Record

CodeNA4676
Dates1817-1825
Person NameTrustees of the Creditors of the Treasury; 1817-1825; Aberdeen
EpithetAberdeen
ActivityThe town of Aberdeen had seen considerable development since the beginning of the nineteenth century, at a time when building work was expensive because of the Napoleonic Wars. In 1799 the town councillors arranged for wealthy citizens to lend the town money for the developments at 4% interest as an investment. The idea was that the town improvements would bring more prosperity to the Council and the debts would be adequately repaid, but the end of the Wars brought a financial depression. By the beginning of 1817 the debt had grown out of control, creditors were trying to reclaim their money through the courts, and a crisis meeting of the creditors was called by the Council on 21 February 1817. The purpose was to prevent a run on the investment and to institute some plan which would content the creditors but at the same time not ruin the town. The creditors and their agents at the meeting were given a full statement of the town’s accounts, by which it was seen that the total valuation of the Council’s property was £241,663 6s 4d. It was proposed by Alexander Crombie of Phesdo, and seconded by Thomas Burnett of Park, that a trust should be set up at once, with selected creditors as trustees, including representatives of the Guildry, Gordon’s Hospital, the Poors Hospital and the Infirmary, which were all creditors. The Council would make over all community property, including that of the New Streets Trustees, to this trust, which would have the power to use it in whatever way it wished, including full sale, to recoup some of the debt and put the Council back on a firm financial footing. The trustees were to be volunteers, and their aim was to allow all the creditors to be repaid fairly, while avoiding the depredations that going to court would cause. The Town Council made over its property to the trust by trust deed on 3 March 1817, and the New Streets Trustees did the same two days later. The newly appointed Creditors’ Trustees had already held their first meeting on 22 February, in which they sought to persuade those who had already tried to claim their money back from the council to withdraw their claim for the time being. For almost eight years the creditors’ trust administered the property formerly belonging to the council and to the New Streets Trustees, gradually diminishing part of the debt. However, on 16 December 1824, at a council meeting, the Provost announced to the council that the directors of the Banking Company in Aberdeen had agreed to a loan of between £40,000 and £50,000 upon the Treasurer depositing with them bills or vouchers for the debts due to him by the Harbour Trustees and the Trustees on the Stonehaven Turnpike Road. Notices had been placed in the newspapers and as a result several creditors had come forward to take payment of the sums due to them, though many wished their money to remain at four percent interest with the town and others expressed a wish to invest still further. The Council ratified the decision to take part of the loan and retain the willing creditors, thus ending the crisis. The Creditors’ Trust was disbanded, and the property returned to the town.
Corporate NameTrustees of the Creditors of the Treasury
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