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 23 of 57)
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was a member of the Hanover Square Chapel. He died in 1783, leaving by his
wife Elizabeth (daughter of Thomas Lutwidge of Whitehaven), a numerous issue,
intimately connected with the trade of Tyneside. His death is thus recorded in
the Newcastle Chronicle, December 20th, 1783: — "Died, Wednesday, at an
advanced age, Isaac (? John) Cookson, Esq., of Whittle, in the county of Durham,
one of the proprietors of the Newcastle Bank, and of the Close-gate Glasshouse
in this town."

His daughter Elizabeth married Samuel Castell, Esq., Banker (Castell,
Whately, and Powell, 65, Lombard Street), May, 1768.

ISAAC COOKSON, son of John, became a partner in the bank at the death
of his father. He married, at All Saints' Church, February 29th, 1772, "Miss
Peggy Wilkinson, of Pilgrim Street," daughter of Richard Wilkinson, Attorney.

Mr. Cookson doubtless carried on many of his father's business undertakings.
The Newcastle Directory for 1778, gives: — "Cookson & Co., Founders, near
Close-gate," and under "Glass Ware-houses" we find "Cookson & Co. without
the Close-gate."

The Cookson family for many years were members of the Hanover Square
Congregation, founded by the celebrated Dr. Gilpin near the Close-gate. The new
place of worship in Hanover Square was to have been opened August 28th, 1726,
but Mr. Bennett the minister was seized with a sudden illness and died in a few
days. His son Timothy Bennett, who afterwards settled as a physician at Norwich,
conveyed the ground to twelve trustees, amongst whose names we find Isaac
Cookson and Joseph Airey (Old Bank), and David Landell (probably the partner
in Messrs. Davison-Bland & Co.), in trust for the Congregation of Protestant
Dissenters at Newcastle. " Isaac Cookson, Sen., Esq., presented to the vestry of
this chapel, six quarto volumes of MS. notes of Bennett's sermons written out by
his father, John Cookson, when apprenticed to Mr. Joseph Airey." (Mackenzie.)

Ehzabeth, the eldest daughter of Isaac Cookson, married at Chester-le-Street,
October 24th, 181 1, Robert Surtees of Redworth Hall, and died there May 8th,
1847, aged 63. Another daughter, Emma Donna, married at Chester-le-Street,
2ist June, 1832, Colonel Robert Bell of Fenham, and was left a widow, January
loth, 1851. She died August ist, 1859, aged 'ji. Mr. Cookson was Sheriff of
Newcastle-on-Tyne, 1779-80, and died December 13th, 183 1.

JOSEPH AIREY. — Members of the Airey family were numerous and
influential in the North of England in the seventeenth century, and their inter-
relationship puzzled even Sir Cuthbert Sharpe. Joseph Airey resided in Pilgrim


Street, and the early offices of the bank were at his house. He was a great-
grandson of the famous Puritan Alderman, Ambrose Barnes. When Thomas
Barnes, younger son of Ambrose, made his will in 1731, he appointed Joseph and
Ruth Airey his executors, and left them property in Sidgate and two mills at
Chimney Mills.

The Aireys are not to be found among the members of the Corporation of
Newcastle, for they were uncompromising dissenters, and the sacramental test
kept them out. It was through the Airey family that the valuable MS. of
Ambrose Barnes came into the possession of the Rev. William Turner, one of the
famous ministers at Hanover Square Chapel, and by him was presented to the
Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle. It was subsequently published
as Vol. 50 of the Surtees Society's Publications. The MS. was most unfortunately
destroyed in the recent fire at the institution named.

Joseph Airey was one of the projectors of the Infirmary, and its first Treasurer.
He belonged to a club (of which Mr. Lambert the surgeon was also a member),
which is supposed to have issued the paper published in the Newcastle Coiirant
signed ^*B.K.," which suggested the first idea of an Infirmary. To preserve the
memory of this paper, one of the principal wards is called B.K. The Newcastle
Coiirant of June 4th, 1757, has the following announcement : —

" Saturday last, Mr. Joseph Airey, Treasurer of the Infirmary and one of the
proprietors of the Bank, was married at All Saints' Church to Miss Fanny Hendy,
a very agreeable and accomplished young lady," to which announcement the
Newcastle Journal added the remark : — " A lady endowed with every accomplish-
ment to render the married state happy." Mr. Airey died in the latter end of the
year 1770. His nephew. Sir George Airey, greatly distinguished himself in the
Peninsular war, and died in Paris. He was father of the Crimean veteran who
became Baron Airey.

