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

. (page 25 of 57)
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 25 of 57)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


this remonstrance, Mr, Wood says his notes have never been refused."

In the early days of the Branch, a journey to London was no trifling matter,
either as regarded time or safety. There was little to choose between the perils
by land or by water. Mr. Carr, the Agent, visited London in June, 1831, and
proposed to return home by water. On the 25th, he wrote to a member of his



[^07]

family " I embrace this opportunity to inform you that I shall embark on board
the steamer on Tuesday evening, and hope to be with you on Friday next." Mr.
Carr did not reach his destination as expected, and no tidings could be ascertained
of the vessel. Nine days afterwards enquiry was made at the Steam Packet Office
in London, where the welcome news was received that the vessel had been
detained in the Yarmouth Roads, but that all was well. A day or two afterwards
Mr. Carr reached Newcastle.

Death made many inroads amongst the original staff of the Branch. Mr.
McCreight the Chief Clerk, resided in the then pleasant and rural district
surrounding Summer Hill Grove. He was very fond of his garden, and a great
cultivator of bees. In the summer of 1832 he was removing a hive when he
accidentally fell and upset the load he was carrying ; the bees immediately set
upon him and stung him so terribly that fever supervened, to which Mr. McCreight
succumbed in a few days. He died on July loth. For many years the Directors
of the Bank of England with their accustomed liberality made an allowance to the
" orphans of the late W. C. McCreight," through their relative, Mr. Robert Dees.
The eldest son of Mr. McCreight entered the North of England Joint Stock Bank,
and subsequently became an accountant, first in Newcastle and then in London.*
Mr. Hines, from the head office, was appointed Chief Clerk at the Branch upon
the death of Mr. McCreight.

In August, 1834, Mr. H. J. Dorrien, the Sub-Agent, became Agent of the
Swansea Branch ; he subsequently removed to Portsmouth, and died there loth
September, 1868. Mr. Joseph Grote, a retired Naval Officer, was appointed
Sub- Agent at Newcastle.

Two years after this Mr. Carr fell into ill-health and died ; his death being
thus announced : — "At Cronstadt, December 6th, 1836, George Carr, Esq., late
Director of the Branch Bank of England, Newcastle, Aged j"]!' Mr. Carr was
much respected by all who knew him. His son, George Carr, jun., solicitor,
resided for many years in Northumberland Street, opposite the end of Bath Road,
and was appointed a Director of the Newcastle Savings' Bank, March 24th, 1842.
The Sub- Agent, Mr. Joseph Grote, was promoted to the Agency, Mr. Robert
Anderson being appointed Sub-Agent. I am informed that after completing his
education under the care of a private tutor, at the age of seventeen Robert

* The Birmingham Post made an announcement which it deems " will prove not a little startling both to
the shareholders of the late Birmingham Bank and to the public. Mr. McCreight, the former oflScial liquidator
has just sent in his bill to the committee who are now entrusted with the task of gratuitously winding up the
affairs of this unfortunate concern. Mr. McCreight's services began in October, 1866, and ended in May or June,
1869, a period of about two years and a half. For the work done in liquidation during this term, Mr. McCreight
charges, we understand, the enormous amount of between £27,000 and £28,000." The announcement certainly
was "startling," but the charges were probably capable of explanation.



[208]

Anderson entered the maritime service of the Honourable East India Company,
which was dissolved about 1834. Through his guardian, Mr. J. Palmer, he received
the appointment in the Bank of England. The chief clerk, Mr. Hines, had been
at sea for some time prior to his entering the Bank, the Branch therefore was in
the hands of three retired "salts," and so continued for many years.

Mr. Grote resided at the premises in the Bailiffgate, Mr. Anderson living at
Leazes Terrace. The neighbourhood of the Bailiffgate was not a choice situation
when the Branch was opened in 1828, and it had rapidly decayed. Complaints
were early made to head-quarters of the "damp which spoiled the notes," and of
the annoyance the Agent was put to by " the dead cats and other rubbish thrown
over the wall." The children, as in all poor locahties, had then only the streets
to play in. The noise they made was so irritating to the managers after the
quietude of the sea, that for " a shilling a week an old woman was employed to
drive the children from the door-step." Such was the state of things in 1837,
when Grainger was erecting the magnificent block of buildings that formed the
new Grey Street, and hither the Branch was removed in 1838. The premises
taken comprised the four northern windows upon the ground-floor of the present
bank, which, it will be noted in the illustration produced, are upon a different
level from the southern windows.

