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 33 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 33 of 57)
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Johi William Pease. Charles James Spence.

Robert Spence. Howard Pease.

THE firm of Hodgkin, Barnett, Pease, & Spence, began business on the
14th March, 1859. It came into existence owing to the failure of the
Northumberland and Durham District Bank in the autumn of 1857, which
left a void in the banking world that seemed to invite the formation of a private
bank, joint stock banks being for the time somewhat unpopular in the district.



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[285]



The original members of the firm were : — Thomas Hodgkin, son of John Hodgkin
of Lewes, Sussex, barrister-at-law ; Wilham Edward Barnett, son of Robert Barnett
of Blackheath, stockbroker, and nephew of the senior partner in the firm of
Barnett, Hoare, & Co., bankers, London ; John Wilham Pease, son of John
Beaumont Pease of Darlington, who, with his father and uncle, was one of the
original promoters and largest shareholders in the Stockton and Darlington railway ;
and Robert Spence of North Shields, bank manager. Mr. Spence was the eldest son
of Robert Spence, partner in the firm of Chapman & Spence, afterwards absorbed in
the Union Joint Stock Bank. On the failure of that bank (in which nearly all the
members of his family were shareholders), Mr. Spence devoted all his energies to
the business of the new bank, which was formed upon its ruins, and out of the
profits of which a considerable return was made to the shareholders who had
suffered by the previous failure. The conversion of this business into a private
bank (under the style of Messrs. Woods, Parker, & Co.), left Mr. Spence at liberty
to join the new firm of Hodgkin, Barnett, & Co., in which he was for nearly thirty
years the most active partner.

The firm began business in the buildings on the south side of St. Nicholas'
Square now occupied by Mr. Franklin's shop. In September, 1 86 1, they removed to
premises in the Town Hall Buildings (formerly occupied by Hawks, Grey,
Priestman, & Co., and now by the Rate Office
of the Newcastle Corporation), and from thence
on the 26th September, 189 1, they removed to
the new buildings in Collingwood Street, which
they had erected on the site of the old Turf
Hotel.

Of the original firm only two partners —
Messrs. Hodgkin and Pease — now survive. Mr.
Barnett died of scarlet fever at Bywell, in
March, 1869, and was succeeded in the firm by
Robert Gurney Hoare, son of Mr. John Gurney
Hoare, who was then the senior partner in the
firm of Barnett, Hoare, & Co., who with their
successors, Lloyd's Banking Company, Limited,
have been always the London correspondents of
the firm. At the same time Newton C. Ogle, of
Kirkley Hall, joined the firm, but retired a few
years later. The partnership now consists of the three gentlemen above-named




WlLIilAH EDWABD BABNBTT.



[286]




BOBEBT SpENCE.



with Charles James Spence, son of Mr. Robert Spence, and Howard Pease,

son of Mr. J. W. Pease.

From the first establishment of the business,
there have been branches at North and South
Shields. To these in course of time have been
added Morpeth, Alnwick, Rothbury, Shotley
Bridge, Consett, Jarrow, Blyth, Wallsend,
Bellingham, and Amble, with sub-branches at
Stanley, Annfield Plain, Byker, Westgate, and
Ashington.

Mr. Robert Spence died in 1890. The
Bankers Magazine for October of that year
contains an obituary notice regarding him, from
which I extract the following : —

" Having made arrangements with Messrs. Hodgkin, Barnett,

and Pease, he commenced business with them as a private

banker on the 14th of March, 1859. Branches were shortly

opened at North and South Shields, and eventually in most

of the towns of Northumberland and Tyneside. In the

new firm thus constituted, (Hodgkin, Barnett, Pease, and

Spence) Mr. Spence, in right of his long and valuable

experience, naturally took the lead, and till shortly before his death he continued one of the most

active partners. He has seen four generations of his family engaged in practical banking, his

son having entered the bank in 1866, and his grandson in 1889.

