Maberly Phillips.

A history of banks, bankers, & banking in Northumberland, Durham, and North Yorkshire, illustrating the commercial development of the north of England, from 1755 to 1894, with numerous portraits, facsimiles of notes, signatures, documents, &c online

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Online LibraryMaberly PhillipsA history of banks, bankers, & banking in Northumberland, Durham, and North Yorkshire, illustrating the commercial development of the north of England, from 1755 to 1894, with numerous portraits, facsimiles of notes, signatures, documents, &c → online text (page 1 of 57)
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A History


Banks, Bankers,



Andrew Dickson, Printer, 30 and 32, High Bridge.

The Father of Northern Banking,

Born lyji — died 1806.

From a Portrait in the possessioii of John B. Carr-Ellison, Esq., Uedgeley.


Banks, Bankers, & Banking,

Northumberland, Durham, and North Yorkshire,



FROM 1755 TO 1894,


Portraits, Facsimiles of Notes, Signatures,
Documents, &c.



London :

EFFINGHAM WILSON & CO., Royal Exchange.





(Bovcrnor, Dcput^^iBovernor, anb Court of Directors



3n tbe l^eac of its JBWentenarr,



riDaberlp pbilHpa.



T^HE attention of the reader is asked to a few words by way of preface.

In the year i860 Northumberland became the county of my adoption,
and very soon after my settlement I was impressed with the wide and varied field
that it offered for antiquarian research. I grew deeply interested in the past
records of the county, and became personally acquainted with many present day
contributors to the pages of local history.

There is only one step from admiration to imitation, and soon after becoming
a member of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, I began to
contribute short papers bearing upon unnoticed local incidents of the seventeenth
and eighteenth centuries. The investigations necessary for these purposes led me
to notice, that while the books on the shelves of our libraries gave many
interesting accounts of the various Trade Guilds in which the city is so excep-
tionally strong; and the MS. volumes of the "Merchants-adventurers" were full of
unpublished records of Hostmen and Boothmen — the merchant princes of their
day — no mention was made of Banking, the occupation in which my lot had been
cast. The early historians treated of pre-banking days, and the modem writers of
history, from some unexplained cause, made the barest possible reference to the
bankers. Further search revealed that Newcastle had possessed one of the earliest
provincial banks, but there was no written account of it. I therefore contemplated
gathering all available particulars of the "Old Bank" of Newcastle, intending to
offer the result to the Society of Antiquaries. From Mr. Cuthbert Carr, whose
ancestor had founded the bank, I received most generous aid. I also consulted
Mr. C. J. Spence, whose father, Mr. Robert Spence, had been a collector of
manuscripts and original documents relating to a variety of subjects, amongst
others, that of banking. He readily showed me the collection, and generously
offered the use of it in any way I thought most desirable. Subsequently, I
contemplated a short history of Northern Banking, and upon mentioning the
matter to Mr. Richard Welford, the historian of Newcastle, he encouraged me by


saying : — " There is room for such a work as you name ; call it a History of
Banks, Bankers, and Banking ; there's your title — gather your information —
write your book — and then consider the question of publication." Our conver-
sation occurred in the late autumn of 1891. Knowing that 1894 would be the
bi-centenary of the Bank of England, withi which for so long a time I had been
associated, I determined, that if possible, the result of my labours should appear
during that year. Materials soon came to hand far more abundantly than I had
contemplated. My original purpose was to confine my attention to the two
Northern Counties, but the offer of valuable information from the Whitby district,
led me eventually to adopt the somewhat erratic geographical district that I have

Gradually the work resolved itself into the form and style in which it is now
presented to the reader. None knows its imperfections better than the writer,
but he trusts that the book may be found worthy of a place amongst the histories
upon the library shelf, and the directories in the bank parlour. The account of
some of the banks is very incomplete, but it is hoped that the scanty information
given, may prove a foundation upon which others can build. My endeavour
throughout has been to give first place to the records of banks and bankers of the
last century, and, as far as possible, to keep the pages free from information both
of a business and personal nature, that could easily be obtained from other sources.
Formidable as the work may appear, and although I have exceeded my estimated
length by about one hundred pages, yet want of space has compelled an
abridgement of the account of some of the firms. My list of present-day banks is
taken from the Banking Almanac, with the one exception of the Yorkshire
Penny Bank. In announcing their names, the original title as far as possible
has been adopted.