During the sojourn of the Branch in the Bailiffgate, the business had
considerably increased and the staff had grown in a corresponding manner. The
trade of the town had extended by leaps and bounds, and the character of the
private banks had materially altered. The system of banking on the joint stock
principle had been introduced into the North, and several establishments opened.
The North of England Joint Stock Bank, the Northumberland and Durham
District Bank, and the Union Bank, all issued their own notes, while Messrs.
Lambton & Co., the Commercial Bank, the Newcastle Joint Stock Bank, and the
Sunderland Joint Stock Bank, compounded with the Bank of England and used
their notes only. For this purpose special notes were printed, being in all respects
like an ordinary branch note with the addition of a star on the dexter and sinister
sides. A letter by way of sign was allotted to each bank with which the notes
that they drew from the Bank of England were marked. When in the course of
business these notes found their way back to the branch, they were sorted into
their various letters, and as required were repaid to the bank that had originally
drawn them, the issuing banker being paid commission upon the amount of notes
he could keep in circulation.

A few years afterwards the issue of notes for ^30, £^0, and ;^5oo was
abohshed.



[209]

In August, 1 84 1, the Bank of England purchased the southern part of their
present premises (then recently vacated by the District Bank). Material alterations
were made, and the entire building adapted for one bank, the Agent residing over

Branch Bank of England, Grey Street, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.




the northern half, and the Sub-Agent over the southern. A dining-room for the
Agent was constructed upon the ground floor in the north-west portion of the
original bank ; at a later date, this room was thrown into the general office.

In 1847 the great commercial panic that swept over the country visited
Newcastle. Many mercantile houses failed. The North of England Joint Stock
Bank went down. Mr. Mewbum of Darlington writes in his diary : —

•' At one period of the panic Mr. Pease had bills drawn upon and accepted by Barings, and other bills
of the Victualling Office, all endorsed by Overend, Gumey, & Co., and having only five days to run.
Not one of them could he get discounted at any rate.



[210]

When the panic reached Newcastle, Jonathan Richardson, the great stay of the Newcastle
District Bank, went to London and applied to the Bank of England and the Chancellor of the
Exchequer for assistance, which was refused. He returned home and found the panic extending so far
and wide, as to induce him to lay the facts and circumstances before Mr. Grote, the Manager of the
Bank of England, whom he told that if assistance were not given to the bankers in the town
(Chapman's having then gone) of whose solvency there was no doubt, every bank in the North must
stop payment. And what would be the consequences ? A revolution or alarming food riots. Mr.
Grote on his own responsibility afforded accommodation to the banks and saved the North from a
convulsion. All honour to Mr. Grote ! "

Mr. Grote is spoken of by all who remember him as reserved, but a shrewd,
capable man. A story told of him, which probably occurred during the panic, is
worth recording. Whilst the run was proceeding, he called at the District Bank
parlour about two o'clock to see how matters were progressing. A clamorous
crowd besieged the counter, wanting gold in exchange for notes and for deposit
withdrawals. The manager informed Mr. Grote that they were getting on pretty
well, and although the run had been sharp, they would pull through for that day
at any rate, as they had only another hour to go until 3 o'clock— closing time.
Mr. Grote replied, "If you take my advice, you will not close at 3 o'clock. I
should say, keep your doors open as long as ever there are any applicants, to any
reasonable time at night." Fortunately the advice was taken ; such a bold front
soon begat confidence, and the run was stayed. Tradition says that the
independent action of Mr. Grote did not give satisfaction at the head office, and
that the friction which followed led to Mr. Grote (who was quite independent of
the bank) resigning his appointment.

He severed his connection with the establishment in July, 1849, and a few
years afterwards became a partner in Messrs. Prescott, Grote, & Co., the well-
known London bankers, subsequently becoming senior partner. He died
November 14th, 1876, in his 76th year, at his residence, Wexham Park, Slough,
having retired from business a short time previously.

Mr. Anderson was promoted to the vacant Agency, Mr. D. H. Goddard
coming as Sub-Agent, a position he had held at the Gloucester Branch, which had
been recently closed. Mr. Goddard had been a clerk in the establishment ; his
appointment was therefore a deviation from the rule, which was then, as now —
that no clerk should be promoted to the Agency or Sub-Agency ; which rule is
almost as unalterable as those attributed to the Medes and Persians.