JOSEPH SAINT. — Mr. Saint's name appears for the first time in local history
under date 1770, when he succeeded Joseph Airey in the Treasurership of the

Infirmary. In Brand's History of
Newcastle, Vol. I. p. 413, is a view
of the institution which bears this
inscription, "To the memory of
Mr. Joseph Saint, Late Treasurer
of the Infirmary of Newcastle-upon-Tyne — this view of the Edifice which he had
ordered to be taken and engraved at his Expense is most respectfully inscribed."
At the foot of the engraving is a vignette — upon an urn is the motto " Vivit post


Funera Victas," and on a scroll at the bottom "Tis all a brother all a friend can
give." In 1778, Joseph Saint was a Common-Councilman, and resided at the foot
of Pilgrim Street.

Mr. Saint's death is announced in the Newcastle Chrojiicle of October 4th,
1783, thus : — " Died— Saturday, at his house in Pilgrim Street, in the 53rd year of
his age, Mr. Joseph Saint, one of the proprietors of the Newcastle Bank, the
treasurer to the Infirmary, and one of the common-council of the Corporation.
His remains were interred at Morpeth on Tuesday."

JOHN WIDDRINGTON was the only son of John Widdrington of New-
castle, "the honest attorney of the north," by his marriage with Jane, daughter of
John Carr of Dunston Hill, and niece of Ralph Carr, the founder of the bank. He
joined the bank in 1771, resided in Hanover Square, and married Jane, daughter
of Rev. William Swinburn, Vicar of Tinden, Essex, and Midhurst, Sussex., a cadet
of a Northumbrian family. In 1783, Mr. Widdrington succeeded, by the death
of his cousins John and Nathaniel, to his patrimonial estates at Hauxley, which
the Widdrington family had held since the dissolution of the monasteries. He was
appointed auditor to the Duke of Northumberland, March 1767, in the room of
Richard Seamour, Esq., resigned.

The Newcastle Chronicle, October 8th, 1774, contains the following announce-
ment :— " Notice is hereby given that John Widdrington will hold his Audit for
the receipt of Fee Farm Rents at Newcastle, at his house in Hanover Square, on
Wednesday, October 12th." A receipt for Fee Farm Rent, signed by Mr.
Widdrington, is here given : —

T^orthumb' 1 p Ecelved this / ^

the Sum of %//'jt /-h^^^u-*^^

Da^ of OSIober, 1 79 ^^of "> ^.


- f^

being Half a Year's Fee-Farm Rent, granted from the
Crown, and' due ^^^ Mi^k^^i.,,^, i-ift .,^*^^ ^!^. yy, jiA^„ / /^ ^ . P

t^rii^t/. Uy/^^A ffc^ z _ rpr ^u<^

and- due at Michaelmas laft, unto ^^'y^^/C'^off S^/it •

in the faid County oi Northutnherland*
Allowed, out of the Sum above-mentioned to be received, the Sum of ^^^'K^ //L^^oc^ l^ ^ ,

7.^y7K Rec'.


on Account of Land Tax.

Acquittance 4^.

'yon art btnhj i,j;„d ta pay, nitbout furtbA- lulice, enihe ^ , ^

J "/*'-'<"■'"'""' 'J '*' /ome doj, ibt /urn that viill k.comt due at LaJj-Daj next.

itj of April »<»/, at the White Swan, In Alnwick, ami
rent atovc-meiUitieJ, andtofridmealthe/amtlimttbu

mt toy


John Widdrington died at Hauxley, November nth, 1797, S.P., having by
his will, dated August 6th, 1783, devised his real estate to his two kinswomen,
Sarah, daughter of Edward Brown of Broomhill, and Sarah, daughter of Captain
Teasdale, who were enjoined to assume the surname of Widdrington. In conse-
quence of his connection with the bank, his executors became involved in a
chancery suit which terminated successfully in 1809, and is commemorated by a
stone pillar in the park, south of Hauxley Hall. The Newcastle Advertiser of
November 25th, 1797, contains a eulogy upon his character. His reputation
extended far beyond the district in which he laboured.