After his serious illness in early life, he was unable to take any active part in public affairs, and
his close attention to business would alone have rendered this impossible. His holidays were always
spent in exploring some new district of his native country, and his leisure at home in the study of his
various bibliographical and antiquarian collections. After the death of his wife, twelve years ago, his
health steadily declined, and for some months preceding his death, he was unable to attend to business.
We may say a word or two, in conclusion, as to the business character of one who, of late years,
might fitly be styled the Nestor of banking in the North of England. His diagnosis of an account (if
a medical simile may be pardoned), was unusually clear and correct. When he was in his vigour, few
men could equal him in the instinct with which he scented out accommodation transactions, or in his
perception of the fact that a customer was no longer deserving of the banker's confidence. Naturally
of a somewhat impetuous disposition, he was on principle gentle and courteous to his customers, even
when their applications had to be most steadily refused. ' Take things by their smooth handle,' was
a proverb which he often quoted, and continually exemplified in practice.

Towards his clerks, and all in any way dependent upon him, he was the most generous and
considerate of employers. The trouble which he himself had gone through from broken health and
the shipwreck of the Union Bank, had given him a vivid sympathy with the difficulties of persons of
slender means ; and the acquisition of wealth did not, as is sometimes the case, deaden this sympathy,
but rather seemed to quicken and intensify it. It may seem like the utterance of a conventional
commonplace, but it is in an unusual degree true of him, that by his death all who were brought into
intimate relation with him, as partners, clerks, or customers, feel that they have lost a friend, and one
whose loss will not be easily replaced."



[287]

Ibutcbineon, 6covqc, Zboume, anb 1benr^, stocftton.

Founded 1785. TEES BANK. Failed 1826.

Partners.



George Hutchwson. Henry Hutchinson.

Thomas Hutchinson. John Hutchinson.

Henry Hutchinson. Thomas Place.
George Hutchinson, jun.

THE founders of this establishment were George, Thomas, and Henry-
Hutchinson, brothers, who opened their doors as bankers in 1785.
Previously (1776), George was a timber merchant.* In February 1788,
they are recorded as Thomas Hutchinson & Co., Tees Bank, and as such pay
£1 IS. into Messrs. Backhouse & Co., Darlington, towards the fund for the
Abolition of Slavery. They are also met with in the books of R. & J. Campion,
bankers at Whitby, as Thomas Hutchinson & Co. In the course of time the
original partners retire or die out, and are succeeded by George Hutchinson, jun.,
and Henry Hutchinson, sons of the senior partner, and John Hutchinson, son of
John Hutchinson of Penrith, and cousin of George and Henry. Subsequently,
Mr. Thomas Place, timber merchant of Stockton, was admitted to the bank, the
style of the firm becoming Hutchinsons and Place.

Very little can be recorded of the bank from birth to burial. They weathered
the years of panic until 1825, when towards the end of December of that year,
their London Agents, Messrs. Pole & Co., succumbed to the pressure of the times ;
and upon January 2nd, 1826, Messrs. Hutchinsons and Place, had to suspend
payment, and were soon added to the list of bankrupt bankers, the members of
the firm then being, " George Hutchinson, John Hutchinson, Henry Hutchinson,
and Thomas Place, all of Stockton-upon-Tees, Bankers."

A writer of the day says : —

"The failure created the greatest astonishment. It is recorded that only a little before the
stoppage, farmers and country people actually ran to exchange Backhouse's and Skinner's notes for
Hutchinson & Co.'s. Everybody thought he was safe with them. Hutchinson's was a great Bank for
deposits ; the amount was greater than that of any other in the north except the bank of Sir M. W.
Ridley & Co."

It is announced on February 22nd, 1826,

" All Persons indebted to the late firms of Hutchinsons and Place, bankers, and Place and Hutchinson,
timber merchants, at Stockton upon Tees or Thomas Place separately, are requested to pay their
respective debts to the assignees, at the late Banking House in Stockton aforesaid."

