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 34 of 57)
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the fire on Penhill sent forth its lurid blaze in response to a similar fire on Roseberry Topping, the
signal agreed upon to herald the announcement that the French had landed upon our shores. The
bugle was sounded — men were hastily mustered. Led by their gallant Captain, they made from
Redmire to Spennythorn, when Major Van Straubenzie took command. A short delay, to give time
to the men from out-of-the-way places — but soon every man was reported at his post, when the gallant
little band marched to Masham, the appointed place of rendezvous, here to be disappointed with the
news that the man on Roseberry Topping had raised a false alarm. In due time the Volunteers
received the thanks of both Houses of Parliament, for their prompt and smart response to the call of

I subsequently heard that the son of Mr. John Robson, one of the partners in
18 1 2, was living in retirement at Thornton Stewart. During a conversation with
him he informed me that his father was at the commencement of the century a
clerk with Messrs. Gosling & Sharp, bankers, London ; that he joined the firm of
Hutton, Other, & Co., and took the management of the bank at Leyburn ; that he
resided there at the bank, which was the house now adjoining the present
Wesleyan Chapel upon the west side, and in that house the eldest daughter, Ellen


Robson (afterwards Madame Santag) was bom on November nth, 1805. This
being the case, the bank had an earher foundation than quoted by Clarkson in his
"History of Richmond," viz., 1806, or the business at Leyburn must have been
started prior to that of Richmond.

Mr. Robson subsequently moved to the premises on the other side of the
road, now occupied by the Swaledale and Wensleydale Bank. One son and two
more daughters completed the family. Mr. Robson conducted the Leyburn Bank
until 18 1 9, and in that year, driving from Richmond to Leyburn, as he was leaving
the former place, his horse fell ; he was thrown out of his conveyance, and received
injuries to which he soon after succumbed. He was born January 3rd, 1774,
and married Frances Robson (born April i8th, 1781, died July 29th, 181 6). He
died November 22nd, 18 19. At the time of the accident my informant,
William Birkbeck Robson, was 1 1 years of age. Mr. Hutton had him educated
at Newby's School at Barningham, and made Marske Hall his home during the
holidays. After a long business career in York and London, he retired in 1868,
and now resides with his two maiden sisters at Thornton Stewart ; the trio being
octogenarians, but all vigorous and full of information.

For many years the London Agents of the bank were Messrs. Pole & Co.,
who collapsed during the storm of 1825. The bank pursued the even tenor of its
way until 1836, when it was converted into a Joint Stock Company, under the
style of the Swaledale and Wensleydale Banking Company.

3nbU9triaI Bank, Ximiteb. mewcastie-upon-Usne.

Founded 1872. Failed 1876.

IN 1872 a bank was projected in Newcastle under the above name. The
Prospectus issued at the time will best explain the aim and purport of the
promoters. It states : —

" This company is formed with the object of supplying Banking facilities to Industrial Societies, and
to the trading and commercial classes generally, on the mutual principle. That principle, as applied
to Assurance, is well understood, and has had a large success. After providing for a reserve fund, all
profits above 10 per cent., will be equally divided between capital, and those members who are
customers and whose transactions with the company have been profitable. The Company proposes to
undertake all legitimate Banking business. Its operations will not be confined to Industrial Societies,
although both from them and from the general public it has already received promises of a large
amount of support. From a return ordered by the House of Commons to be printed on 26th April,
1871, it appears that of 1,375 Industrial Societies, which had been registered to 31st December, 1870,
749 made returns. The number of members of these 749 Societies, was 249,113 ; the Share Capital,


£2,034,261, the Loan Capital £179,128, the amount received in goods, £8,202,466. The value of
buildings, fixtures, and land, £962,276 ; the capital invested with companies incorporated under the
Companies' Act, £204,696 ; and the disposable net profit realized from all sources during the year,
£555,435. In Northumberland there are 27 Industrial Societies which gave returns, with 12,426
members, a turn-over of £384,617, and net profit amounting to £28,479. In Durham the numbers
were — Societies, 42 ; members, 18,019 ; cash received for goods, £509,584 ; profits, £47,338.

