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Business School Receives Collection of Over 300 Books and Pamphlets Given by Bancroft

Bequest Pertains to the "South Sea Bubble", a Wild Speculative Venture in 1711


Over 300 books and pamphlets relating to the "South Sea Bubble" of the years following 1710, have been given to the Business School. They constitute the collection of the late Hugh Bancroft '97, who died in 1932, and were presented by Mrs. Bancroft in accordance with the wishes of her husband, although no specific bequest was contained in the will.

Mr. Bancroft was publisher of the Wall Street Journal and Barron's Weekly, besides being president of the Boston News Bureau and the Cohasset National Bank.

His collection, which took a number of years to complete, contains books, pamphlets, manuscripts, Acts of Parliament, and other material pertaining to the speculative mania which swept over England in 1711 and reached its peak in 1720.

"The Governor and Company of Merchants of Great Britain Trading to the South Seas and Other Parts of America for Encouraging the Fishing" was chartered in 1711.

In the collection is a copy of the Parliamentary statute creating the company, as well as subsequent acts enlarging or amending its rights and powers. There are six folio volumes labelled "Autographs of English, Scotch, and Irish Peers; South Sea Documents", which contain the list of victims. Here are to be found the documents and signatures of George II, and Queen Caroline when Prince and Princess of Wales, Lord Chesterfield, the Earl of Buckingham, and Sir Robert Walpole, as well as countless others.

Arthur H. Cole, professor of Business Economics and librarian of the Baker Library of the Business School, said:

"Obviously the Bancroft Collection is a jewel of exceptional quality. The Library and the School may well consider themselves fortunate in receiving such a splendid addition to their assembly of material relating to business history."

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