There are two major strands to the history of the London Stock Exchange. The first concerns the growth and development of the modern securities market, both within Britain and internationally, for this was the reason that the London Stock Exchange existed. At the same time the London Stock Exchange played a very important role in the operation of this market for most of its existence. The second concerns the evolution of institutional control over that market as the number of participants and users grew, and the business became ever more complex. Again, the London Stock Exchange exerted a dominant influence in determining the structure of the modern securities market, both domestically and globally. It is only by bringing these two strands together, and tracing their interaction, that the history of the London Stock Exchange can be fully understood. The history of the London Stock Exchange is not simply the history of the British securities market and nor is the history of that market solely that of the London Stock Exchange. There were many distinctive features behind the origin and functioning of the London Stock Exchange that had serious consequences for the securities market at particular times, as well as influences on its day-to-day operations. Conversely, the scale and nature of the securities market that developed in Britain from the eighteenth century onwards, created particular challenges and opportunities for the London Stock Exchange. By combining the two strands of market and institution in the history of the London Stock Exchange over a long time-span it becomes possible to assess the contribution of each to
This introduction is culled from my research for the History of the London Stock Exchange and my previously published work on stock exchange history, especially the following: Money, Mania and Markets: Investment Company Formation and the Stock Exchange in Nineteenth Century Scotland ( Edinburgh 1981); The London and New York Stock Exchanges, 1850-1914 ( London 1987); "'Different in Name Only? The London Stock Exchange and Foreign Bourses c.1850-1914'", Business History, 30 ( 1988), repr. in R. P. T. Davenport-Hines and G. Jones (eds.), "The End of Insularity: Essays in Comparative Business History" ( London 1988); "'The Canadian Securities Market, 1850-1914'", Business History Review, 62 ( 1988); "'The London Stock Exchange and the British Economy, 1870-1939'", in J. J. Van Helten and Y. Cassis (eds.), Capitalism in a Mature Economy (Aldershot 1990); "'The Development of the Stock Market'", in P. Newman, M. Milgate, and J. Eatwell (eds.), The New Palgrave Dictionary of Money and Finance ( London/ New York 1992); "'The London and Provincial Stock Exchange, 1799-1973: Separation, Integration, Rivalry, Unity'", in D. H. Aldcroft and A. Slaven (eds.), Enterprise and Management (Aldershot 1995); "'Friend or foe? Information Technology and the London Stock Exchange since 1700'", J. of Historical Geography, 23 ( 1997); "'Stock Exchanges and Economic Growth, 1830-1939'", in P. Cottrell and J. Reis (eds.), Finance and the Making of Modern Capitalism (forthcoming); "'The Invisible Stabiliser: Asset Arbitrage and the International Monetary System Since 1700'", Financial History Review, 15 ( 1998).