. . . The Directors guarantee that the Company will commence business with the entire
Capital perfectly intact, the whole of the preliminary, legal, and other expenses being covered by the
fund created by the payment of 1/- per share, and any surplus therefrom will go to the formation of a
reserve fund. ... A considerable number of shares has already been applied for, but it is intended
that all bona fide applications shall be fairly considered, regard being had to priority of date of


Total Capital £250,000

Cash Capital, to be paid up £150,000

The capital of the Company is composed of Fifty Thousand Shares of £5 each, 10,000 of which
are now issued, £3 per Share to be paid as follows : — 11/- on application, 1/- of which will be devoted
to the payment of preliminary expenses, &c., 10/- on Allotment ; First Call of 10/- on 1st August, 1872,
the remaining Calls not to exceed 10/- per Share, and one month's notice to be given of each Call.

Provisional Directors— John Hunter Rutherford, William Douglass, John Curry, Joseph
France, George Fryer, Samuel Thompson, John Burnip ; Manager — Alexander Hannay ; London
Agent — The Alliance Bank, Ld. ; Solicitor — W. Brewis Elsdon ; Auditors — Benson, Eland, & Co. ;
Secretary (pro tern.) — John McPherson ; Temporary Offices, 4, Royal Arcade."

The shares appear to have been freely applied for, most of the large
Co-operative Societies in the district becoming holders. The doors of the bank
were opened for business on Monday, July 8th, 1872, the offices being at the south
side of the Pilgrim Street entrance to the Royal Arcade, the same premises that
had been occupied by the Newcastle Savings' Bank. A considerable business was
done, especially with the Co-operative Societies. In July, 1875, the report is as
follows : —

" The directors congratulate the shareholders that notwithstanding the depression of trade during the
half year, the bank has made steady progress. 801 new shares have been issued, and from the premiums
£100 has been added to the reserve fund, which now stands at £1,300." A net profit was shown of
£1,020, out of which it was proposed to pay a dividend of 3/- per share, or at the rate of 10 per cent.
per annum.

At the meeting held in January, 1876, a dividend of 1/6 per share was resolved
upon. Sundry questions were asked as to the bank's position in regard to the
Ouseburn Engine Works (started and carried on for a few years upon co-operative
principles), which had recently failed. The officials reported that there might be
a loss, though not greater than the reserve fund would cover. But dark days
were in store, and the Ouseburn Engine Works proved to be a mill-stone that
dragged the ill-fated bank to the ground. Early in October, 1876, rumours were


abroad regarding the stability of the " Industrial" and on the 6th of that month
the following notice was posted on the doors : — " Pending the negotiations for
amalgamation with the Wholesale Co-operative Society, the business of this bank
will be suspended for a few days."

The business of the bank being greatly confined to the Co-operative Societies,
little public inconvenience was experienced by the stoppage.

A great number of meetings were held, complications arose between the
bank, the Co-operative Wholesale Society, and the Ouseburn Engine Works.
Eventually liquidators were appointed and the bank was wound up. On January
24th, 1877, a first dividend of 3/4 in the pound was paid.

Xantbton d, Co. TWewcastie-upon-xr^nc.

(see Davison-Bla?id & Co.)

Xaw6on, Sir 3obn, iRicbmon&.


Founded 1792. Partners. Now Roper and Priestman.

Sir John Law son. Thomas Stapleton. William Priestman.

Miles Stapleton. Gilbert Stapleton. Henry C. Priestman.

John Robinson. Peter Constable Maxwell. George Roper.

George Kay. R. S. D. Rome Roper.

