official levers of power.

Eustace Mullins argues that the Federal Reserve was a puppet of an international banking elite tied to the Bank of England: “The most powerful men in the United States were themselves answerable to another power, a foreign power, and a power which had been steadfastly seeking to extend its control over the young republic since its very inception. The power was the financial power of England, centered in the London Branch of the House of Rothschild”.

Related to this view of the Bank of England is the notion that the Rockefellers, the Trilateral Commission, the Bilderbergers, and others have used the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England to manipulate the money supplies of democratic nations.

According to these theories, which take several forms, the Rockefellers (and/or Trilateralists) have filled the boards of the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England with “their people” and thus control the supply of money, generating inflation to support political candidates or forcing deflation on the economy to benefit rich lenders.

These views, as seen in the web sites of J. Orlin Grabbe and Sherman Skolnick, often contain contradictory positions on gold, which has traditionally been seen by conspiracy theorists as the “firewall” against inflationary government spending.

Current conspiracy theorists have now sought to include gold manipulations by the Federal Reserve and/or Bank of England within the broader allegations about control of the money supply. In another version, the British royal family’s intermarriage to Jews gave the Rothschilds an open door to control the Bank of England, and hence the world’s financial structure.

Paranoia about the Bank of England led evangelist Pat Robertson, in his book The New World Order, to claim that the Bank was originally established to issue fiat money without genuine gold backing—money “created out of thin air,” as he said. In these charges, Robertson echoed the Depression-era Catholic radio priest, Father Charles Coughlin, who likewise distorted the nature and origins of the Bank of England.

Early Americans also feared that the Bank of England had secret investors in the First and Second Banks of the United States, or that it routinely caused panics or depressions in North America.

In fact, the panic of 1837 can indirectly be traced to the Bank of England, but only insofar as the Bank raised interest rates after silver shipments from Mexico to the United States dried up, thus diminishing the flow of silver from the United States to China, then on to England where the silver was held as a reserve. However, at worst the Bank was an unwilling actor in a drama that began in Mexico.

England was the last Western nation to leave the gold standard during the Great Depression, saving the United States, and by clinging to the gold standard the United States put its banking system in mortal danger—a threat that was only alleviated when Franklin Roosevelt took the country off gold in the 1930s.

Although the conspiracy-minded still see the Bank of England as a threat, the ascension of New York over London as the world’s money center in World War I and the creation of the Federal Reserve System have to a large degree provided a new source of conspiracy angst, the Federal Reserve. Modern conspiracy theorists must carefully weave the Bank of England’s shadowy power in with the more obvious role played by the Federal Reserve.