Sunday, January 10, 2016

UK's Oldest Bank Recalls a Refugee Crisis

Sir Richard Hoare (1648-1719)
the bank's founder
Does Hoare's Bank, where Samuel Pepys kept his money, attract wealth management business because it's old and boring, or because it now offers a mobile banking app?

In any case old can be interesting. Hoare's history yields fascinating stories. Example: When Russia invaded the Northern Caucusus, it created a 19th-century parallel to the Syrian refugee crisis.
 [B]y 1859 huge numbers of Circassians were setting out across the Black Sea for Constantinople. So many, in fact, that it proved impossible to secure sufficient transport. As a result, reported The Levant Herald: vessels are crammed to suffocation with the exiles, who endure on the voyage to the Bosphorus all the horrors of another “middle passage”. During the past stormy season in the Black Sea above a dozen wrecks of these emigrant vessels occurred, hurrying many hundreds of these miserable creatures to death.i By January 1860 up to 20,000 people had made the perilous crossing. But while willing to receive them, the Turkish authorities were unable to cope with such a sudden influx of cold, hungry, exhausted and penniless refugees. Packed into insanitary encampments on the outskirts of Constantinople, it was not long before many began succumbing to disease. 

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