♦ The Churchwardens' Accounts for Northallerton Church have—" 1780. Paid horse hire for W. Thompson to
Stockton to buy planks and deals for seating the church 8/6, paid Messrs. Webster and Hutchinson 60 deals £6,

4 planks 14/- paid."



[288]

On Monday, 20th of March, the sale is announced " For ready money
only," of the stock of timber, consisting of " Memel, American, and Norway
Timber, Deals, &c." A few days before, namely, upon March 15th, "at the
house of Mrs. Martha Howson, the Black Lion Hotel," were sold by order of the
assignees of John Hutchinson and Thomas Place

" a most desirable Freehold Estate at Cleveland, consisting of a messuage or Dwelling House called
Worsall Hall, suitable for the residence of a genteel family, with Gardens, Pleasure Grounds, and
Plantations, comprising about 5 acres, lately occupied by Thomas Place. . . . Also Warehouses,
Granaries and Quay at Worsall 87 Acres of Excellent land now in the occupation of Thomas Place,
John Lodge, Luke Walker, George Cummins, John Mudd, and Thomas Atkinson. Also one undivided
moiety or half-part of the Corn Tithes of Worsall, etc., etc. Also a compact and very eligible Freehold
and Copyhold Estate, called Grassy Nook, in the parish of Norton, Dwelling House and 41 acres of
land, lately occupied by John Hutchinson. Also a Freehold dwelling house in Stockton, occupied by
Wilson Toplin. For further particulars apply to Mr. Wright, Solicitor, Stockton."

A serious dispute arose between two of the bankrupts regarding the reported
destruction of some of the firm's books, which drew forth the following
advertisement : —

" Hutchinson & Place's Bankruptcy. — Whereas a report has been industriously circulated that I,
the undersigned Thomas Place, one of the partners in the above firm, had burnt my books of account,
I, the said Thomas Place, feel it a duty which I owe to the public and my own character, to contradict
so base and scandalous an assertion, and to state that I have delivered to my assignees nineteen day
books, ten ledgers, and various other books, papers, and writings, which contain a just and true account
of all business transacted, and monies received and paid by me, during the time that I was a partner
in the above firm, and for several years previous thereto, and that the said report is totally false and
unfounded, and has been maliciously and unjustly propagated with a view to injure me in the
estimation of my Creditors.

Worsall, near Yarm, ii2nd February, 1826."

Mr. Hutchinson rephed in a letter, dated February 28th, 1826. It is too long
to give in full. He speaks of a letter

" of so extraordinary a nature as to require my candid and prompt explanation, for I am the person he
alludes to and denounces as the author of the ' base and scandalous assertion ' of his having burnt his
books of account."

Mr. Hutchinson states that upon his return from London after the docket
had been struck, he called upon Mr. Place and asked to see his pass-book.

" To my surprise and astonishment he told me he had not one. ' Have not one ! ' replied I,
' impossible I I know you have had two books of this description.' ' No, I have not had one for many

years,' was his reply. ' Good G , and can you have lost a book of such consequence ; the thing is

impossible — incredible ; and I beg (for your own sake) that you will find it.' "

A long account follows containing charges and counter-charges. Eventually
all the books were handed over to the assignee. How the assets of the bank were
realised, and what dividend was paid, I am unable to record.



_^ [289]

The Tees Bank had a considerable note issue. Very recently two of these
notes were presented in payment by a country dealer to a wholesale firm in
Newcastle. The notes are before me ; one bears date September 6th, 1817, and
is payable to Thomas Swinburne, Esq., and entered by G. T. Hutchinson. The
other is dated May 13th, 1825, and is payable to Warcop Consett, Esq. (see
Peirse, Consett, Topham, & Walton, of Northallerton), and entered by G. H.
Swaine. Both notes have the following endorsement on the back : — " At the
Black Lion Hotel, in Stockton, August 24th, 1826, exhibited as under a renewed
Commission of Bankruptcy against George Hutchinson, John Hutchinson, Henry
Hutchinson, and Thomas Place, Bankrupts. Marshall Robinson, R. Pulman, John
Thomas Sanderson." The corners of the notes are clipped off.

