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Story of Money

Section 8: Banking evolves Previous | Next | Section Index
Early checks were similar to our checks today
People who kept their valuables in goldsmiths’ vaults could transfer their claims to someone else. Merchants began accepting these “messages to pay” as payment. These handwritten documents varied considerably in form but carried most of the same basic information as modern checks.

The check here reads as follows:
Mr. Wellingborough Fflowles
I desire you to pay unto Sir Samuel Lawton or bearer upon receipt hereof the sum of Sixe pounds fifteene shillings and nine pence and place it to the account of Yre Servant Jeremy Farthington.
6 June Ao Dom 1680 6:15:9d
Ffor Mr. Wellingborough Fflowles, Goldsmith at his shoppe between the two temple gates, Ffleete streete.
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