In a work of this kind, doubtless many errors have crept in, and although
every endeavour has been made to verify statements, some may be faulty. Much
of my information has been gathered from those well advanced in life, whose
memories may not have been so reliable as formerly. The work was undertaken
as a labour of love, and has brought the writer into pleasant associations, that in


many cases have already grown to friendships. Nearly all the districts embraced
have been personally visited, and existing bankers called upon. In almost every
case, ready assistance was given, and the greatest courtesy shown.

It now only remains for me to record my sincere thanks to the numerous
friends and strangers, who, as well as those mentioned in the text, have laid me
under such heavy obligations. The list is a long one, but I cannot shorten it.
The partners in Messrs. Backhouse & Co. and Messrs. Lambton & Co. most
generously placed the few records preserved of their venerable institutions at my
disposal. Mr. Cuthbert Carr, Mr. William Boyd, and Mr. G. F. Boyd, furnished
much of the material from which the account of the Old Bank is compiled. Mr.
Richard Welford, Mr. J. C. Hodgson, and Mr. Horatio Adamson, have greatly
assisted me in the personal accounts of many of the bankers. To Mr. John
Chapman Walker of Whitby and Mr. G. W. Waddington of Grosmont, I am
indebted for much of my information of the bankers in the Whitby district, and
to Mr. A. Simpson of Meadowfield, Whitby, for the photos of the partners in
Messrs. Simpson, Chapman, & Company. Sir Joseph W. Pease kindly furnished
the information that enabled me to compile the account of his firm. Sir John
Evans, Messrs. Roper and Priestman, Mr. J. W. Woodall, Mr. Embleton, Mr.
J. S. Jobling, and Mr. Ness Walker, by the loan of various notes have greatly
aided me in the number of specimens I have been able to produce. Dr. Hodgkin
penned for me the account of Messrs. Hodgkin, Barnett, Pease, and Spence.
Mr. Joseph Foster, of genealogical fame, favoured me with the portraits of the
past partners of Messrs. Backhouse & Co. To Mr. Knowles I am indebted for
permission to copy his drawing of the Town Hutch, and to Miss E. P. Phillips
and Mr. Samuel Richardson my thanks are due for many drawings that lighten
the text, while Mr. J. W. Pease of Pendower has enhanced the value of the work
by the loan of notes and plates from his valuable " Bewick collection." Mr.
William Hodgson of Darhngton has been a constant correspondent, and gathered
for me the Backhouse signatures, and much other valuable matter. Mr. Ralph
Nelson of Bishop Auckland has been much interested in the work, and has
frequently helped me with items of information from his extensive collection.


Mr. Joplin of Chelsea, Mr. J. E. Woods, and Mr. B. Dale, furnished the portraits
in which they were severally interested. Mr. Matthew Mackey, jun., placed his
rare collection at my disposal, from which many illustrations and documents have
been utilised. Mr. Norman from his unique collection of Trade tokens favoured
me with many choice specimens. Mr. R. H. Inglis Palgrave afforded me the
hospitality of Belton, and devoted an evening of his valuable time to shaping my
course ; he also suggested and revised my remarks upon the note issue of 1793.

My thanks are further due to the proprietors of the Newcastle Chronicle,
the Newcastle Journal, the Durham Chronicle, and the York Herald for free
access to their valuable files of papers ; for the comfortable accommodation
afforded during many weary hours of searching ; and for the editorial interest that
they have manifested in the subject. Doubtless these files yet contain many other
interesting items, as it was utterly impossible to wade through all the papers
published during the century and a half that my work covers ; but the periods
of panic have been carefully searched. Valuable aid has also been rendered by
the courteous assistants at the Newcastle Public Library, and by Mr. Richardson,
the librarian at the Literary and Philosophical Society, Newcastle.

