Women as Investors in Britain's First Stock Market
Amy M. Froide, Professor, History Department, UMBC
One of the world’s first stock markets emerged in the coffeehouses of London in the 1690s. Up to one third of investors in corporations such as the East India and South Sea companies, the Bank of England, and the national debt were women. Prof. Froide discusses how these women learned to invest, how they served as financial agents and broker for kin and others, and the types of financial agency that women exercised. Not only did women earn dividends, they challenged corporations in court, and voted in shareholder elections. Most importantly, women functioned as ‘financial patriots’, aiding in Britain’s emerging dominance as a colonial and trading power in the eighteenth century.
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