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 28 of 57)
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With reference to the annexed Circular of Messrs. Dale, Young, & Co., notifying the
amalgamation of their Bank with this Company, I am instructed by my Directors to express their
hope that we may be favoured with a continuance of the confidence and support wliich you have
hitherto accorded to Messrs. Dale, Young, & Co.

I have the pleasure to enclose a copy of our last Half-yearly Report.

I am, your obedient Servant,

For the North Eastern Banking Co., Limited,
B. Noble, General Manager.

Thus terminated a successful business of 34 years' trading, the founder, John
Brodrick Dale, having remained the senior partner during the entire period. With
the exception of having a seat upon the Board of the North Eastern Bank, Mr.
Dale retired into private life, but was not long spared to enjoy his well-earned rest.
He died in December of the same year, after spending over fifty years of his life in
active banking work. At the time of his death, Mr. Dale was a member of the
Committee of the Association of English Country Bankers. He was born in 1821,
so that he would be in his seventy-second year at the time of his death. He was
the son of John Dale of Dockwray Square, North Shields, who married Isabella,
one of the daughters of Mr. William Mitcalfe of Tynemouth House, an extensive
shipowner. Mr. Mitcalfe had several daughters who from their father's wealth
acquired the name of the " Golden Dumplings."

Mr. J. B. Dale commenced his business training in the Northumberland and
Durham District Bank, at their head office, about the time of their beginning business
in 1836, travelHng to Newcastle from North Shields daily by coach. One of his
first duties was to clip the notes of other country bankers passing through the
bank's hands by post, in order to reduce the weight of letters, the minimum for
postage in those days being i/- per letter.



Darlinoton Dietrict BanJ^ing Co, DarUnoton.

Founded 1831. Passed to York City and County Bank, 1884.

DARLINGTON appears to have been the first town in the north of
England to avail itself of the newly-acquired powers of forming a bank
under the Joint Stock Act. Hitherto the private banks had met the
requirements of the district. Doubtless the great prosperity that had attended
one of these tempted the tradesmen and others to form a bank, the profits of
which might be shared by themselves. The earliest public announcement to be
found of the formation of this bank is in the Durham Chronicle, September loth,
1831. It says : —

" Darlington Joint Stock Banking Company. Capital £400,000, in 4,000 shares of £100 each. Several
gentlemen, merchants, tradesmen, and others interested in the welfare and prosperity of the town of



[2^7^

Darlington and the neighbouring districts of the counties of Durham and York, propose to establish a
Joint Stock Company, to be called the Darlington District Banking Company, under the authority and
agreeably with the provisions of the Act of the 7th George IV. cap. 46. Prospectuses showing the
object and advantages of the measure and the principles on which it is proposed to establish and
conduct the Bank may be had on application at the office of Messrs. Allison and Nesham, Solicitors,
Darlington, who are authorised to receive applications for shares.— Daelington, August 20th, 1831."

The editor of the paper remarks upon the announcement : —

" The Joint Stock Banking Co. about to be established in Darlington, Stockton, and the adjoining
districts, is in our opinion a most desirable measure. Had banks been thus established before the
fatal years of 1815 and 1825, the calamities which in those years fell upon the inhabitants of this
country would have been averted, for since the former year no less than five large banking concerns
have failed and brought ruin upon thousands."

It is evident that the Joint Stock plan was expected to be a panacea for all
the ills of banking. The next announcement made by the promoters shows their
opinion of the stability of such banks.