My thanks are due in no ordinary degree to Mr. C. J. Spence, who not only
lent me the collection previously referred to, but at my suggestion penned for me
Chapter IH. of this work, selected the interesting examples shown, prepared the
specimens, and generously presented the needful blocks, further adding to the list
the clipped coins, the "hard hedde," and the portraits of his father, grandfather,
and late partner, Mr. Bamett. To him I am also indebted for the greater part of
the account of the Union Bank.

To the subscribers who have so readily responded to my circular, I tender
my hearty thanks, especially to those who promptly replied. They speedily
relieved my mind from the anxiety of undertaking, singlehanded, the responsibility
of such an expensive publication, and further enabled me to increase the book by
about one hundred pages, and to add the mounted photographic groups that
enhance its value. I am much indebted to Mr. R. E. Ruddock for enabling me to


carry out this part of the work, and for the expeditious manner in which the 3,000
photographs necessary for the first issue were executed. My printer and his staff
have also given me every attention. The labour of reading my proof sheets has
been kindly carried through by Mr. James Finlay Ogilvie, who has also given many
valuable suggestions. I am also indebted for assistance to Mr. Seymour Bell,
Newcastle ; Mr. John Bousfield and Mr. H. Bigland, of Darlington ; Mr. C. D.
Barker, Great Malvern ; Mr. John Braithwaite, Gosforth ; Mr. E. E. Bigge, London ;
Mrs. Bulman, Cullercoats ; Rev. J. G. Bulman, West Enfield ; Mr. Henry
Chaytor, Witton Castle ; Mr. G. A. Buncombe, Beverley ; Mr. J. Dinsdale,
Stockton; Mr. W. Forster, Darhngton; Mr. S. Hoare, Cromer; Mr. W. H. Jacob,
Winchester; Mr. W. W. Morrell, York; Mr. G. Orton Owen, Newcastle ; Mr. W.
H. Robinson, Newcastle; Mr. W. W. Tomlinson, Whitley; Mr. R. R. Watson
(a member of Messrs. Backhouse's Newcastle staff in 1836) ; Mr. O. B. Wooler,
Darlington, and many others who have favoured me with letters and fragments
of information.

There is one (whose name I am not allowed to give) who has worked with

me from first to last, and willingly devoted two summer holidays to visiting the

places and gathering the materials necessary for the work. If this volume should

be found to form a humble link in the historical chain of the county's history, to

her is the honour due, as it was at her solicitations that I faced the heavy

responsibility of publication, and it is only by her untiring zeal and valuable aid

that the work has been accomplished.



R. S. O., Northumberland,
October, i8g^.

[ xiii ]


PART I. Page i to 129.

Chapter I. Banking in London.

Do. II. Banking in Scotland.

Do. III. Incidents prior to Provincial Banking.

Do. IV. Provincial Banking, 1755 to 1775.

Do. V. Provincial Banking, 1775 to 1790.

Do. VI. Provincial Banking, 1790 to 1800.

Do. VII. Provincial Banking, 1800 to 1810.

Do. VIII. Provincial Banking, 1810 to 1820.

Do. IX. Provincial Banking, 1820 to 1830.

Do. X. Provincial Banking, 1830 to 1840.

Do. XI. Provincial Banking, 1840 to 1894.

Do. XII. Coining and Clipping, Tontines and Lotteries.

PART II. Page 132 to 432.

Banks Reviewed (alphabetically arranged).




