Ulrich Bindseil, European Central Bank, has published Some Pre-1800 French and German Central Bank Charters and Regulations. Here is the abstract.
In some recent studies, the question of the origins of central banking has been revisited, leading to the conclusion that beyond Swedish and British central banking, also a number of earlier European continental central banks would have played a more important role. However, it has been often difficult to access the charters and regulations of these early continental central banks – in particular in English – with Dunbar (1892) being the exception. This note contributes to close this gap in a limited sense by providing some translations of few charters and regulations of pre-1800 central banks from France and Germany, namely of the Hamburger Bank of 1619, the Leipziger Bank of 1698, the Banque Générale of John Law of 1716, the Prussian Royal Bank of 1766, and the Caisse d’Escompte of 1776. These early central banks were of heterogeneous success and duration, and actually some only partially or only temporarily deserved to be called a central bank. Moreover, they did not necessarily apply precisely their charters and regulations. Still, the texts provide important insights into the objectives and design of early continental central banks. This note does provide neither an interpretation, nor discussion, nor comparative review of the charters and regulations covered. However, it provides schematic introductions to each of the early central banks.The full text is not available from SSRN.