JAMES WILKINSON, merchant, was for many years an elector and
member of the Common Council of Newcastle. Beyond those positions he could
not be tempted to rise. In 1757 he and two others were fined for refusing to serve
the office of Sheriff, and in 1795 he and several others were fined 200 marks,
or ^133 6s. 8d. each, for declining to don the gown and assume the magisterial
responsibilities of aldermen. The middle of Saville Row was his residence in 1788.

THOMAS GIBSON became a partner in 1783.

GEORGE GIBSON joined the firm in 1803, and died in 1806. It is difficult
to identify these partners. They were probably the sons, or son and grandson of
Wilham Gibson, town clerk, who died July 4th, 1785. Thomas Gibson's death
is recorded as follows : — "Died, September 3rd, 1832, Thomas Gibson, Banker, a
partner in Ridley & Co.'s Bank, in London, aged 73." He would therefore have
been only 24 years of age when he joined the bank in 1783.

SIR MATTHEW WHITE RIDLEY (i).— On June i8th, 1750, Matthew
White, Esq., of Blagdon, died there. He was son of Alderman Matthew White,
and was succeeded by his son, Matthew White, whom he had by the eldest
daughter and one of the co-heirs of John Johnson, Esq., of Bebside. He left also
one daughter, the wife of Matthew Ridley, Esq. Matthew White, the son, was
created a baronet by King George the Second, in April or May 1756, and in default
of heirs male the title descended to the heirs male of his sister, " now wife of
Matthew Ridley of Heaton, Northumberland, alderman of Newcastle, and one of
the representatives in Parliament for that town." Sir Matthew White died
childless, and the title passed to the eldest son of Matthew Ridley, who
became Sir Matthew White Ridley. He was chosen one of the members
of Parhament for Morpeth, 1768 — Mayor of Newcastle, 1774, 1782, and
1791 ; M.P. for Newcastle in eight successive Parliaments, namely, those
which began in 1774, 1780, 1784, 1790, 1796, 1802, 1806, 1807. In the
Newcastle Directory for 1778 he heads the list of aldermen, and is described


as residing at the head of Westgate Street. He died April i6th, 1813,
after an illness of two days, at his house in Portland Place, London, aged 66.
He was buried in St. Nicholas' Church, Newcastle, May 3rd. In 1820 a beautiful
monument, by Flaxman, was erected to his memory in the nave of St. Nicholas'

SIR MATTHEW WHITE RIDLEY (2) of Blagdon and Heaton Hall, was
the eldest son of the second baronet, by his wife Sarah, sole heiress of Benjamin
Colbome of Bath. He was born August 18th, 1778, matriculated at Christ Church,
Oxford, April 24th, 1795, and took his degree of B.A., March 9th, 1798. He was
first elected member for Newcastle, 18 12, upon the retirement of his father. He
sat during seven parliaments, extending over twenty-four years. He married,
August 3rd, 1803, Laura, youngest daughter of George Hawkins, Esq., by w^hom
he had six sons and six daughters. He died at Richmond, Surrey, July 15th, 1836,
in his 58th year, and is described as "head of the old established banking house of

SIR MATTHEW WHITE RIDLEY (3) was the eldest son of the third
baronet, and at his father's death succeeded to his position in the bank, which he
retained till the business was transferred to the Northumberland and Durham
District Bank, in 1839. He died in 1877. The present bearer of the name and
title is his eldest son.

