Boyd, Walter

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Two letters written by Walter Boyd: 1. Letter to Henry Dundas, wrriten from New Broad Street on 23 Mar 1797, concerning Walter Boyd's difficulty in raising money as '£70,000 which Mr.McDowall's house had applied for to the Grenada Board' was not available. [Half the money had been promised to him by the Commissioners appointed under the act of 1795 (35 Geo.III c.127) to make loans to such persons in Great Britain who were in difficulties because of the Civil War in Grenada and St Vincent, and who were in a position to provide proper security. See Ragatz, L.J. The Fall of the Planter Class in the British Caribbean (New York, 1963).] 2. Letter to 'My dear friend', dated 23 Mar [1797] and unsigned, concerning Boyd's financial difficulties. Mentions William Pitt and Henry Dundas.

Administrative / Biographical History

Walter Boyd (1754-1837) worked as a banker in Paris previous to the French Revolution, which led him to flee for his life, leaving the assets of his firm Boyd, Ker and Co to be confiscated in October 1793. He established another banking firm, Boyd, Benfield and Co, in London in the same year, and was for a time very successful. Boyd and his partner Paul Benfield were elected to parliament for Shaftesbury (1795-1802). However, the permanent loss of his Paris properties eventually led to the liquidation of the firm and Boyd's financial ruin. Boyd visited France during the brief interval of peace (March 1802-May 1803), and was detained when war broke out again. He was not released until the fall of Napoleon in 1814. On his return to England Boyd recovered some of his former prosperity, becoming MP for Lymington from 1823-1830. He also wrote several pamphlets on financial subjects. See also S.R.Cope, Walter Boyd : a merchant banker in the age of Napoleon (1983).

Conditions Governing Access

Access to the items in the collection is unrestricted for the purpose of private study and personal research within the controlled environment and restrictions of the Library's Palaeography Room. Access to archive collections may be restricted under the Freedom of Information Act. Please contact the University Archivist for details.

Acquisition Information

Given by Dr. S.R. Cope in 1981.

Other Finding Aids

Collection level description.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

1. 2 leaves; 2. 4 leaves.

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Sarah Aitchison as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project.

Separated Material

Further material relating to Walter Boyd is held at Trinity College Library, Cambridge University.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be made, subject to the condition of the original. Copying must be undertaken by the Palaeography Room staff, who will need a minimum of 24 hours to process requests.

Related Material

There are facsimiles of other letters of Boyd in the University of London Library (Ref: MS/F 178 and 225). The Library also holds S.R.Cope, Walter Boyd : a merchant banker in the age of Napoleon (1983), shelved at 63 MUFL/Cop.