At a general meeting of the gentlemen, merchants, tradesmen, and others, who have taken shares in
the above company, held at the house of Mr. Scott, the King's Head Inn, Darlington, on Thursday,
October 13th, pursuant to order and public advertisement, Warren Maude, Esq., in the Chair,
resolutions to the following effect were passed : — That the district affords a wide field for the successful
operations of a Bank. That the prosperity of those banks that have been formed upon these principles
is notorious. That the idea of shareholders incurring any loss from personal liability in a Joint Stock
Banking Company is altogether imaginary. That a Bank can only be ruined by degrees, many years being
required for the worst managed bank to lose a large capital, and that no Public Company which has
annually to report the result of its management to the general body of Shareholders can possibly bo
carried on until it has placed them in danger, the more especially with a provision in the articles of
the bank that it shall be dissolved upon the loss of one-fourth part of its capital. It was reported by
the solicitors that upwards of 1,500 shares, as required by the prospectus, had already been subscribed
for — no individual to hold more than 100 shares or less than five. Deposit of 10/- per share. First
call — £4 10s. per share, £5 per share to follow shortly — further calls as the Directors fix, not more
than 5 per cent, in any one year. To be managed by seven Directors— two to retire annually —
qualification fifty shares— a declaration of secrecy to be signed by each Director. That the Directors
shall appoint two of their own body not engaged in business to take the principal management, to be
called the Managing Directors — Directors to appoint officers of the Company. The funds of the
Company shall not be invested in Foreign Loans, Mining Institutions, or articles of Merchandise.
Annual Meeting in January of each year. That if ever the guarantee fund shall be exhausted, and one-
fourth of the capital actually paid up be lost, the Directors shall within twenty days call a General
Meeting when the Company shall be, ipso facto, dissolved. That the following gentlemen be appointed
a committee, of whom five shall form a quorum, with power to arrange for commencing business. The
Right Honourable the Earl of Tyrconnel, Kiplin Park ; Warren Maude, Esq., Darlington ; George P.
Hutchinson, Esq., Eggleston ; Captain Watts, R.N., Langton Grange ; Frederick Hardmge, Esq.,
Coatham ; Edward Dale, Esq , Trimdon House ; Robert M. Dinsdale, Esq., Neasham Hall ; Thomas
S. Walker, Esq., Mawnby Hall ; Thomas M. Maude, Esq., Sellaby ; Thomas W. Hill, Esq.,
Startford; Henry Hewgill, Esq., Hornby Grange; Roderick J. Murchison, Esq., London; Henry
Allison, Esq., East Layton ; Dr. Keenlyside, Stockton ; Messrs. John Kipling, Richard Hodgson.
William Walters, George D. Lightfoot, Humphrey Thompson, of Darlington; William Dighton,
Northallerton ; George Maw, Bishop Auckland ; Richard Heppell, Staindrop ; John Park, Stokesley ;



[238j

Richard Child, Guisborough ; Joseph Waugh, Haughton ; Richard Stamper, Blackwell ; William
Sheraton, Beaumont Hill ; W. S. Stowell, Faverdale ; Hugh Gowrie, Kiplin ; John Pothergill,
Aiskew. The Committee to meet each Tuesday at the Solicitors' office. That the Committee shall on
November 8th appoint Directors for the ensuing year, and fix such remuneration for two or more
Directors as they may think fit. That Mr. Charles Barrett be appointed the Manager of the Bank.
That Messrs. Allison and Nesham be the Solicitors. That Warren Maude, Esq., be requested to act
as Treasurer pro tern., and that the proceedings be printed in the Durham Advertiser, DurJiam
Chronicle, York Herald, and Yorkshire Gazette.

The bank was duly constituted, and for some time did a fair amount of
business. Several branches were subsequently opened. In 1836, the agents
were — at Barnard Castle, Mr. Barnes ; Northallerton, Mr. Welbeck ; Stockton,
Mr. Joseph Byers ; Stokesley, Mr. T. Barr.

By 1883, branches had been opened at Stockton, Guisborough, Stokesley, Barnard
Castle, Leyburn, Hawes, and Northallerton. In June of that year a slight run
upon the bank occurred in the Bedale district. It was rumoured that something
was not right regarding the bank. Of course exaggerated reports of all kinds were
soon abroad, which occasioned some inconvenience, especially at the Hawes and
Leyburn branches. When the true story was revealed, it appeared that the
district manager was involved in heavy speculations on the Stock Exchange to the
extent of ;^2 2,000 ; that a great part of this amount had been borrowed personally
from friends and customers of the bank, and that his actual indebtedness to the
bank was not very great. The defaulting official was afterwards prosecuted " for

inducing, by false representations, T C to execute a promissory note for

^500." The charge was proved, and a heavy sentence awarded. The late
manager was declared bankrupt, and at the first meeting of his creditors at York,
proofs were put in for upwards of ;^ 14,000.

In the autumn of the same year a powerful neighbour, the York City and
County Bank, opened negotiations for purchasing the business of the Darlington
District Bank. A meeting was held on September 5th. Mr. Yeoman, the
chairman of the Darlington Company, presided. Mr. R. Willan, of Darlington,
solicitor to the company, read the provisional agreement for sale and purchase.
The " York City and County " were to pay ^70,000, and take over all liabilities.
" There was, however, reserved by the Darlington shareholders the Merrybent, a
mineral railway costing /8o,ooo, but out of use, the company carrying it on having
failed, and the Darlington Bank holding a judgment order on the same for
;^20,ooo." By this arrangement the shareholders of the District Bank were put
into an excellent position. The whole of the subscribed capital would be
returned, and in addition they would divide pro rata the reserve fund, which
stood at ^16,167.



