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Thomas Raikes ("the Elder") (28 March 1741 – 29 December 1813) was a Britishmarker merchant particularly trading from London with Russia, a banker and newspaper proprietor. Notably, he was Governor of the Bank of England during the 1797 currency crisis, when the Bank was prohibited by the British Government from paying out in gold.


Raikes was born at Gloucestermarker in 1741, third son of Mary Drew and the elder Robert Raikes.

On 8 December 1774 at St George's, Bloomsburymarker, London, Raikes married Charlotte, daughter of Henry Finch, and grand-daughter of Daniel Earl of Winchilsea. With Charlotte he had four sons and five daughters. Their eldest son Thomas became a noted London diarist; another son, Henry, became a churchman, eventually Chancellor of the Diocese of Chestermarker.

Governor of the Bank of England 1797–1799

Thomas Raikes was Governor of the Bank of Englandmarker from from 1797 to 1799, during the crisis of 1797 when war had so diminished gold reserves that the Government prohibited the Bank from paying out in gold and ordered the use of banknotes instead.

Thomas Raikes was a personal friend of Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger, and of William Wilberforce, the leader of the campaign against the slave trade.

Raikes died at Stanwell House, Middlesex 29 December 1813.


  • Frank Booth Robert Raikes of Gloucester published 1980.
  • John Clapham History of the Bank of England
  • Alfred Gregory, Robert Raikes Journalist & Philanthropist published by Hodder and Stoughton 1880
  • J M Harris Robert Raikes, the man and his works.
  • Kent's Directory for the Year 1794. Cities of London and Westminster, & Borough of Southwark.
  • Duncan Raikes (compiled by), Pedigree of Raikes published 1980 by Phillimore ISBN 0-900592-73-7 based on the 1930 "privately printed" edition also published by Phillimore.
  • Senate Housemarker Library, University of London: Raikes, Thomas : An account book covering the period 31 March 1802–31 October 1808.

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