Another bank panic occurred in 1857, when the unfortunate Northumberland
and Durham District Bank closed their doors. They were by far the largest bank in
the North of England. The Agent to the Branch had discounted their paper to a
very large amount, and every effort had been made to enable them to continue



[2^

their business. A director of the Bank of England (Mr. Kirkman Hodgson),
personally attended and watched the course of events, but it was found that the
District Bank was so hopelessly involved, that the time must come when the daily
batch of bills brought in by the official for discount must be declined. Mr.
Anderson was a kind and sympathetic man who did not like to say "No" to any
request. It was therefore arranged that when their next bills were presented, the
Agent should call in the Chief Clerk, Mr. Hines, and ask in a consulting manner,
what there was under discount for the " District," and if more could be done, and
that Mr. Hines was to give a very emphatic answer in the negative. The bank
official arrived with the bills — Mr. Hines was called in — the question was put —
"Can we take any more for the District, Mr. Hines" ? and the answer came
"As far as regards that 'ere" (his common manner of prefacing a sentence), " Mr.

Anderson, I'm d d if we can " ! The old sailor's answer was rather more

emphatic than the Agent anticipated, but no more bills were taken, and that
terrible calamity, the suspension of the District Bank, followed.

The stoppage of the "District" caused a rush of accounts to the Bank of
England. Merchants and manufacturers had their available capital locked up.
Wages must be provided for, and all who had reasonable security to offer were
accommodated. In a few days, more accounts were opened at the Branch than
during many previous years. The staff was sorely pressed by the sudden extra
work ; for some months it was often midnight before each day's work was closed.

On September 28th, 1859, a curious case was heard in the Newcastle County
Court — "Co well v. the Governor of the Bank of England." It arose out of the
circumstance of a married woman having been allowed to draw money deposited
by her husband.

Mr. Anderson retained the Agency until his death, which occurred on April
6th, 1868. His loss was sincerely mourned by all who knew him ; he was
universally beloved, a man of high principle, rigidly attentive to the interests of
the establishment, yet kind and genial to all under his authority. At the time of
his death Mr. Anderson was a governor of the Newcastle Infirmary, and the
treasurer of many charitable institutions. The Sub-Agent, Mr. Goddard, was
appointed Agent, and Mr. F. B. Fairley, who was second in charge at the
Leicester Branch (which closed 29th February, 1872), was transferred to
Newcastle.

Mr. Fairley was no stranger to banking, having served his apprenticeship with
the Royal Bank of Scotland. At the age of twenty-three he obtained an appoint-



[212]

ment in the Oriental Banking Corporation, which at that time was looked upon as
the Bank of England of the East. He proceeded to China to join the Hong Kong
Branch, but on the way out was intercepted at Singapore, where his services were
required for three months. At the expiration of that time he completed his
voyage, and acted as Sub-Accountant in the Hong Kong establishment of the
Company. Mr. Fairley was in China during the War of i860, and had a most
varied and interesting career, coming in contact with many notable people and
going through some strange experiences. After travelling for four years between
the different Treaty Ports in China, he accepted the management of the Bank of
India at Shanghai, which position he held until he returned to England in 1866,
and shortly afterwards was offered by Mr. Robert Wigram Crawford, M.P. for the
City of London, the Sub-Agency of the Leicester Branch of the Bank of England.

In 1872 a " Clearing House " was re-established amongst the Newcastle
bankers, the Agent of the branch being appointed Chairman of the Association, and
a room at the bank set apart for representatives of the various bankers to meet in.

Mr. Goddard resigned his post as Agent in 1875, and retired into private hfe at
Chester-le-Street, where for some years he had principally resided on account of
the failing health of Mrs. Goddard. On August 4th, 1875, the bankers of the
town made him a very handsome present of silver plate. Mr. Fenwick
(Lambton & Co.) warmly congratulated Mr. Goddard on the pleasant relations
that had existed amongst the bankers during the 25 years that he had been Agent.
The inscription upon the plate was as follows : — •

" Presented to Daniel Haill Goddard, Esq., late Agent of the Bank of England at Newcastle-on-Tyne,
by the bankers of this town, in remembrance of business relations agreeably existing between them for
a period of upwards of twenty-five years, and for his establishing of the Bankers' clearing house. —
July, 1875."

Mr. Goddard was appointed J.P. for the County of Durham, and did good
service in that capacity, and also to many of the charitable institutions of the
district. His death occurred on March nth, 1883, he then being in the 74th year
of his age.

Upon Mr. Goddard's retirement from the Bank in 1875, Mr. Fairley was
promoted to the Agency, Mr. R. F. Hadow being appointed Sub-Agent, which
position he held for five years and then removed to the Manchester Branch, the
vacancy at Newcastle being filled by Mr. S. M. Gregson, who retained the
Sub-Agency until July, 1886, when he was appointed to a similar post at the Hull
Branch, but owing to ill-health he never entered on the duties, and soon after
retired from the service.