Chapter I. — Banking in London. Introduction of Banking — The Jews — They invent Bills of
Exchange — Work in precious metals— Advance on securities — Massacre at York — The Lombards
— They teach their arts to the Londoners who become Goldsmiths — Charles I. seizes cash in
the Mint — Charles 11. closes the Exchequer — Goldsmiths develop into Bankers — Pamphlet on
the "Mystery" of it — Treatment of "juniors" — Bank of England established — William
Paterson the originator — Its Charter — Began business in Grocers' Hall — Object of its formation
— New premises built in 1734 — Original building— Bank at the present day — Pass-books
introduced — Cheques originated — Provincial Banks commences . . . . . . . . 1

Chapter II. — Banking in Scotland. North-Humber-land more affected by Scottish than by
London Banking — Bank of Scotland founded in 1695 — Notes issued — One Pound Note — Bank
stopped payment in 1704 — Importance of Note issue — Branches started — Charter expires —
Free Banking — Royal Bank of Scotland — War between the Banks — Bank of Scotland stops
payment in 1728 — Optional Notes — British Linen Company become Bankers — A mutual foe —
Banking Company of Aberdeen — Its failure — The " Ship " Bank — " Glasgow Arms " Bank —
Notes paid in Sixpences — Private Bankers — John Coutts of Edinburgh — Connection with
Newcastle — Rapid Development of Banking in Scotland — Publicans issue notes — Forgery on
the " Thistle " Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Chapter III. — Incidents Prior to Provincial Banking. Early use of coined money — The Northum-
brian " Styca " — Silver Pennies — Their almost exclusive use till the reign of Edward III. —
Establishment of Local Mints and Provincial Exchanges — Account of York Mint — Durham
Mint — Newcastle Mint — Specimens of various coins — London and Provincial Trade Tokens —
Counterfeit Copper — The new Copper Coinage of 1797 — Silver Tokens — Set issued by John
Robertson of Newcastle — Carriage of Treasure — Money hidden — The Will of Richard Belassis —
Robbery of Gold — The Town Hutch — Towers of the Guilds — Assay Office opened in Newcastle —
" The Pretender " in Scotland — Duke of Cumberland in Newcastle — Cash wanted for Troops —
Ralph Can supplies it — George Campbell suggests Bank in Newcastle . . . . . . 11

Chapter IV. — Provincial Banking — 1755 to 1775. Ralph Carr forms first Provincial Bank, 1755 —
Mail guarded — Coiners at work — Lottery Tickets issued — Subscriptions received — Difficulties of
Postage — Exchequer Bills — Foreign Gold — Newcastle Forgery — " Exchange " Bank — " Bogus "
Notes — Robbery of Mail Bags — Hazlet hung in chains on Gateshead Fell — Clement, first
Banker of Darlington — First Panic, 1772 — Notes guaranteed — List of Names — Coaches will not
carry Money — Roberts, the Coiner, executed — Small Paper Money — J. & J. Backhouse's
" Banking Shop " started — Light Gold — Smugglers clear the country of it — Increase of Small
Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

Chapter V. — Provincial Banking — 1775 to 1790. Acts restraining the issue of Notes under £5 —
Tyne Bank commenced — Early Forgery of their Notes — Robert Knowles, Postman, executed —
Several new firms start at Whitby, Darlington, and Stockton-on-Tees — Commercial Bank
opened in Newcastle — Simpson & Chapman, Whitby — Meeting of Bankers at York to oppose
Tax on Receipts, &c. — Mr. Carr retires from the Old Bank — Formation of Davison-Blajid & Co.



— The " Nabob's Bank " — R. J. Lambton & Co. — Newcastle Bankers' Association — Records of
their Meetings — Bad State of the Copper Coinage— Quantity of Base Copper — Notices in the
Newspapers regarding Counterfeit Half-pence — Scale-de-Cross Bank — Official Instructions as to
sending Notes by Post — Gordon Riots — Bank of England in danger — Note Circulation in
Yorkshire— Risks of Travelling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