[239]




A formal meeting was held in November, 1884, to wind up the company by-
liquidation. A report of the same says that the shareholders

" have been fortunate enough to realise, with the £1 per share declared at the meeting, £18 per share
for each £12 paid. There is still a balance in hand by the company in the shape of the Merrybent
Railway, which if fairly sold should make £2 or £3 more per share. Formal resolutions approving of
liquidation as a means of settling the affairs of the company were passed, and Mr. John H. Bowman,
one of the directors, and Mr. John Williamson, both of Darlington, were appointed joint liquidators."

As the result of the transfer, the authorised note circulation lapsed ; it was
£26,1^^. The business thus procured has been well maintained by the York City
and County Bank, the Darhngton branch being under the courteous management
of Capt. Leatham. At the time of the transfer the Darlington District Banking
Co. had branches at Barnard Castle, Guisborough, Hawes, Leyburn, Northallerton,
Stockton, and Stokesley.



Founded 1788. BANK IN NEWCASTLE. Now Lambton & Co.







Partners.






Entered the


Left the


Entered the


Left the




Firm.


Firm.




Firm.


Firm.


Thomas Davison-Bland -


1788 ■


1790.


John Steavenson


1828 -


1846.


David Landell


1788 -


1793-


George Fenwick


1833 -


1883.


Richard Chambers -


1788 -


1797.


John Carr -








George Hoar, jun. -


1788 -


1790.


George John Fenwick


1843 -





William Smoult


1788 -


1793-


Henry Ralph Lambton -


1844 -





David Ashworth


1788 -


1788.


Ralph Brown


1853 -





William Hoar


1788 -





Somerset A . Beaumont


1859 -


1863.


Ralph John Lambton


1790 -


1844.


George Anthony Fenwick -


1861 -





Robert Hopper Williamson


1790 -


1835


Thomas Wm. Bulman -


1861 -


1879.


James Pybus


1794 -


1828.


Hugh Fenwick


1864 -


1893.


Thomas Fenwick -


1795 -


1852.


Henry N. Middleton


1880 -





Job Bulman •


1797 -


1818.


Mark Fenwick


1883 -





— Hodgson -


1820 -


182I.


Gerard Fenwick


1892 -





John Anderson, jun.


1822 -


1858.


Ralph Edward Lambton -


1892 -





William Henry Lambton


1824 -


1867.









IT often happens that the record of a firm can only be obtained after they have
stopped payment, and their affairs, by that means, have become somewhat
public. In reviewing the account of this bank, an agreeable change occurs,
as in this instance not only is the writer enabled to give some account of the manner
in which the establishment has pursued its course from its commencement in 1788



^__ [^40]

until the present day, but by the kindness of the partners, he has been
permitted to inspect the records of the preHminary meetings anterior to the
positive opening of the bank.

The gentlemen who thus formed themselves into co-partnership were : — Thomas
Davison-Bland, David Landell, Richard Chambers, George Hoar, jun., William
Smoult, and David Ashworth.

The firm that they had selected as their London agents was Messrs.
Masters & Co., who in 1787 opened a bank at 26, Chancery Lane, the partners
being Richard Masters, Edward Dawson, George Brooks, John Kirton, and Ralph
Clayton. It probably was the connection of the last-named gentleman with the
well-known family of Newcastle and the " Chesters," that led to Messrs. Masters
becoming the London representatives of the new firm. It was under his assistance
and advice " that details for opening the bank were to be conducted."

A set of books was to be forwarded from London ; other necessary fittings
for a bank were to be obtained locally under the directions of Mr. Landell. Notes
were to be procured " as near the Old Bank as possible ; " also a plate for notes
made payable in London at 35 days' sight. A resolution passed at a preliminary
meeting of the partners reads : —

" The form of the note we at present wish for is to be a large single castle in the frontispiece with the
word Newcastle to be wrote above it and upon-Tyne below it, in very small letters and following that,
upon the top of the note Bank in Newcastle."