[213]

Mr. William Berkeley Molyneux, the Sub-Agent at Plymouth, was transferred
to Newcastle. Mr. Molyneux served his apprenticeship with Messrs. Baring Bros,
of Liverpool. He subsequently entered the banking house of Messrs. Clements,
Royds, & Co. of Rochdale. He remained at Newcastle until July, 1887, when he
proceeded to the Birmingham Branch of the Bank of England, Mr. Henrys Adeane
Erskine taking the post at Newcastle. Mr. Erskine gained his experience in the
Agra Bank, having been Manager at Lahore, and subsequently Sub-Manager at
the Calcutta establishment of the bank named.

In June, 189 1, Mr. F. B. Fairley, who had been Agent since 1875, was
transferred to the Law Courts Branch. During his sojourn in Newcastle the
business of the branch much increased. In 1882 he promoted the extension of
the Newcastle Clearing to " Country Clearing," by which all the banks from York
to Berwick were included in the Association. On Saturday, the 7th March, 1874,
the Newcastle Banks commenced to close at one o'clock. This boon was in a
great measure due to Mr. Fairley's efforts. Mr. Colin George Ross, Sub-Agent
at the Manchester Branch, was appointed to the Newcastle Agency. He was the
son of Horatio Ross of Rossie Castle, N.B., one of the original directors of the
National Provincial Bank of England. In the following month Mr. Erskine
removed to Manchester, his position at Newcastle being taken by Mr. Ernest
Edye, who entered upon his appointment 21st August, 1891. Mr. Edye had
considerable banking experience. About 1871 he became attached to the West of
England Bank, Plymouth, moving about from branch to branch until 1874, when
he accepted an appointment in the Oriental Banking Corporation. In April, 1876,
he changed to the Standard Bank of South Africa, and proceeded to the Cape with
the intention of undertaking the duties of Assistant Inspector, but he was retained
at Cape Town as second in command. In 1880 Mr. Edye was appointed
manager of one of the Eastern branches, retaining that post for three years, when
he visited England to recruit his health after malarial fever. Being offered an
appointment in the home country, he resigned his position in the South African
Bank, and became, in 1884, Deputy-Inspector of the London and Brazilian Bank,
and the following year was appointed Inspector ; subsequently he held the position
of Secretary and Superintendent of Branches. In 1891, with the deepest regret,
he resigned his position in the London and Brazilian Bank, and took up his
appointment at Newcastle. In December, 1893, changes again occurred in the
management of the branch, Mr. Edye being promoted to the Agency of the
Leeds establishment of the Bank of England, which post he retained only a few
months, and was then appointed to the responsible position of Chief Auditor of
the Bank of England. Mr. F. W. Peel succeeded to the vacant Sub-Agency at
Newcastle.



[214]

I give the following particulars regarding the Branch Banks from " a Digest
of the Evidence of the Bank Charter taken before the Committee of 1832."

An Account of the Average Circulation of Branch Bank Notes and
Twenty-one Day Bills, during the Years 1828, 1829, 1830, and
1831 ; distinguishing the Amount from each Branch Bank.





1828.


1829.


1830.


1831.




&


£


£


£


Gloucester


41,000


48,000


49,000


49,000


Manchester


258,000


411,000


904,000


1,197,000


Swansea


60,000


50,000


47,000


40,000


Birmingham


133,000


178,000


268,000


357,000


Liverpool


64,000


109,000


212,000


305,000


Bristol


24,000


59,000


85,000


110,000


Leeds


16,000


54,000


106,000


157,000


Exeter


10,000


18,000


23,000


27,000


Newcastle


8,000


23,000


35,C00


37,000


Hull




29,000


64,000


53,000


Norwich


••


••


25,000


40,000




£614,000


£979,000


£1,818,000


£2,372,000



An Account of tlie Amount of Bank Notes which have been paid into
the Bank in London, during the Years 1828, 1829, 1830, and
1831, and issued at the Branch Banks.





1828.


1829.


1830.


1831.