THIS establishment, which is now represented b)^ Messrs. Roper and
Priestman, is one of the very few private banks left in North Yorkshire,
It was originally commenced by Sir John Lawson and Miles Stapleton, Esq.,
gentlemen of high position in the district, who, I am told, were led to open
the bank by the thrifty people in the lovely dale of the Swale bringing their
savings, and asking them to take care of the money. It was established in 1792.
The earliest notice that I have of the firm is from a note for five guineas (fac simile
of which is produced on the opposite page), No. D5565, dated March 23rd,

1792, and signed, "For Sir John Lawson, Bart., Miles Stapleton, Esq., & Co.
John Law^son." Entered by C. Priestman (grandfather of the present proprietor).
Of this note more presently.

Their London agents at this time were Harrison and Co. On March 30th,

1793, the following advertisement appeared in the Newcastle Chronicle ;—

" Richmond Bank. All Drafts drawn by Sir John Lawson & Co. upon Robert and Thomas Harrison,
will be accepted and paid at the Bank of Messrs. Wright, Selby, and Robinson, Henrietta Street,
Oovent Garden, London."


A note for one guinea, dated April, 179 (last figure torn off), is also signed
John Lawson. In the list of bankers for 1805 they are quoted as Lawson & Co.,
London agents, Moffatt & Co. Sir John Lawson died June 27th, 181 1, aged 6y,
and soon afterwards the fimi became Stapleton, Robinson, & Kay. In the list of
banks for 181 6, they are named Stapleton & Co., Market Place, Richmond.
London agents, Barclay & Co.

^.>;/?.xyi/ 'a \yj/iL\

Clarkson in his " History of Richmond," written in 182 1, says : —

"In the Market Place there is also situated the Old Bank of Stapleton, Robinson, and Kay, a bank
conducted by gentlemen of well known property and respectable connections, established in 1792."

If the commencement of the bank were not prior to that date they must have
issued their notes pretty freely to have reached No. D5565 by March 23rd of that
year. A one pound note dated August ist, 1822, shows the partners then to be: —
Thomas Stapleton (son of the founder), John Robinson, and George Kay. The
note is entered by William Priestman.

In 1840 they are announced as Gilbert Stapleton, Market Place, Richmond,
who at that time seems to have been the sole proprietor. Upon his retirement in
1848, the bank was taken over by Peter Constable Maxwell, Roper Stote Donnison
Rowe Roper, and William Priestman. (The latter gentleman had for many years
been a confidential clerk in the establishment.) Their note issue then was ;^6,889.
On the death of Mr. Maxwell in 185 1, the business was carried on by the surviving
partners. At the decease of Mr. William Priestman, the firm became R. S. D. R.
Roper, Henry Christopher Priestman, and George Roper. Mr. R. S. D. R. Roper
died in 1868, and since then the business has been conducted by the present
partners, Mr. Henry Christopher Priestman and Mr. George Roper.

.^ [J98]

Upon a recent visit to Richmond, I was shown the notes referred to. They
are from a set of seven notes for £c, 5s., all dated much about the same time, and one
note for one guinea. They were presented for payment on May 15th, 1874,
having then been found at Northallerton between two leaves of an old book.
They were duly honoured by the bank proprietors. The firm have issued notes
for ;^5 5s., £s> £^ IS., and £1. The £c^ notes are still in circulation.

Regarding the death of Sir John Lawson, in June, 181 1, a York Newspaper
records: — "Died at Brough Hall, near Catterick, Sir John Lawson, Bart. Dying
without male issue, the Baronetage and estates devolved on Henry Maire, Esq.,
of Lartington, near Barnard Castle, his next brother. The goodness of his heart
was eminently distinguished by his universal benevolence, urbanity, and generosity
to his friends, tenantry, and to the poor, who never pleaded in vain. His loyalty
to his Sovereign in the most perilous times was evinced by raising the Catterick
Armed Association, and afterwards the Catterick and Richmond Volunteers. His
hospitality was unbounded, and the neighbourhood where he resided would, it was
said, long and severely feel the loss of so worthy a man and so excellent a
landlord. Sir J. Lawson though not deeply engaged on the turf, was the breeder of
several good racers, viz., Brough, Sir John, Quiver, Lady Brough, and Byker.
The meetings at Catterick and Richmond severely felt his loss, as he was the
promoter of every rational and exhilarating amusement in his neighbourhood."

