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|M.T. Henry's business dealings
Written by Caroline
(3/14/2003 9:15 p.m.)
I've looked over the Caplan article again, and made a summary of the information it provides on Henry Austen's career as Army Agent, Banker and Entreprenuer. If it doesn't all make sense, it's because I have concentrated upon the primary evidence rather than on Caplan's extrapolations; to give you more comes close to regurgitating the whole article.
Linden, I owe you an apology: in asking about Moira I gave you the wrong man and the wrong location- no wonder you found no connection! However, this lot comes typed with the book in front of me, and should make better research material.
1793-1801 Officer of the Oxfords, became their paymaster.
His partner in Austen and Co. was Henry Maunde, another officer of the Oxfordshires, and another ex-paymaster.
April 1801, Frank got a big chunk of prize money, and seems to have become a partner in the firm.. Austen and Co also became Navy Agents, and were listed as such in contemporary directories. In November 1801, a certain Charles James also joined the company- Caplan thinks he was involved in the (dubious) selling of commissions. Charles James was a protégé of Lord Moira, and wrote a couple of military books.
The Peace of Amiens substantially reduced the profit in army finance, and Henry appealed to WH, without much luck.
In 1803, Austen, Maunde and Co. started dealing in wine…including to the Rev. H. Rice, at Deane., and in 1808 to Edward Austen, according to records.
1803, Austen and Co. moved to Cannon Row (close to Houses of Parliament) and obtained the agency for the Nottinghamshire Militia, (Col. Edward Thoroton Gould, of Mansfield Woodhouse) Sorry, Linden…I really messed that one up, didn’t I?….. and the North Devon Militia, (Col John Parker, 2nd Lord Boringdon, later Earl of Morley). Boringdon and wife and Henry got quite close over the years, and the B's seem to have followed Jane’s career as an author. Interestingly, Boringdon’s previous agent, William Ogilvie, had been made bankrupt.
In 1805, it was Henry that dealt with Goerge Austen’s estate, and met Nelson via Moira. Frank got two loads of prize money, and they set up a separate banking enterprise of Austen, Maunde and Austen.
In the Ministry of All Talents (1806), Moira was Master General of the Ordinance. Henry’s old Colonel, Lord Charles Spencer, became Master of the Mint.
Austen and Maunde got the agency of the Derbyshire Militia (Col Lord George Henry Augustus Cavendish, brother of 5th Duke of You-know-where) and of the 4th Garrison (Col Sir Charles Hastings, friend but not relative of WH, and cousin of Lord Moira)
In late 1806, Austen and Co was partner in three country banks, and correspondent for two London ones.
Alton Bank- partners Henry; Edward William Gray, of Alton; William Vincent, Gray’s uncle, who was also partner in a bank at Newbury.
Austen and Co in London acted as correspondents for Horwood Wells Bank, near Wincanton, Somerset,. This bank stopped payment in 1810. It’s possible that there was a connection with Gore- Langton here.
It was correspondent for the Buxton and High Peak Bank, proprietors the two George Goodwins. Good win Sr had been in the Derbyshire Militia.
In 1807, Henry got interested in a brewery business, but it didn’t come to anything.
In 1807, the new Col of the 4th Garrison took his business to another agency.
In 1807, James Tilson, former partner in the Dorset & co Bank, joined Austen, Maunde and Co.. He was brother of John Henry Tilson, Lt- Col Oxfordshires.. At one point Henry visted Lord Charles Spencer, whose son John was the Oxfordshire receiver of Taxes (Henry was his deputy). Another regimental agency followed- the Royal West Middlesex,( Col Edward Bayly) . The Devonshire’s new Col, one Whinfield Halton, kept the agency with Austen, Maunde and Co.
Lord Moira wrote himself a £6,000 loan on Austen, &Co.- 26 years later, Henry pleaded with Moira’s son to repay the debt, along with a mention of another creditor who didn’t pay up ..a Baron Adams, and several other men to whom Moira Snr owed money, namely Major Charles James (remember him?), Mr Louch (banker at Alton and Petersfield), and a Mr Hampson (one of Henry’s finacial backers and a distant relative). William Baron Adams, was a poltical fixer involved with managing Hasting’s impeachment, and debt-settler fo the prince of Wales and Duke of York,. Also present was William Seymour, a lawyer.
In 1813, John Spencer, Oxfordshire Receiver, was paid £2,000 by Henry, and Henry took over the full Receivership. He too was indebted to Henry for £6, 700. Henry’s guarantors for the receivership were Edward Austen/Knight, James Leigh Perrot, and Thomas Phillip Hampson, together posting bonds of £73,000 for two successive years, and £80, 000 in 1815. Henry went to Scotland, and lent money to Lord Robert Kerr, son of the Marquis of Lothian, and also money to Lord Balgonie (navy, friend of Charles Austen, and poor) . In 1815 he lent money to Eric Mackay, 7th Baron Reay , and to the Earl of Barrymore, neighbour of the Leigh Perrots.
After Napoleon was banished from Elba, the army monies dropped of again, and Frank’s partnership expired. After Waterloo, Austen &co got embroiled in “extents”. They issued an Extent in Aid against James Harfield, maltster , of Hampshire, for a debt of £3,700, and Harfield, wife and family moved into Fleet Prison. Henry became ill, and the Alton bank failed. Caplan blames the Depression, but also Edward Gray, who siphoned of a lot of the money to his family. Gray filed for bakruptcy, and Henry borrowed £10,00 from brother Edward. At the time of the failure, Henry was owed: £6,500 in notes and £2,222 in cash by E W Gray, the Hythe bank owed £3,200, the Petersfield Bank owed £7,249, William Blunt owed £3,474, George Goodwin owed £571, and Austen and Co. itself owed Henry £5,811.
Later Henry was personally to blame his bank partners for dissipating ten thousand pounds, and said Moira had defrauded him of over six thousand pounds.
Henry disclosed his debts and was set free, but penniless, in June 1816. He decide to go for holy orders , was ordained Deacon and appointed curate in Chawton in December 1816.
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