The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Boyd, Walter (1754–1837)

  • David Laidler
Reference work entry


Before the French Revolution, Walter Boyd was engaged as a banker in France, but by the time his firm’s property was confiscated by the French government in 1793, he was established in London as the leading member of the firm of Boyd Benfield & Co. At first this London venture was highly successful, and in 1797 Boyd entered Parliament as member for Shaftsbury, then a pocket borough owned by his partner. In this very year, however, Boyd Benfield & Co began to encounter the difficulties which were to culminate in its liquidation in 1800. The basic cause of Boyd’s ruin was his having entered into engagements in the expectation that his French property would be restored to him, an expectation that was finally disappointed in September 1797, but the events which precipitated the final collapse of his firm were the government’s refusal to employ it as a contractor for the loan of 1799 and the Bank of England’s final refusal to grant assistance in early 1800.


Bank of England Boyd, W. Bullionist controversy Convertibility Sinking Fund 

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  1. Baring, Sir F. 1801. Observations on the publication of Walter Boyd. London.Google Scholar
  2. Fetter, F.W. 1965. Development of British monetary orthodoxy: 1797–1875. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Laidler
    • 1
  1. 1.