After the Glorious Revolution of 1689 reestablished Britain’s finances, this stability allowed equity markets to grow. This ultimately led to the Bubble of the 1720s which resulted from the government’s attempt to do a debt-equity swap for the bonds it had issued in the 17th Century. The UK data includes daily data on the South Sea and other stocks that traded during the first equity bubble in history. Data are also included on the East Indies Company in Amsterdam and the Mississippi Company in France.
After the South Sea Bubble, only British Funds traded on the London Stock Exchange for the rest of the 1700s. By the 1800s, individual companies started to reappear on the London Stock Exchange, leading to a series of bubbles. Canal stocks went through their bubble in the 1810s, mining stocks in the 1820s as the British tried to invest in the South American countries that had just gained their independence, and the railroad bubble in the 1840s. The London Database includes data on these individual companies from 1807 on with daily data available from 1824 on.
Not only were hundreds of domestic companies listed on the Stock Exchange, but hundreds of foreign companies listed in London as well. The foreign listings included French, American and other European Railroads from the 1840s on, companies from British colonies, such as Australia, New Zealand, India, South Africa and others, South American companies, South African Gold Mining companies and many others.
By the 1860s, the London Stock Exchange was well established and the number of companies listed on the stock exchange grew quickly. Railroads represented the largest capitalization on the stock exchange, but banks, insurance companies, canals, breweries, utility companies and others were important as well.
After World War I, London was the largest financial market in the world. In 1929, over 4000 securities traded on the London Stock Exchange, including over 1300 common stocks, more than traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
Although the London Stock Exchange was eclipsed by the New York Stock Exchange after World War II, it remained the most important financial market in Europe for the rest of the Twentieth Century and still provides an important resource for understanding global financial markets.