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

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Publication details

JournalEnterprise & society
DateE-pub ahead of print - 16 Apr 2015
DatePublished (current) - May 2015
Issue number2
Number of pages33
Pages (from-to)413-445
Early online date16/04/15
Original languageEnglish


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

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.

    Research areas

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



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