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British Library of Political and Economic Science

South Sea Company: Parliamentary Reports


Reference code(s): GB 0097 SR 1073

Held at: British Library of Political and Economic Science

Title: South Sea Company: Parliamentary Reports

Date(s): 1721

Level of description: Collection (fonds)

Extent: 1 volume

Name of creator(s): House of Commons


Administrative/Biographical history:

The South Sea Company was founded in 1711 to trade with Spanish America, on the assumption that the War of the Spanish Succession would end with a treaty permitting such trade. The Treaty of Utrecht, 1713, was less favourable than had been hoped, but confidence in the Company remained artificially high. In 1720, there was an incredible boom in South Sea stock, as a result of the Company's proposal, accepted by parliament, to take over the national debt (South Sea Bubble). This eventually led to the collapse of the stock market in 1720 and the ruin of many investors. The House of Commons ordered an inquiry, which showed that at least three ministers had accepted bribes and speculated.


Scope and content/abstract:

Printed reports of the House of Commons Committee of Secrecy, 1721, appointed to enquire into the 'Act for Enabling the South Sea Company to increase their present capital stock by redeeming such publick debts and incumbrances...and for calling in Exchequer Bills remaining uncancelled...'.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

1 volume.

Conditions governing access:


Conditions governing reproduction:

[Crown copyright].

Physical characteristics:

Finding aids:

No further list required.


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

Bought in 1947. Also known as R 1073.

Immediate source of acquisition:


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

The British Library of Political and Economic Science holds another collection relating to the South Sea Company (Ref: SR 0083).

The British Library, London, holds records of the South Sea Company, 1711-1856 (Ref: Add Mss 25494-584); the House of Lords Record Office has minutes, accounts, receipts and subscription books, 1711-1733; the Guildhall Library, London, contains correspondence and receipts, 1711-1765; the University of London Library holds warrants, deeds and accounts, 1712-1724 (Ref: Mss 89, 394); London Metropolitan Archives has a register of clerks, 1720-1853.

Publication note:



Archivist's note: Sources: Historical Manuscripts Commission National Register of Archives. Compiled by Sarah Aitchison as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: Mar 2001

Financial markets | Investment | Finance
International trade | Trade
Trade (practice)

Personal names

Corporate names
House of Commons | Committee of Secrecy
South Sea Company x Corporation for carrying on trade to the South Seas

Latin America x South America