At Spes non Fracta: Hope & Co. 1770–1815 by Marten Gerbertus Buist

By Marten Gerbertus Buist

The atmosphere for this research is mirrored within the sub-title 'Merchant bankers and diplomats at paintings. ' the purpose is to stick with the companions of their many and numerous actions: of their dating in the direction of one another, of their contacts with different homes and of their attitudes in the direction of govt of­ ficials. in addition, the writer has tried to teach the explanations for his or her advertisement and fiscal activities, the place those have been discernible. some extent of departure corresponding to this means that the surviving correspondence consti­ tutes the vital resource of data. Quantitative information are integrated, yet inside this framework their position is subsidiary. simply because this ebook is meant for varied different types of readers, it's been divided into 3 elements. The introductory bankruptcy, which incorporates an abridged background of wish & Co. as much as 1815, is meant for these whose curiosity within the topic is of a extra common nature. within the comparable bankruptcy, a couple of major issues resembling the expansion of overseas loans within the Nether­ lands and the method in keeping with se of issuing loans are mentioned, and at­ tention is dedicated to a couple of the issues of exchange and to the query no matter if wish & Co. may be seen as retailers or as bankers. In end, an impact is given of the half performed by means of Amsterdam as a monetary centre in the course of the Napoleonic period and of the very unprecedented po­ sition which desire & Co. occupied at that time.

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2 In their activities on behalf of absolute monarchs, Hope & Co. came in contact with intriguing cliques and Court cabals, which in many cases served to determine the course of government. The difficulties which this produced are clear from the description of Robert Vo[lte's first sojourn in Russia. 4 At the time of the Spanish affairs, Hope suffered greatly from the trouble stirred up by a Spanish confidential agent in Paris, Izquierdo, who regarded Hope as a lackey of Napoleon and equated the house with the speculator-financier Ouvrard.

As general merchants, this division was in any case of minor importance, since the house combined all three functions. Nor was there any question of specialization, geographical or in terms of merchandise. Hope's commercial contacts embraced the whole of Europe and north and central America, stretching from Archangel to Asia Minor. As far as wares were concerned, it would be difficult to find an article in which the house did not trade: money, grain, colonial produce, ship's articles, gold, silver, diamonds, drysaltery, ordnance, textiles, tobacco, tea, wine, flower bulbs; in short, anything which could be sold at a profit was traded.

Henry Hope's country seat was designed by the consul of the Sardinian Court in The Hague, Triquetti, who had modelled it on the Borghese and Albani villas in Rome. When it was completed, in 1788, Hope obtained permission from the municipal authorities to transplant some of the trees in the Haarlemmerhout (at his own expense) in order to obtain an uninterrupted view from the house. 'Welgelegen' is the only example of a villa suburbana in the French classic style which exists in the Netherlands. The facade, with its centrepiece of twin Doric and Ionic columns, is characterized by a terrace which extends over the full width and is approached by means of two curved drives.

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