Chapter VI. — Pbovincial Banking — 1790 to 1800. England at peace — New banks open — " Optional"
Notes — War with France — Panic in London — It spreads to the provinces — Difficulty of obtaining
specie — Newcastle banks suspend payment — Meetings held in their support in the principal
towns in the north — Guarantee Fund started — Panic said to have originated in Newcastle —
Statement shown to be incorrect — Mr. Bagehot's theory confirmed — Notes displace gold — Private
estates of bankers liable for trade debts — Commercial Bank winds up— Forged French assignats —
Harriet Martineau— Her connection with Newcastle — Pitt and the Bank of England — Fear of
French invasion — Government orders returns of farm implements, etc. — ^Panic amongst the
farmers — Run on Newcastle banks — They suspend — Meetings in their support —Letter from
Charnley — Difficulties of the Bank of England — Cash payments prohibited — City Merchants
support Bank — Issue of £1 and £2 notes — Great fall in stocks . . . . . . . . 46

Chapter VII. — Provincial Banking — 1800 to 1810. New banks opened — Letter from Thomas
Bewick — Suspension of Surtees, Burdon, & Co. — Panic of 1803 — Bankers' Notes again
guaranteed — The original document — Wear Bank in difficulties — Its notes supported — Cook,
Robinson, & Co. suspend payment— Shadforth, Batson, & Co. dissolve partnership— List of
public holidays —Alteration of Stamp Act . . . . . . . . . . . . 68

Chapter VIII. — Provincial Banking— 1810 to 1820. Scarcity of Silver — Issue of trade tokens —
Whitby and York Shillings — Riot in Sunderland — Issue of Spanish Dollars from the Bank of
England — Bank Tokens — Dollars and Tokens in the North of England — Backhouse & Co. — New
Silver coinage — Tradesmen issue paper money — Gold much appreciated — Parliament take up
the matter — Act regarding Licenses — No Collection of Bank Notes — New banks open — Panio
of 1815 — Banks supported — Messrs. Cooke's bankruptcy — Loraine, Baker, & Co. decline business
— Newcastle banks again supported— " Montague " Bank — Establishment of Savings' Banks —
Increase in forgeries — Numerous executions — Bank of England blamed — Quotations from The
Black Dwarf— Action of the Society of Arts — Fish v. Banson — Cruichshank's Note — Penal
Code revised . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73

Chapter IX. — Provincial Banking — 1820 to 1830. More New Banks in the North — Sir Francis
Blake, Reeds, & Co. stop payment — The public become impatient — "Capt." Starkey — Forgery
of country bank notes — Thomas Joplin commences his agitation — He issues pamphlets in favour -
of the Scotch system of banking — Calls a Meeting in Newcastle to consider the formation of a -
Joint Stock Bank — Petitions the House of Commons on the subject of the currency — Cash
payments resumed by the Bank of England — Prosperous year of 1824 — Panic of 1825 —
Wentworth & Co. of York stop payment — Sir Peter Pole & Co. of London suspend — Bank of
England issue £1 and £2 notes — Bank failures in the County of Durham — Skits on "Rag"
money — Bank of England relinquish privilege — Joplin renews his agitation in the North —
, Branch Banks of England proposed — Great opposition — " Circulars to Bankers " — Formation of
Committee of Country Bankers — Project to restrain the issue of Small Notes — Opposition from
Newcastle Chamber of Commerce — Petition re Small Notes — Debate in the House of Commons
— Speech by Sir M. W. Ridley — Government Stocks reduced . . . . . . . . 87



Ohapteb X. — Provincial Banking — 1830 to 1840. Introduction to the North of England of Banking
on the Joint Stock Principle — List of New Banks— Changes in Bank Premises— Thomas Joplin
— Portrait — His Ancestry — His Writings — Views on the Currency Question — Opposition to
them — Joint Stock Banks founded in various towns — National Provincial Bank of England
formed by Joplin, assisted by George Fife Angas — Charter of the Bank of England — Committee
of Secrecy to report upon it — Evidence of Country Bankers .. .. .. ..102

