Monday, May 10, 2010

Ruthwell Savings Bank Founded

The creation of the world's first savings bank is credited to Reverend Henry Duncan of Lochrutton.  According to, the Ruthwell Savings Bank did not lend to businesses, or issue bank notes.  Instead, deposits were invested with the Commissioners of the National Debt.  Duncan's vision was for "the erection of an economical bank for the savings of the industrious", which would help the poor achieve financial independence (

Henry Duncan had a deep appreciation of literature, and knew Robert Burns, among others.  His connection with Sir Walter Scott is somewhat a reactionary one.  Duncan derived from a line of Covenanters - on both the paternal and maternal sides.  Reportedly, Duncan enjoyed Scott's works, but felt the treatment afforded to Covenanters in "Old Mortality" was inequitable.  He therefore endeavored to set the record straight with a novel of his own.  In 1926, Duncan published "William Douglas, or the Scottish Exiles".

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