On thursday the Bank of England reduced the Bank rate to 1.5%, as an effort to achieve its mainained target for CPI inflation of 2%. In spite of being an inflation targeter, the decision seems especially driven by the necessity to restore confidence in the market and provide a further stimulus to economic activity.
One historical curiosity that comes together with this decision is the following: today's Bank Rate is at its lowest level since 1694, which is the time the Bank of England was founded. The motivation behind the creation of a national bank, was to sustain the troubled financial position of the british government after the "Glorious Revolution". A scottish banker, William Patterson, envisaged a loan of £1,200,000 being made to the Government, in return for which the subscribers would be incorporated as the "Governor and Company of the Bank of England", with banking privileges including the issue of notes. The story is also here.
By the way,the Bank of England is not the first National Bank created. The very first one is this.