How Handel played the Bank of England

How Handel played the Bank of England


norman lebrecht

November 30, 2019

George Frederick Handel was probably the only composer ever to have a personal account at the Bank of England.

The Bank would keep a late window open for him on opera nights so he could deposit the box-office takings.

Now the Bank has opened his accounts.

Here‘s a fascinating study by Ellen T. Harris.

… Handel held his account in South Sea Annuities at the Bank of England from 1723 to 1732, and it is the activity here that tracks Handel’s finances during those years. Unlike Handel’s shares in the South Sea Company, the account in annuities was no investment for Handel. Rather, he treated it like a cash account. Additions of stock were sold after relatively short intervals, sometimes leaving the account empty for months at a time …

Read on here.


  • Greg Bottini says:

    Apparently, he needed someone to Handel his finances….