The Hutchinsons were an old Stockton family.

GEORGE HUTCHINSON was Mayor of Stockton, 1776 and 1777 ; he
was one of the committee of the Subscription Library established in 1791.

GEORGE HUTCHINSON, Jun., contracted a marriage that brought him
into some trouble. The Newcastle Chronicle of June 29th, 1793, says : —

" George Hutchiason, jun., Esq., of Stockton was brought into the Court of Chancery on Wednesday
se'night, he having taken a Miss Dawson niece of the late Mrs. Duyenes on a matrimonial trip to Gretna
Green. The young lady is a ward of the Court, and for this offence the Lord Chancellor committed
Mr. Hutchinson to the Fleet Prison."

In 1796, when all the country was arming and forming volunteer corps,
Stockton was not behind-hand, G. Hutchinson, jun., taking an active part in. the
matter. In 1803 he was a Captain in " The Loyal Stockton Volunteers." In 1805
and 1806 he was Mayor of Stockton. He died at Whitton, May 19th, 1856, aged
88. His brother HENRY HUTCHINSON was Mayor 1816 and 1817. He
died at Douglas, Isle of Man, April 14th, 1847, aged 68.

HENRY HUTCHINSON, one of the founders, died October 14th, 181 1.

JOHN HUTCHINSON, cousin to George and Henry, was a lieutenant in
the Loyal Stockton Volunteers, and was elected Mayor of Stockton in 18 10.
The family were related to Wordsworth, the Poet Laureate, he having married
Miss Mary Hutchinson, sister of John, and it was during a visit to his brother-in-
law at Stockton that Wordsworth wrote " The White Doe of Rylstone "
(December, 1796). Mrs. Wordsworth's poetic appreciativeness, manifest to all
who knew her, is attested by the poet's assertion that two of the best lines in the
poem of " The Daffodils " were her composition —

" They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude " —



[^90]

A few years subsequently, John Hutchinson turned author, and in 1822
pubhshed a httle work entitled, " Origin and Pedigree of the Stockton Shorthorns,
with remarks, an appendix, and a supplementary essay ; the whole intended to
elucidate many points necessary to be known by south-country breeders and
amateurs." *

Probably the banker had caught some of the poetic flame from his brother-in-
law, as he soon afterwards published odes fired with patriotic fervour, entitled,
'* Carmina Voluntaria, being Odes on the Royal Trip to Scotland, and the King's
Return." (T. Eeles, printer.) One stanza will show the nature of the poem :^

"NEPTUNE, HO! HO!!
Thy rugged features smoothe into a smile ;
Proud day for thee and for thy kingdoms this,
Whilst George the Fourth, ' King of the mighty isle,'

(Salute him, Neptune, with a smile,)
Ploughs thy green ocean's deep abyss,
Great George the Fourth, Britannia's King,
Well deserves thy welcoming !

Neptune, ho ! ho 1 1 "

In 1824 John Hutchinson was a member of the Stockton Corporation, and at
a meeting of that august body held April 27th, a petition to Parliament against the
proposed "Northern or Tees and Weardale Railroad" was moved by Mr. Rd.
Jackson. A petition in its favour was moved as an amendment by Mr. Crowe, and
seconded by Mr. John Hutchinson, the banker and his friends winning the day.
Mr. John Hutchinson died in 1833, ^g^d 65.