Chapter XI. — Provincial Banking — 1840 to 1894. Note Issue of Messrs. Lambton withdrawn —
Bank of England divided into " Issue " and " Banking " — Quotations from the Act of Parliament
— It fixes the Note Issue of all Banks — Particulars of Note Issue in the North — Failure of
Northern Joint Stock Banks — Mr. Headlam introduces a Bill to limit the responsibility of
Shareholders in them — Extracts from the Debate — Bill brought in by Mr, Apsley Pellatt to
legalise "Crossing" of Cheques — Suspension of the "District" Bank — Woods & Co. open —
Dale, Miller, & Co. formed — National Provincial Bank come to Newcastle — North Eastern Bank
announced — Bankers' Clearing Association formed in Newcastle — Early mode of "Clearing" —
Present method — Suggestions for its improvement — Association of Country Bankers re-constit-
uted — York City and County Bank absorb " Darlington District " and enter Newcastle —
Simpson, Chapman, & Co. join the York Union Banking Company . . . . . . . . 110

Chapter XII. — Coining and Clipping. Tontines and Lotteries. Governments constantly
troubled with "Coiners" and "Clippers" — Some cases of coining in the North — Thomas
Peebles at Berwick — Hugh Partridge at Newcastle — Thomas, " a Scotts man coining hard
heddes on Cokett Island " — John Maben — Instances of Clipping in " Depositions from the Castle
at York" — Daniel Auty — Rev. John Booth at Bothal — Specimens of Mint and "clipped"
half-crowns — Clipping by William Guest of the Bank of England — Tontines — Act prohibiting
lotteries — Government break their own law — Great rage for lotteries between 1785 and 1823 —
Banks supply tickets — Illustrations of Lottery Bills — State Lotteries abolished in 1826 . . 121

[ xvii ]


Alnwick & County Bank

Backhouse & Co.

Baker, Shafto, Ormston, & Co.

Batson, Berry, Langhorn, & Wilson

Batson, Wakefield, & Scott

Baxter & Co.

Beckett & Co. {see Bower &> Co.)

Bell, Cookson, Carr, & Airey

Bell, Woodall, & Co. ...

Blake, Sir F., & Co. {See Batson, Wakefield, ^

Bower & Co....

Branch Bank of England

Britain & Co.

Broadley & Co.

Bullock, Benjamin

Campion, Margaret & Robert

Chapman & Co.

Chaytor, Sir William, & Co.

Clark, Richardson, & Hodgson

Clement, J. ...

Cooke, Robinson, & Co. ...

Dale & Co. ...

Darlington District Joint Stock Bank

Davison-Bland & Co.

Dresser, Joseph, & Co. ...

Dunn, Benjamin

Elstob, Luke ..

Fenton, Scott, Nicholson, & Smith ...

Fletcher, Stubbs, Dew, & Stott

Forster, Burrell, Rankin, & Co.

Frankland, John & James

Goodchild, Jackson, & Co.

Hagues, Strickland, & Allen

Hammond, Hirst, & Close

Hawks, Grey, Priestman, & Co.

Hayes, Leatham, Hodgson, & Co. ...



. . . Alnwick

• 133

... Darlington

• 134

... Newcastle

• 155

... Berwick

. 162

... Newcastle

. 163

... Darlington

• 173

... Newcastle

• 174

... Scarborough

.. 196

... Malton

. 199

... Newcastle

. 201

... Thirsk

. 218

... Malton

.. 218

... Morpeth

. 2l8

... Whitby

. 2J9

... Newcastle

. 221

... Sunderland

.. 225

... Whitby

. 227

... Darlington

. 229

... Sunderland


... South Shields

• 233

... Darlington

• 236

... Newcastle

• 239

... Thirsk

. 263

... Durham


... Stockton

Online LibraryMaberly PhillipsA history of banks, bankers, & banking in Northumberland, Durham, and North Yorkshire, illustrating the commercial development of the north of England, from 1755 to 1894, with numerous portraits, facsimiles of notes, signatures, documents, &c → online text (page 1 of 57)