CHARLES WILLIAM BIGGE was the son of Thomas Charles Bigge of
Newcastle and Little Benton. He was born October i8th, 1773. At the death of
his father in 1794, he came into the family property. He subsequently purchased
the Linden estates (near Long-horsley), from the Earl of Carlisle. In 1802 he
married Alice Wilkinson of Thorpe, Yorkshire, kinswoman of Isaac Cookson,
Banker. In the year of his marriage he was High Sheriff of Northumberland. In
1838 it was understood that a baronetcy was offered to him, but with characteristic
modesty he declined the honour. His portrait, painted by Snow, was presented
to the Mechanics' Institute, Newcastle. For 50 years Mr. Bigge was one of the
leaders of the Whig party in Northumberland. He died at Linden, December
8th, 1849, aged y6 years, and was succeeded in the estates by his grandson, Charles
Selby Bigge ; his eldest son (Charles John), having died before him (March 1 6th,

THOMAS HANWAY BIGGE, youngest brother of Charles William, married
Charlotte, daughter of the Rev. James Scott, Rector of Itchen Ferry, and St.
Mary's, Southampton, and died December 24th, 1824, leaving issue. He was
buried in Ovingham church-yard.


A few incidents relating to the members of the Bigge family, indicative of the
times, are given in a footnote.*

JOHN SPEDDING was a prominent member of the Reformed Town Council
(elected Jan. ist, 1835), and one of the first Aldermen appointed under the
Municipal Reform Act. He was nephew of Mr. Thomas Gibson, and was admitted
to the firm at the death of his uncle in 1832.

WILLIAM BOYD (2). — It is stated that ancestors of the Boyd family were
sturdy yeomen in the neighbourhood of Alnwick, who about the year 1700
migrated to Newcastle. William Boyd (i) was born in 1739, married Juhana Peat,

the only child of Robert Peat,
silversmith, of Newcastle. Tra-
dition had it that Mr. Boyd
was a clerk in the " Old Bank."
An endorsement in his writing
upon the back of a draft dated
August, 1789, as shown in the
margin, translates tradition into
fact, and shows that at that
time he held a confidential
position in the bank. He died
in the same year, leaving a son
WiUiam Boyd (2), born October
26th, 1 773, and therefore sixteen
years old at the time of his father's death. He entered the bank as a clerk,
married Esther Locke, daughter of Robert Locke, shipowner, of Newcastle, and
presumably passed through various stages of promotion. In 1799 he was entrusted
with the pursuit of Lough the forger, and the clever and expeditious manner in
which he effected the capture of the fugitive may have hastened his advancement.

* " August 20th, 1763.— A few days ago was married at St. Nicholas' Church, Bath, Thomas Bigge of Little Benton in
Northumberland, Esq. (late an eminent Mercer on Ludgate Hill) to Miss Kundell of Baldud's Buildings in that
city." " November 26th, 1763.— On Tuesday night the house at West Jesmond belonging to Edward Bigge, Esq.,
was broken into and robbed of several pieces of Plate, and some other things of considerable value."
" September 8th, 1764.— This morning James Edgar, who was found guilty at our Assizes of a Burglary and
Larceny committed in the house of Edw. Bigge, Esq., was pursuant to his sentence, executed without the West
Gate. He was attended at the Place of Execution by four Dissenting Ministers, and haved with great Decency,
earnestly exhorting the Spectators to take Warning by his unhappy Fate, to avoid irregular Courses and the
Allurements of Vice." "November 29th, 1765.— On Saturday night last, as Thomas Chas. Bigge, Esq., and his
servant were riding to Little Benton from this town, they were stopped by two foot-pads, who demanded their
Money, but making some resistance, one of the Fellows aimed a blow with a club at the gentleman's servant,
which happily missed him but hit his horse on the head, and brought him to his knees, some persons then
coming up the villains immediately got off." " January llth, 1760.— Saturday last, the Lady of Thomas Bigge of
Little Benton of a son and heir."


A paid bill drawn by Surtees, Burdon, & Co., upon Barclays, Tritton, & Bevan,
dated November 27th, 1802, is released "p. pro Ridley & Co. Wm. Boyd,"
showing the important position he held at that time. In 1807 Mr. Boyd was
admitted a partner, the reward of able and valuable services, more often obtained
then than now. Mr. Price, in his account of the London Banks, quotes many
interesting cases of clerks rising to partnerships, and Sir Wm. Forbes, in his
" Memoirs of a Banking House," records several others.

