Lending stock

One of John Wesley's responses to the poverty he encountered in London was to set up a fund at the *Foundery in 1746 from which interest-free loans of up to £1 (later raised to £5) could be made as an alternative to resorting to a pawnbroker. To launch it he begged £30 from London friends. Two stewards were appointed to administer the fund at the Foundery every Tuesday morning. Loans were to be repaid weekly within three months. In its first 18 months over 250 loans were made. In January 1748 a public collection increased the lending stock to £50 and in 1767 it rose to £120. Its most famous beneficiary was the bookseller James *Lackington in 1774.

  • WHS Proceedings 3, pp.197-98, 5 p.192

Entry written by: JAV
Category: Subject
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