On January 31st, 1824, a robbery of an extraordinary nature was committed
upon this bank. Accounts of it are given in nearly all the local histories, which
while agreeing in the main particulars, vary so much in detail that it is difficult to
get at the exact facts. The case appears to be as follows : —

Messrs. Hutchinson were in the habit of sending at stated periods a confidential clerk from Stockton
to Sunderland and Newcastle to effect exchanges as might be required in bills, notes, or coin.
Probably the clerk always left by a certain coach at a fixed time. About 3 o'clock in the morning of
the day named, Mr. John Dobson, clerk in the Tees Bank, opened the door of the York and Newcastle
coach on its arrival in Stockton, when a passenger alighted wrapped in a heavy overcoat, discharged
his fare, and leisurely walked away. The banker's clerk placed under the seat his portmanteau or box,
containing effects to the value of £5,000. The coach being empty, he retired into the Inn for some
refreshment ; keeping a watch upon the conveyance while so doing. Soon after this the coach
started ; in due time Sunderland was reached, when much to his dismay, Dobson discovered that his
package was missing. A hue and cry was instantly made— one young gentleman who had been his
travelling companion part of the journey was the only person who could be suspected; he was tracked
by the police from place to place for some days, and at last was arrested on suspicion at the Turf
Hotel, Newcastle, but after great trouble and delay he so conclusively proved his high character and

* In prose and verse (W. Eobinson, Printer).



[^9i]

position that the matter was abandoned. Advertisements were inserted in the London and Stockton
papers, announcing that a box containing a large sum of money had been lost, and offering a handsome
reward for the recovery of it. No answers came in response to the advertisements although they were
often repeated, and at last the matter was given up. Some time afterwards, the bankers received a
letter from London in which it was stated that the writer knew of a box being found at Stockton on
the night of the loss — and that the same should be returned with the contents intact, in exchange for
a draft of £2,000 and £700 more for expenses. This looked so like compounding a felony— that a
contra offer was made, but no response received. Eventually the full terms were agreed to, and
documents binding the bank were forwarded to London. Some hours before the mail returned, a
gentleman entered tho office, bowed politely to the manager, and produced the missing box and the
agreement ; whereupon he was paid the stipulated amount of £2,700. He then left without uttering
a syllable, entered a chaise drawn by four horses that was standing at the door, and posted back to
London the same way that he came. A short time afterwards Mr. Hutchinson received a case of wine
from London, also a note thanking him for his good faith, and stating that the expenses of the writer's
party in the transaction had been very heavy as they had previously made four attempts before they
succeeded. There is no doubt that the whole robbery had been well planned, and that when the
clerk at Stockton let out * the only passenger ' by the coach, the said individual passed round to the
other side of the conveyance, opened the door, abstracted the box, and at once made for London in a
chaise and four that was in attendance.

The following are some of the bills that were thus recovered : —

" David Carrick, Carlisle, £10 lOs. 7d. ; Charles Smith on John Rayne, Newcastle, £23 4s. ; George
Coverdale, Stokesley, on T. Temple & Co., Newcastle, £100 ; ditto on IMatthew Renwick, Newcastle,
£46 9s. 4d. ; ditto John Hodgson, Newcastle, £20 ; ditto on Samuel, Newcastle, £24 lis. 7d. ;
R. Wood, Wynyard, on T. & G. Hutchinson, Sunderland, £352 ; John Reed, Yarm, on Thomas
Morland, Newcastle, £25 17s. 6d. ; ditto on W. Marley, Newcastle, £80 14s. 6d. ; T. Wetherell,
Durham, on Mark Hopper, Durham, £10 5s. ; George Coates, Norton, on John Riseborough,
Sunderland, £77 5s. ; T. P. Wimberley, Doncaster, on Slessrs. Jowsey, Sunderland, £7 5s. ; ditto on
John Oyston, South Shields, £6 13s. Id."



Ibutton, ®tbcr, Si do. iRicbmonD.

RICHMOND AND SWALEDALE BANK.

Converted into Swaledale and
Founded prior to 1805. Partners. Wensleydale Banking Co., 1836.

