17 November 2014

A statement of the sums due to Coutts by the late Mr. Pitt

In February 1806, the late Mr. Pitt's banker, Mr. Thomas Coutts, drew up a statement of the sums Mr. Pitt still owed to him. Pitt had died heavily in debt on 23 January 1806, and one of his creditors was Mr. Coutts. Pitt's two chosen executors, his brother John, the 2nd Earl of Chatham, and the Bishop of Lincoln, exchanged some correspondence with Coutts on the matter of Pitt's outstanding debts. 

Below is the statement that Mr. Coutts drew up for Pitt's executors:

"Statement of Sums due by the late Mr. Pitt (drawn up on 1st February 1806) -

On a Mortgage upon Burton Pynsent dated 27 August 1796 on which Interest is paid to the 2d August last - £5,805.6.11

On His [Pitt's] & Lord Chatham’s joint Bond dated 27 July 1791 on which Interest is paid to 27 July last - 6,000[£]

On His [Pitt's] Account Current on which Interest is paid to Midsummer last - 3,149.3.2[£]”

Taken in all, the amount to Coutts added up to nearly £15,000. Sadly, Pitt was in debt for the entirety of his adult life, beginning in the early 1780s. In many ways, the example left by his father's relationship with money did Pitt more harm than good. The Bishop of Lincoln, later known as the Bishop of Winchester, was still sorting out Pitt's unresolved financial affairs 15 years after Pitt's passing

More details regarding the lengthy ensuing correspondence between Chatham, Coutts, and the Bishop of Lincoln will be discussed in a future post. 

Reference:

Pitt's financial affairs (February 1806) U1590/S5/C42. Pitt MSS: The Kent History and Library Centre.

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