Working-Class Households and Savings in England, 1850–1880

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The British trustee savings banks that operated throughout the
nineteenth century were designed expressly for working-class
use, and solely to promote long-term saving. Despite the substantial
numbers and national spread of these banks, there have been
few studies of their use by savers. Their neglect as a data source is
puzzling, given the extent of the surviving depositor records that
provide long-run empirical data that includes savers’ identity,
marital status, and occupation, as well as account balances and
transactions. Our preliminary work on four banks (Limehouse,
Newcastle, South Shields, and Bury) shows results of significant
interest in understanding working-class financial behavior,
including a substantial number of accounts opened and maintained
by working-class married women, accounts opened and
run by minors from earnings, and varied patterns of account
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-445
Number of pages33
JournalEnterprise & society
Issue number2
Early online date16 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - May 2015

Bibliographical note

(c) The Authors 2015. Published by Cambridge University Press. This is an author produced version of a paper accepted for publication in Enterprise and Society. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.


  • Savings Banks
  • 19th century
  • England
  • financial management
  • working class households

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