Thomas Raikes

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Thomas Raikes Thomas Raikes Romney.jpg
Thomas Raikes

Thomas Raikes ("the Elder") (28 March 1741 – 29 December 1813) was a British merchant particularly trading from London with Russia, [1] a banker and newspaper proprietor. Notably, he was Governor of the Bank of England during the 1797 currency crisis, when the Bank was prohibited by the British Government from paying out in gold.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. The UK's 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi) were home to an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

Governor of the Bank of England senior position in the Bank of England

The Governor of the Bank of England is the most senior position in the Bank of England. It is nominally a civil service post, but the appointment tends to be from within the bank, with the incumbent grooming his or her successor. The Governor of the Bank of England is also Chairman of the Monetary Policy Committee, with a major role in guiding national economic and monetary policy, and is therefore one of the most important public officials in the United Kingdom.



Raikes was born at Gloucester in 1741, third son of Robert Raikes the Elder and Mary Drew. His brothers included Robert Raikes, the founder and promoter of Sunday schools, and William Raikes, a director of the South Sea Company.

Gloucester City and Non-metropolitan district in England

Gloucester is a city and district in Gloucestershire, in the South West of England, of which it is the county town. Gloucester lies close to the Welsh border, on the River Severn, between the Cotswolds to the east and the Forest of Dean to the southwest.

Robert Raikes the Elder was a British printer and newspaper proprietor. He is noted as a pioneer of the press who was instrumental in bringing printing out of London and to the provinces.

Sunday school Christian educational institution

A Sunday school is an educational institution, usually Christian in character. They were first set up in the 1780s in England to provide education to working children. Today, Sunday school has become the generic name for many different types of religious education pursued and conducted on Sundays by various denominations.

Raikes was Governor of the Bank of England from 1797 to 1799, during the crisis of 1797 when war had so diminished gold reserves that the Government prohibited the Bank from paying out in gold and ordered the use of banknotes instead.

Bank of England Central bank of the United Kingdom

The Bank of England is the central bank of the United Kingdom and the model on which most modern central banks have been based. Established in 1694 to act as the English Government's banker, and still one of the bankers for the Government of the United Kingdom, it is the world's eighth-oldest bank. It was privately owned by stockholders from its foundation in 1694 until it was nationalised in 1946.

French Revolutionary Wars series of conflicts fought between the French Republic and several European monarchies from 1792 to 1802

The French Revolutionary Wars were a series of sweeping military conflicts lasting from 1792 until 1802 and resulting from the French Revolution. They pitted France against Great Britain, Austria, Prussia, Russia and several other monarchies. They are divided in two periods: the War of the First Coalition (1792–97) and the War of the Second Coalition (1798–1802). Initially confined to Europe, the fighting gradually assumed a global dimension. After a decade of constant warfare and aggressive diplomacy, France had conquered a wide array of territories, from the Italian Peninsula and the Low Countries in Europe to the Louisiana Territory in North America. French success in these conflicts ensured the spread of revolutionary principles over much of Europe.

Banknote Form of physical currency made of paper, cotton or polymer

A banknote is a type of negotiable promissory note, made by a bank, payable to the bearer on demand. Banknotes were originally issued by commercial banks, which were legally required to redeem the notes for legal tender when presented to the chief cashier of the originating bank. These commercial banknotes only traded at face value in the market served by the issuing bank. Commercial banknotes have primarily been replaced by national banknotes issued by central banks.

Thomas Raikes was a personal friend of Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger, and of William Wilberforce, the leader of the campaign against the slave trade.

William Pitt the Younger 18th/19th-century British statesman

William Pitt the Younger was a prominent British Tory statesman of the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. He became the youngest UK Prime Minister in 1783 at the age of 24. He left office in 1801, but served as Prime Minister again from 1804 until his death in 1806. He was Chancellor of the Exchequer for most of his time as Prime Minister.

William Wilberforce English politician

William Wilberforce was a British politician, philanthropist, and a leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade. A native of Kingston upon Hull, Yorkshire, he began his political career in 1780, eventually becoming an independent Member of Parliament (MP) for Yorkshire (1784–1812). In 1785, he became an Evangelical Christian, which resulted in major changes to his lifestyle and a lifelong concern for reform.

Raikes died at Stanwell House, Middlesex 29 December 1813.


On 8 December 1774 at St George's, Bloomsbury, London, Raikes married Charlotte, daughter of Henry Finch, and granddaughter of Daniel Finch, 2nd Earl of Nottingham. [2] With Charlotte he had four sons and five daughters. Their eldest son Thomas became a noted London diarist; another son, Henry, became a churchman, eventually Chancellor of the Diocese of Chester. One of their daughters, Georgiana (d. 02 December 1861), married Lord William FitzRoy.

Bloomsbury area of the London Borough of Camden, in London, England, UK

Bloomsbury is a district in the West End of London, famed as a fashionable residential area and as the home of numerous prestigious cultural, intellectual, and educational institutions. It is bounded by Fitzrovia to the west, Covent Garden to the south, Regent's Park and St. Pancras to the north, and Clerkenwell to the east.

Daniel Finch, 2nd Earl of Nottingham English politician and noble

Daniel Finch, 2nd Earl of Nottingham, 7th Earl of Winchilsea PC, was an English Tory statesman during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.

Thomas Raikes (dandy) British merchant banker, dandy and diarist

Thomas Raikes was a British merchant banker, dandy and diarist.

Charlotte Raikes, wife of Thomas Raikes, portrait by George Romney George Romney - Charlotte, Mrs Thomas Raikes - Google Art Project.jpg
Charlotte Raikes, wife of Thomas Raikes, portrait by George Romney

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  1. Page 9 of Robert Raikes Journalist & Philanthropist by Alfred Gregory, published by Hodder and Stoughton 1880
  2. Pages 5 and 13 of Pedigree of Raikes published 1930 by Phillimore, London
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Government offices
Preceded by
Daniel Giles
Governor of the Bank of England
Succeeded by
Samuel Thornton