Mr. Boyd evidently took a very active part in the management of the bank,
which he continued until the business was transferred to the Northumberland and
Durham District Bank in 1839. He evinced great interest in the early history of
his own bank, and those of his neighbours. His copy of Brand's " History of
Newcastle" is interleaved with many interesting documents and notes, amongst
them being (i) a Twenty Shilhng Note, dated March 17th, 1758 — the earliest
English provincial one pound note issued ; (2) the original sheets that were signed
when the merchants and others agreed to take the notes of the Newcastle bankers
on June 30th, 1803 ; (3) an historical account of the bank, written by himself;
and (4) a graphic description of his capture of Lough the forger. The volume is
now in the possession of his grandson Mr. Wm. Boyd of Benton. From his letters
and papers I gather that Mr. Boyd played an active part in steps that were taken
from 181 5 to 1820 to stay the alarming spread of forgery. He corresponded with
all the known experts on the subject, and had many interviews with Thomas
Bewick, the master engraver of his time. Mr. Boyd left active work when the
bank was transferred, and died February i8th, 1855, aged 82.

ROBERT BOYD, eldest son of Wm. Boyd, became a partner in the firm
January ist, 1827, and remained so until the transfer of the business to the District
Bank in 1839, when he became a director in that estabhshment. He was never
married, and died at sea on board the "Romulus," off Carthagena, December
14th, 1844, aged 40.

William Boyd (3), second son of the banker, became Vicar of Anclifife and
Archdeacon of Craven. He died July i8th, 1893. ^Y ^^s marriage with Isabella
Twining, he became connected with another noted banker's family.

Miss Juliana Boyd (daughter of E. Fenwick Boyd of Moorhouses), grand-
daughter of the banker, will be remembered as an ardent antiquary and collector,
and authoress of "Bewick Gleanings, with Lives of Bewick and his Pupils." She
died January loth, 1892.

The family is now represented by Mr. William Boyd, of Longbenton ; Mr.
George Fenwick Boyd, of Whitley ; and Mr. Hugh Fenwick Boyd, Barrister-at-Law,
all grandsons of the banker.


Bell, Moo^aU, d Co.

Founded 1788.



Edward Hopper Hebden.
William Hebden.
yohn Woodall Woodall.
Charles William Woodall.

Henry Cook.
John Bell. John Woodall {2)

John Woodall (i) John Tindall.

James Tindall. Timothy Hardcastle.

Gawan Taylor. John Woodall (3)

ON May ist, 1788, John Bell, John Woodall, James Tindall, and Gawan
Taylor entered into partnership as bankers, each subscribing ;^500, in all
^2,000. Previously the partners had been shipowners, and engaged in
various branches of business. They at once commenced to issue notes which
appear to have been freely accepted, as by August, 1789, the amount outstanding
was ^20,328 los., which upon the first balance of accounts in January, 1790, had
extended to ;^22,ooo. The original premises occupied were situated at Palace
Hill, Merchants' Row (near the present Eastborough Congregational Church).
They subsequently removed to Queen Street, and in 1864 erected the present
commodious building in Newborough Street.

S^mrbprotiffl) ©iTiii?




■'•••••'-) ' /


. y.y

\ (^ . „r" .y-yC^- ":,.y^.^^:^^6pz-

Mr. Bell died in January, 1791, the three remaining partners carrying on the
business till the close of the century. In 1801 Henry Cook (who for some years
had been confidential clerk to the firm) was taken into partnership. At this time
the note issue was — five guinea notes, ^26,000 ; guinea notes, ;^8,5oo, both
payable in Scarborough only ; accepted notes, payable in London, ;^900 — in all
;^35,400. The London notes expired prior to 18 10. As the capital of the partners
had been considerably increased since the commencement of the bank, the note


issue was very much more in proportion to capital than many banks that we have
reviewed, which may account for the firm weathering the storms that swept away
their colleagues. A five guinea note is here produced, bearing the signature of one
of the original partners.