£


£


£


£


Gloucester


107,000


163,000


232,000


206,000


Manchester


771,000


2,113,000


4,383,000


5,380,000


Swansea


152,000


187,000


150,000


137,000


Birmingham


401,000


628,000


747,000


798,000


Liverpool


46,000


120,000


697,000


837,000


Bristol


90,000


198,000


360,000


408,000


Leeds


38,000


163,000


214,000


338,000


Exeter


40,000


107,000


137,000


116,000


Newcastle


22,000


281,000


492,000


416,000


Hull


, ,


80,000


95,000


52,000


Norwich


••


1,000


278,000


366,000




£1,667,000


£4,041,000


£7,785,000


£9,054,000



Note. — The Country Bankers, who have Accounts at the Branch
Banks, receive free of all charge, except postage, the Amounts
paid in for the credit of their accounts by their London or
Country Correspondents.



[215]



An Account of the Amount of Bank Notes paid
in at the Branch Banks, chiefly by Country
Bankers, for the credit of the London Bankers,
and issued to them in London.

In 1828 £1,250,000

1829 3,430,000

1830 4,447,000

1831 6,142,000

Note. — The London Bankers receive, free of all
charge, except postage, the Amounts paid in for
their credit by their Country Correspondents.



An Account of the Average Proportion of Coin to
the Liabilities retained at the Branch Banks,
during the years 1828, 1829, 1830, and 1831.

In 1828 Nearly one-half.

1829 Ditto. ditto.

1830 .. .. .. Above one-third.

1831 One-third.



An Account of tlie Amount of Coin which has
been transmitted to tJie Branch Banks, during
the years 1828, 1829, 1830, and 1831.





Gold Coin.


Silver Coin.




Guineas.


Half Sovereigns.




£


£




£


£


In 1828


1,194,000


21,000


In 1828


38,717





1829


1,593,000


53,0(0


1829


61,561





1830


1,218,0C0


83,000


1830


64,473


126,500


1831


J, 039,200


157,000


1831


46,966


66,500



An Account of the Ammmt of Coin transmitted
from the Branch Banks to London, during the
years 1828, 1829, 1830, and 1831.



An Account of the Average Amount of Bills under Discount at each
of the Branch Banks, during the years 1828, 1829, 1830, and 1831.





1828.


1829.


1830.


1831.




£


£


£


£


Gloucester


18,000


58,000


66,000


79,000


Manchester


105,000


144,000


75,000


194,000


Swansea


33,000


55,000


55,000


84,000


Birmingham


98,000


295,000


277,000


590,000


Liverpool


9,000


46,000


63,000


336,000


Bristol


8,000


47,000


41,000


102,000


Leeds


10,000


53,000


48,000


128,000


Exeter




6,000


2,000


18,000


Newcastle


..


19,000


19,000


38,000


Hull


, .


30,000


24,000


62,000


Norwich


••


1,000


32,000


87,000




£281,000


£754,000


£702,000


£1,718,000



An Account of
during the



[2l6]

the Loss sustained on Discounted Bills unpaid at each of the Branch Banks
years 1828, 1829, 1830, and 1831.



Names of


Bills




Amount


Amount






Total loss at


Branches,


returned.




received.


likely to be


Total loss.


each Branch.


and Years.








received.








Birmingham.


£ s.


d.


£ s. d.


£ S.


d.


£ s. d.


£ s. d.


1828.


596 10


6


165 11 9


70





160 18 9




1829.


1,235 4


6


598 1 4






637 3 2




1830.


654







130





524




1831.


7,730


7


991


1,400





5,839 7


6,661 2 6


Hull.
















1829.


481 14





278 19 2


50





152 14 10




1831.






, ,






98 10


251 4 10


Bristol.
















1829.


10,082 7


5


3,267 7 10


800





6,014 19 7




1831.


8,623 4


8


2,692 4 10


2,150





3,780 19 10


9,795 19 5


Leeds.
















1829.


490





25 2 3






464 17 9


464 17 9


Swansea.
















1829.


8,376 6


10


5,889 11 7


2,486 15


3






Newcastle.
















1830.


3,849 18


11


3,500 9 9


349 9


2






Liverpool.
















1830.


160





17 10


, ,




159 2 2


159 2 2


Manchester.
















1831.


500





5 8 6


150





344 11 6


344 11 6


Norwich.
















1831.


39,015 14


7


3,959 19 1


3,000





32,055 15 6


32,055 15 6


Gloucester.


Nil.




^ ,






, ,




Exeter.


Nil.
















49,732 13 8



An Account of the Amount received at each of the Branch Banks for
Interest on Bills discounted during the Years 1828, 1829, 1830, and
1831.





1828.


1829.


1830.


1831.




£ s. d.


£ s.


d.


£ s. d.


£ s. d.


Gloucester



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 25 of 57)