This rather exceptional title is retained to the present day. Mr. Clayton
promised to come dowm for a few days before the opening. The question of that
indispensable adjunct to all banks — the clerk — soon had to be considered, when it
was resolved that " if the loan of a clerk can be accomplished on liberal terms we
prefer that to hiring one at present ; if not, a clerk must be had." Apparently a
clerk could not be got " upon loan," so Mr. James Pybus of " Prescott & Co."
was appointed, whose salary was to be " quatre-vingt livres sterling." " Mr.
Storey's nephew" applied as junior, of whom it is recorded : — "The young man
has been modest enough to leave wages to ourselves. He shall not fare the worse
for that. He must live on the premises."

At a meeting of the partners held December, 1787, it was resolved : —

" To endeavour to form a plan of numbering the notes so as the other banks shall not know how many
we issue."

" It appears prudent to avoid underwriting, lending money on Bottomry, and employing out
Agents."

" To open February 1, 1788."

" To get 15,000 of the notes with 3d, stamps in London, one thousand 6d., 500 12d., as we have
no stamp press in Newcastle."

" Notes to be issued for £5, £10, and £20. The hours of attendance to be from 10 to 3 o'clock,
and the cash accounts to be closed before dinner."



[241]

The partners' capital appears to have been £2,000 each, to be paid in
London — ^5,000 to be left in the hands of the London Agent, and ^9,000 sent to
Newcastle in specie. It was proposed that a card be sent to the banks of
Newcastle, Durham, Sunderland, Stockton, Darlington, and York, as follows : —

" Messrs. Bland, Landell, Chambers, G. Hoar, Smoult, and Ashworth present their compliments

to , and beg to inform them that they have this day opened

a bank under that title in Newcastle, and will be happy to do business with them upon friendly and
liberal terms."

Their London advisers approved of the " card " being sent to the Newcastle
banks, but " think it quite improper to those in the other towns," and write : —

" You may perhaps at a future period find it necessary with the rest of the Banks in Newcastle to
enter into an Association against them, which you could not with any credit do, after offering your
services to them in writing."

Mr. G. Hoar, writing from London, January 2nd, 1788, says : —

" Mr. Clayton does not recommend sending money by waggon, he having already met with a loss by
the waggon being robbed. As I propose bringing my family with me, in case I have a large sum of
money with me, I must hire another post-chaise, therefore pray give me your advice and opinion ; also
desire Mr. Bland and my brother* to pay Messrs. Masters & Co. £2,000 each when they make a demand
for it, which will entirely put it in their power to dispatch me when they please ; but I could wish to
diminish the sum I am to carry as much as possible. About the 20th inst. is proposed for me to set
out."

Messrs. Masters & Co. write : —

" We are collecting the £9,000 in specie, and will have it ready for Mr. Hoar on Monday. By favour
at the Bank we have already prepared 7 Bags of £1,000 each, the greater part of which is new gold,
and there are some hundreds of half-guineas of the last coinage which we were anxious to procure as
we thought they would please many of your female customers. All the gold has been carefully
weighed, so that I trust you will not find a light guinea among them, though the friction of travelling
may make some slight alteration. We heartily congratulate you on the near approach of your
commencement. Mr. B. Clayton, who arrived here yesterday, tells us that your establishment is
rather popular at Newcastle, and that you have got the title of the ' Nabobs' Bank.' "

This title would arise from so many of the partners being directly or indirectly
connected with India, then the land in which fortunes were rapidly accumulated.
Mr. G. Hoar held a commission under the East India Company. Mr. Smoult had
some connection with India, and he was related to Mr. Chambers, whose brother
(Sir Robert Chambers) was Chief Judge of Calcutta.

Mr. Hoar duly arrived with his valuable burden on January 25th. Mr.
Chambers, when informing his London friends of the fact, adds : —

" We are going to open February 1st. Although it is publicly known here, we are happy to find that
not a murmur has transpired even among the bankers themselves ; they have all been uncommonly
civil to Mr. Landell and myself ever since the report has first been spread abroad."

* William Hoar, the seventh partner in the bank. (See page 34.)



[243]

In due time the following advertisement appeared in the Newcastle papers : —

" 1 Feb., 1788. — Messrs. Bland, Landell, Chambers, G. Hoar, Smoult, & Ashwortb beg leave to inform
the Public they have this day opened a BANK under that firm in Pilgrim Street, Newcastle."

The premises occupied were opposite the end of the High Bridge.

Mr. Ash worth was to "stand at the till." There is a most suggestive entry-
concerning the senior partner, namely — " That as soon as possible a borough shall
be purchased for Mr. Bland."

Letters were wTitten to Sir William Forbes & Co. of Edinburgh, and Mr.
Graham of the Thistle Bank, Glasgow, for information as to the exchange of
notes, &c., and requesting that they would act as agents in their respective towns.