Xtster Si Co. Scarborouab-

Founded prior to 1805. Partners. Failed 1822.

Information incomplete.

FROM the account of Messrs. Hayes, Leatham, Hodgson, & Lister (who
commenced a bank at Malton in 1792, with branches at Whitby and
Scarborough), there appears to be a strong probability that the junior
partner conducted the Scarborough branch, and subsequently left the Malton firm
and continued the business at the now fashionable watering-place, in conjunction
with other gentlemen.

In the hst of country bankers for 1805, is announced : — Lister & Co.,
Scarboro' ; London agents. Bond & Co. In 18 16 they are recorded as Lister,
Moorson, & Co., their London agents being the same. In 1823 they are named
as J. & R. M. Lister, Moorson, & Co. Probably the information would be

I 299]

gathered early in 1822, as on March 12th, 1822, amongst the bankrupts, I find
Wilham Moorson, banker, Scarborough, Yorkshire. That is the last record I have
of the firm. A few years afterwards, their London agents, Messrs. Bond & Co.,
are likewise found in the Bankruptcy Court.

A £1 note of this firm dated fi-om Scarborough, July ist, 18 19, No. 734, is
signed for Lister, Moorson & Co., Wm. Moorson. On the left hand side is a small
vignette giving a view of the Castle.

Olonbon & mortbcrn Joint Stock Banfi, Xtmitc^

_, n^ Newcastle Branch

Founded 1862.

abandoned 1864.

TN November, 1862, a bank was floated in Newcastle under the above
title. The first intimation of it is gathered from a circular marked

" (Private and Confidential.)

London and Northern Bank Limited. Capital £1,000,000. In 10,000 Shares of £100 each, of which
it is not intended to call up more than £20 per Share. First issue 5,000 Shares.

Directors — George Cobden, Esq., (Messrs. Cobden & Co.) London and Manchester. Thomas
Cotterell Esq., Director of the Bank of Hindustan. Thomas D'IfEanger, Esq., Director of the
London and Colonial Bank. J. T. Dobson, Esq., London and Hull, Sheriff of Hull. John Geary, Esq.,
Director of the Metropolitan and Provincial Bank. J. W. Johns, Esq., Director of Newtown
and Oswestry Railway Co. Richard Kyrke Penson, Esq., Director of the Aberystwith and Welsh
Coast Railway Company. George Palmer Robinson, Esq., Director of the Alliance Bank of London
and Liverpool. Ralph Walters, Esq., Director of the Great Eastern Railway Company. Solicitors —
Davidson, Bradbury, Hardwicke, and Carr. Bankers — Metropolitan and Provincial Bank, 75 CornhiU,
London. Secretary — J. H. Duke, Esq., 75 CornhiU, London.

" The acknowledged deficiency of Banking accommodation in some of the most important
Towns in the North of England, and the advantages to be derived from the establishment of a General
Board of Management in the Metropolis, have suggested the formation of the London and Northern
Bank (Limited). . . . The Directors consider that, without attempting to carry on any kind of
Banking business within the Metropolis, the existence of a Board of Management in London, free
from local prejudices and influences, and simply enforcing the observance of strict Banking principles,
cannot fail to exercise a very salutary influence upon the ordinary temptations attendant upon
country Banking. It gives facilities, too, for the investment of capital, and affords many other
advantages which no purely provincial company can possess. The Directors, after careful consideration,
have selected Newcastle-on-Tyne and Sunderland as the most eligible towns in the North of England
for the commencement of their operations."


