The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Palmer, John Horsley (1779–1858)

  • Anna J. Schwartz
Reference work entry


Governor of the Bank of England from 1830 to 1833, Palmer was a significant participant in 19th-century controversies concerning the Bank’s proper management. In 1802 he entered into a partnership with two others as East India merchants and shipowners, and remained active in business until weeks before his death in 1858. ‘[A] vigorous, outspoken man’ (Clapham 1944, vol. 2, p. 114), he was first elected a director of the Bank in 1811 and was regularly re-elected thereafter except for the usual hiatus every third year before 1828 and again in 1845–6. By 1857, when his service terminated, he was the senior director of the Court.


Bank Charter Act (1844) Bank of England Bank rate Central banking Palmer rule Usury Laws 

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  1. British Sessional Papers, session year, Parliamentary Paper number, volume number, pages of Palmer’s testimony: 1831–2 (722), VI, 7–70. 1840 (602), IV, 103–41. 1847–8 (395), VIII, Pt. 1, 147–68; Pt. 2, 521–3; 1847–8 (565), VIII, Pt. 3, 79–124. 1857, 2d sess. (220), X, Pts. 1, 2, App., 6 (Palmer letter, dated 15 October 1856); Index, 452.Google Scholar
  2. Clapham, J.H. 1944. The Bank of England: A history, 1694–1914. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Horsefield, J.K. 1949. The opinions of Horsley Palmer. Economica 16(62): 143–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Loyd, S.J. 1837. Reflections suggested by a Perusal of Mr. J. Horsley Palmer’s Pamphlet. London: Pelham Richardson.Google Scholar
  5. Matthews, R.C.O. 1954. A study in trade-cycle history: Economic fluctuations in Great Britain, 1833–1842. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Viner, J. 1937. Studies in the theory of international trade. New York: Harper.Google Scholar

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna J. Schwartz
    • 1
  1. 1.