It is not generally known, that, under the provisions of its ancient charter, the Governor and Corporation of the Bank of England are obliged not only to purchase at the fair value any precious metals tendered to them , but also to take charge of any gold or silver, in ingots or plate, that may be brought to them for safekeeping. From time to time plate chests have been deposited with this view in the vaults of the Bank, and many of them have been there so long that they are actually rotting away. On a recent occasion the servants of the Bank discovered a chest, which, on being moved, literacy fell to pieces. On examining the contents a quantity of massive plate was discovered of the period of Charles II . This circumstance might not in itself be very interesting, but that there was found with the plate a parcel, which proved to be a bundle of old love-letters, carefully arranged according to their dates. An inspection of them revealed a correspondence of a tender and romantic description carried on during the period of the Restoration. The name of the writer was found to be Berners, and, after considerable search among the archives of the institution, it was found that a family of that name had been connected with the bank about the time in question. Acting upon this clue, the directors prosecuted their enquiry, and being satisfied that a gentleman of the same name, now living, is the lineal representative of the owner of the plate and the love-letters, both have been handed to him. The plate has been sent to Messrs. Lambert, the celebrated silversmiths of Coventry-street, London, to be cleaned, and the newly-discovered owner has permitted it to be shown to anyone interested in plate of the period. The love-letters are not, however, on view.
Source: The Court Journal - October 1873