^ohn Hutton. — Ellis.

— Wood. Thomas Simpson.

Thomas Other. Christopher Other.
John Rohson.

CLARKSON'S "History of Richmond" states :—
" Shambles— a little lower down the street is the New Bank of Hutton, Other, and Simpson*
established in 1806, and enjoying the full confidence of the public. They are the Deputy-
Receivers of Taxes for the North Riding of Yorkshire, which circumstance makes their Banking
concerns very extensive."



[292]

I have reason to believe that the bank was commenced rather earlier than the
date given, at any rate so far as Leyburn was concerned. Another local historian says : —

" A little lower down the street is the New Bank of Messrs. Hutton, Wood, & Co., where every
accommodation is met with in a very liberal and polite manner."

By 1812, the firm had grown to the full complement of six partners.




V v_ . —




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KiT' '-JiC' I. / ^



Upon a recent visit to Richmond, I was shown a guinea note, dated
December 5th, 18 12, signed "For Hutton, Wood, Other, Robson, Ellis, and
Simpson, Thomas Simpson." It was found in 1890 in a drawer of an old piece of
furniture at Leyburn, cashed in honour by Capt. Other of Coverham, and given by
him to Mr. Ness Walker, manager of the Swaledale and Wensleydale Bank, by whose
kind permission I am able to produce a fac simile. Subsequently I interviewed
Mr. CHRISTOPHER OTHER (locally known as Capt. Other) at his retreat at
Coverham Abbey, and from my conversation with him, gathered much of my
knowledge of the bank. Mr. Other was born in 1809, and when I saw him was
in his 84th year.

Of the early proprietors, I gathered that Mr. JOHN HUTTON was of
Marske Hall, Richmond, a considerable landed proprietor. At his coming of age,
September 24th, 1795, " an elegant entertainment and ball were given to the ladies
and gentlemen of the neighbourhood of Marske Hall, the family seat."

Mr. WOOD was of West Burton ; he did not remain in the firm very many years.

THOMAS OTHER (the fether of my informant), was of Elm House,
Redmire ; born 1769, died November 15th, 1834 j ^^^^ was actively connected with
the bank until his decease.



[^93]

JOHN ROBSON (of whom more anon), and . . . ELLIS were both
from London. THOMAS SIMPSON was of Richmond.

The bank did a small but prosperous business. The quiet dales of Yorkshire,
prior to the days of railways and telegraphs, were unmoved by the panics that from
time to time agitated the busy centres of commerce. The notes were always held
with confidence, and Mr. Other knew of no " run " ever occurring through want of
specie. Being deputy-receivers for the Inland Revenue, they had twice a year to
attend upon the Collector at all places of any importance in the North Riding
of Yorkshire. Mr. Christopher Other had paid many visits on this business,
taking the precaution always to travel in the daylight, and at all times being
fully armed. The bulk of the receipt was in the notes of the local bankers,
which were exchanged for those of Hutton, Other, & Co., or converted into drafts
on London. Mr. Other still retains an active interest in the banking world as
Chairman of the Swaledale and Wensleydale Banking Co. He is a very extensive
land-owner, the Coverham property alone, which he inherited from the Listers,
comprising some 20,000 acres of land. Indulging somewhat in the eccentricities
pennissible to a country gentleman of the old school, he is, notwithstanding,
spoken of as a generous landlord, 20 per cent, being often returned upon rent day.

Mr. Thomas Other, one of the founders of the bank, was a Captain in the
" Loyal Dale Volunteers," in the early years of the present century, whom a local
writer describes thus : —

"tight little red coats, tight stiff stock, tight white nether integuments, old Brown Bess, and a
Volunteer as stiff as if he had accidentally swallowed the old girl's ramrod. But in the perilous times of
' Old Boney,* the Wensleydale Volunteers proved themselves to he made of the right stuff. One night



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 33 of 57)