In other parts of this work I remark upon the practice of cutting off all
unnecessary margin of a note to reduce the weight, and so save postage. The
illustration is a good example of the custom, as this note is pared down to the
printed matter on every side.

In 1811 James Tindall left the firm, John Woodall, Jun., and John Tindall
being admitted to the partnership.

In 1 8 14 the note issue appears to have reached its greatest height, being close
upon ;^6o,ooo. By the Act of 1844 the note issue was fixed at ^24,873. About
half this sum appears to be the present average circulation.

Henry Cook is omitted from the firm in 183 1, his place being taken by
Timothy Hardcastle. John Woodall, Sen., one of the original partners, died in 1832,
and about this time his grandson, John Woodall, son of John Woodall, jun., was
admitted to the partnership.

In 1840 the firm is announced as the "The Old Bank," Messrs. Woodall,
Tindall, Hebden, & Co., 39, Queen Street, and they are stated to own a great part
of Falsgrave. By 1848 Mr. Tindall had retired, the remaining partners being
John Woodall, Edward Hopper Hebden, and Timothy Hardcastle, all of
Scarborough. In 1855 Mr. Hardcastle's name is omitted. By 1863 WiUiam
Hebden and John Woodall Woodall are added to the firm.

In 1878 John Woodall ceases to be a partner, Edward Hopper Hebden
becoming senior and Charles William Woodall the junior partner. In 1881 the
firm consisted of William Hebden, John Woodall Woodall, and Charles William
Woodall, and it remains intact at the present day. To the courtesy of these
gentlemen I am indebted for much of my information.

Their first London Agents were Down & Co., which firm in 181 6 became
Sir Peter Pole & Co. (they having joined Messrs. Down in that year). In 1825
Messrs. Pole stopped payment, and caused much inconvenience to the numerous
country bankers for whom they were agents. Messrs. Denison then became
London Agents for the Scarborough firm. Subsequently, Messrs. Barclay & Co.
were appointed, and retain the agency to the present time.

The Woodalls have been a prominent family in Scarborough for at least 150
years, and have done much for that Queen of watering-places. As Bailiffs in the
olden time, and Mayors in the later, they have ever worked hard in the service of
the town.


JOHN WOODALL, the great-grandfather of the present partners, was the
founder of the bank in 1788. He died in 1832, and was buried in Seamer Church,
where a handsome monument was erected to his memory. His son, JOHN
WOOD ALL, entered the bank in 181 1. He married Ann, eldest daughter of John
Dowker, Esq., of Salton, Yorkshire, and died in 1836, and was buried at

His eldest son, JOHN WOODALL, the third of the name in the bank partner-
ship, was born October 25th, 1801. After spending several years at sea, and some
time longer in extensive travel, Mr. Woodall entered the bank, and became a member
of the firm about the time of his grandfather's death. Following in the footsteps
of his father and grandfather, he had twice served the town as junior and senior
bailiff before the passing of the Municipal Corporation Acts in 1835, and was the
only member of the old corporate body who was elected to the new Council. He
was chosen Mayor in 185 1-2, and on his retirement, presented to the Corporation
the splendid gold chain which has been worn by the Mayors ever since. He
owned a large amount of property in the neighbourhood of Scarborough, was a
County Magistrate, and a Deputy Lieutenant for the North Riding. As Chairman
of the Board of Guardians and of the Water Company, he was most energetic,
untiring, and unceasing in his attention to the health and prosperity of the town.
He married his cousin, the daughter of the Rev. W. Woodall, Rector of Branston
and Waltham, Leicestershire. In 1846 he rebuilt St. Nicholas' House, where the
family now reside. He died February 9th, 1879, and was buried at Seamer.

JOHN WOODALL WOODALL, M.A., F.G.S., &c., eldest son of the third
John Woodall, was born December 3rd, 1831. Educated at Rugby and Oxford,
Mr. Woodall took his degree in 1854. In the University calendar he is marked

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 23 of 57)