On the opening day the London Agents were asked to press forward the
plates for the £io and £20 notes, and were informed, " We find that we shall not
have much occasion for the optional notes, you will therefore not send any more
at present." (See page 4.6.)

Mr Chambers carried on the correspondence ; letters were written to many
influential friends stating the firm's wish to do business with them.

In reply to one such letter the following was received : —

" February 4th, 1788. Sir B. Conyers presents his compliments to Messrs. Bland, Chambers, & Co., and
begs to inform them that he resolved some years past that he would never have any dealings with any
Bank but the Old Bank ; for the same reason he refused the Commercial Bank, yet he very sincerely
wishes them success."

The other banks existing in Newcastle when Bland & Co. started were : —
The " Old Bank," Sir Matthew White Ridley & Co. ; the " Exchange," Messrs.
Surtees, Burdon, & Co. ; the " Tyne," Messrs. Baker, Loraine, & Co. ; and the
"Commercial," Messrs. Forster, Burrell, & Co. They had an association for
considering questions of mutual interest and soon met to determine what action
they should take towards the new bank. Messrs. Bland wrote to their London
Agents, February 4th :— " We have the pleasure to inform you that the Bankers
here after having had a general meeting on Saturday last, have agreed to deal with
us on amicable terms."

Procuring tickets in the various lotteries issued by the State was part of the
business of the early bankers ; they also as individuals and as firms invested in
chances. The day after their opening, Mr. Chambers wrote to London : —

" We desire the favour of your procuring us the following lottery tickets : — 1 Ticket registered in the
name of Mrs. Elizabeth Pye, at Whitburn, near Sunderland ; 1 Ticket in the name of Lieutenant
William Bathurst Pye, at Whitburn ; 1 Ticket in the name of George Hoar, jun., at Newcastle ; and
1 Ticket in the name of Mrs. George Hoar, jun. The two former you will please send by post, and
keep those for Mr. and Mrs. Hoar in your hands, advising us of the numbers and prices of each."



[^43]

A few years later (after Mr. Bland had left the firm), Mr. Chambers writes to
him : —

" We wrote on the 13th informing you of the fate of ticket No. 28,485. We have this day received
advice of the other ticket, No. 28,481, belonging to the late partnership being also drawn a prize of £20
and your account will be credited with your proportion of both when in Cash."

Again on March 6th, 1794, Mr. Chambers writes to Mr. R. J. Lambton : —

" Deab Sir, — Enclosed are the two lottery tickets you ordered, for which we debit your account
£38 12s., the sum charged by Boldero and Co. I heartily wish they may be fortunate. The partner-
ship have one in the wheel still."

Although the existing banks had resolved to deal with the new-comers " on
amicable terms " there is little doubt that they soon began to try to "rush " them
with their notes, which compelled the new bank to be on its guard by providing
specie, or a large number of the notes of the other local banks. Letters were
written to several friends in the following strain : —

" Deab Sib, — We now write to you in confidence, and hope you will be as secret as possible in the
business we are about to request you to do for us. You must know that the two Old Banks have for
two or three weeks had considerable balances against us which they insisted upon having in specie ;
in order therefore to prevent that next week, we enclose you the following bills on London and will
be obliged by your endeavouring to procure their notes for them, and send a special messenger with
what you collect against Monday evening or early on Tuesday morning, that is to say before 10 o'clock."

It was customary at that time to appoint agents at various places for the
exchange and distribution of the notes. A list of the names of the agents and
their remuneration is preserved, but unfortunately the addresses are not given.

George Wakefield £25 a year.

John Potter . . . . . . . . . . do.

Edward Stamp, Alnwick £10 and use of £200.

Longridge and Bushby £25 and use of £500 on Bond.

Nicholas Teasdale £25 do. do.

Caleb Fairless

Robert Hutton What he deserves.

Thos. Fishburn

William Walton

Thomas Fenwick, Morpeth £30 and use of £300.

Charles Kingston £10 lOs.

Matthew Wadeson £10 10s.

James Elder, Alnwick £25.

James Wardle £10 and use of £300.

At first the Collector of Customs declined to accept the notes of the new
firm, but the difficulty was overcome by the partners giving a joint bond for

;^2,000.



r^44]

On June 9th, 1788, Thomas Fenwick, son of Mr. George Fenwick of South
Hill, entered the bank, he then being 15^ years old ; probably he came for six
months on trial, as on December 6th, 1788, it is recorded : —



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 28 of 57)