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The Old Cock Inn, Halifax
14th October 1769

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In this pub, David Hartley - the King of the Yorkshire Coiners was finally arrested in October 1769.

While the pub was then a meeting point for the innovative financiers who cocked a snook at society and the government, it also played host to the birth of an entirely different kind of financial institution. In 1852, a small group of men gathered there to set up an investment and loan society for the benefit of local working people. Members with spare cash could invest it with the society while others could borrow, using the funds to buy or build a house. Those lending would be paid interest by those borrowing. Such arrangements became increasingly commonplace in the 19th century, and in this case the society so formed became the Halifax Permanent Benefit Building Society later that year.

Arguably, by 2010, the noble and simple aim for self-sufficiency expressed in the creation of the Halifax had become subsumed by greed and a rapacious cost to the state every bit as vast and insidious as that carried out by the Cragg Vale Coiners themselves.

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Author: Carps   |  Last updated: 15th March 2012 | © Weird Island 2010-2014
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