Pressure on the Bank of England's bullion reserves had increased dramatically at the start of the year with the secession crisis in the United States. The pressure eased in February and April and the Bank was able to reduce its discount rate, the interest charged to smaller banks, from the emergency high of eight percent to five. Within days, however, the outbreak of the American Civil War again drained Bank of England gold reserves, half a million pounds sterling in April alone, and the rate was quickly raised once more to six percent. (By John Osborne)
Chronicle, The Annual Register or a View of the History and Politics of the Year 1861 (London: F. & J. Rivington, 1862), 23.