The Garden Guide

Book: London and Its Environs, 1927
Chapter: 28 Bank of England, Royal Exchange, Mansion House

Stock Exchange

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In Lothbury, on the north side of the Bank, is the church of St. Margaret , rebuilt by Wren in 1690. The well-lighted interior contains an exquisite carved font, by Grinling Gibbons, and a fine chancel screen (one of the only two in Wren's churches) and pulpit, brought hither from All Hallows the Great, in Upper Thames St. (demolished in 1895). The bronze bust of Sir Peter le Maire (died 1631), at the west end of the nave, came from St. Christopher le Stocks. To the east of the Bank, in Capel Court, occupying the greater part of the triangular area defined by Throgmorton St., Bartholomew Lane, and parts of Threadneedle St. and Old Broad St., is the Stock Exchange, the headquarters of the dealers in negotiable securities. The present building dates from 1854 and 1884. Strangers are not admitted. Down to 1773 the London stockbrokers conducted their business in or near the Royal Exchange, but in that year they formed themselves into an association called the Stock Exchange. The site and building belong to a company entitled the Stock Exchange, which is under the control of nine Trustees and Managers, to whom entrance fees and subscriptions are paid. Distinct from these 'proprietors' are the Members of the Exchange, now over 4000 in number, who appoint a Committee for General Purposes, which regulates the business and discipline of the 'House' (the familiar name for the Exchange). A special feature of the London Stock Exchange is the differentiation of its members into Stock-jobbers and Stock-Brokers. The jobber or dealer does business only with other members, 'making prices' and dealing in certain classes of securities selected by himself. Bargains are made 'on the nod'; defaulters are liable to be 'hammered.' The broker acts as intermediary between the jobbers and the general public. Speculators on a rise in prices are known as 'bulls,' those who speculate on a fall as 'bears.' Members, who are elected on the nomination of a retiring member, pay an entrance fee of 600 guineas, and an annual subscription of 100 guineas, must become owner of at least three shares in the Stock Exchange company, and must find three securities of �500 each for their first four years. Applicants who have served as clerks for four years pay an entrance fee of 300 guineas and a subscription of 50 guineas. The members' 'Street' market in Throgmorton St. and the adjacent courts, where securities are dealt in after closing hours, is very animated, especially during a 'boom.' 'Outside brokers,' or non-members of the Stock Exchange, include some old-established firms and others of a less stable character ('bucket-shops').