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Silent PartnersWomen as Public Investors during Britain's Financial Revolution, 1690-1750$
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Amy M. Froide

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198767985

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198767985.001.0001

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The Financial and Political Agency of Female Investors

The Financial and Political Agency of Female Investors

(p.178) 7 The Financial and Political Agency of Female Investors
Silent Partners

Amy M. Froide

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores a number of ways in which female investors exercised financial agency: by actively managing portfolios of stocks that they inherited, instead of passively collecting dividends; by serving as financial agents or brokers for both kin and unrelated individuals; and by getting involved in legal proceedings against fraudulent companies as well as engaging in shareholder meeting votes and company politics. The examples of Mariabella Elliott, Hester Pinney, and Eleanor Curzon illustrate these various types of financial agency. A case study of Pinney, a lace trader turned public investor, is provided. A final section explores the financial agency of female investors in aggregate, and what I term their “financial patriotism.” Women’s capital enabled Britain’s rise to a military, economic, and colonial power in the eighteenth century. While perhaps not always intentional, women were “functional” fiscal patriots.

Keywords:   Mariabella Elliott, Hester Pinney, Eleanor Curzon, financial agency, broker, shareholder elections, public creditor, financial patriotism

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