Then follows a statement of the returns of the various trades of the district —
the number of banks then existing — the growth of the population — and cogent
reasons why a new bank was required — winding up with

" an extract from the Speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the occasion of his excursion
down the Tyne on the 8th of October last. ' I know not where to seek even in this busy country a
spot or district in which we perceive so extraordinary and multifarious a combination of the various
great branches of Mining, Manufacturing, Trading, and Shipbuilding Industry, and I greatly doubt
whether the like can be shown, not only within the limits of this land, but upon the whole surface of the
globe.' "

It was proposed to call up only £20 per share, as the remaining ;^8o would
form an ample guarantee to the customers of the bank.

A second circular was subsequently issued embodying nearly all the old notice,
with the exception that £2^^ instead of £20 had to be called up, and stating the
Deposit on Application was to be £1 per share ; Payment on Allotment, £2 per
share. Calls not exceeding £^ per share at intervals of not less than three months.
A list of fifteen directors is given, but Messrs. D'Ififanger, Dobson, Geary, and Ralph
Walters, are the only names remaming out of the nine first announced. Two other
local names are added, Edward Temperley Gourley, Esq., Shipowner, Sunderland,
and William Pears, Esq., Fenham Hall, Newcastle.* The circular also states : —
"Negotiations are pending for the transfer of the business of two successful
Private Banks in the North of England, upon advantageous terms, which will be
submitted to the Shareholders." No mention is made of a branch at Sunderland ;
but Leeds, Newcastle, Hull, and Middlesbrough are the towns selected at
which to open establishments.

On November 26th, 1862, the Secretary, J. H. Duke, announced: — "No
further application for shares will be received after December 3rd." A few days
afterwards, they advertised for Managers for London, Leeds, Hull, Newcastle,
and Middlesbrough. At this time the following article appeared in a local paper :^

" The London and Northern Bank, Limited, the prospectus of which has now been for some time before
the public — whatever its success elsewhere — may be pronouncad a failure in Newcastle, so far as the
obtainment of shareholders. ' Burnt bairns dread the fire,' and although this is to be a ' limited' company,
the Act under which it is to be established will, we fear, be found not very securely to limit the power of
the directors, for whose acts the shareholders will have to be to a large extent responsible. Nor is the
name of the only resident director calculated to attract customers to the bank when opened. The
managers of a bank should be men of strong and well-balanced minds, and all connected with it should
have the highest character for integrity and discretion. Of course no one will dispute the advantages
the bank may confer by bringing additional capital to the town. There can be no doubt that if it is
prepared to render assistance to enterprising tradesmen and others, it may gradually work its way into
public favour, but this must be done with a frank discrimination, and not with the spirit of a
pawnbroker's shop or of a usurious money-lender. The bank established a few years ago by Messrs.
Hodgkin, Barnett, Pease, and Spence, has we believe been eminently successful, but then the very
names of the partners gave them a favourable introduction."

* These gentlemen apparently resigned shortly afterwards.


The London and Northern Bank was eventually opened at Exchange Buildings,
Quay Side. Local Manager, Peter Davidson. Local Solicitors, Messrs. Ingledew
and Daggett. London Agent, Bank of London. The terms of business were
advertised thus : —

" Current Accounts. — Where the balance shall not at any time during the half-year have been below
£500, interest at the rate of £3 per cent, per annum will be allowed thereon, and if under £500 and not
below £200, interest will be allowed at the rate of £2 per cent, per annum.

Deposit Accounts. — Sums of £10 and not exceeding £100, will be received repayable without
notice, and interest allowed thereon.

Sums of £100 and upwards will be received and interest allowed thereon at the current rate of
the day subject to notice of withdrawal.

The utmost facilities will be given to parties keeping accounts with the bank for transacting
business between London and the principal towns in England, Ireland, and Scotland."

The Manager, Mr. Peter Da\idson, M'as not a stranger to Newcastle ; he was
formerly manager of the Commercial Bank. He had recently been inspector of
branches of the West of England and South Wales Banks. In 1864 the directors
announced that in compliance with a requisition addressed to them from Hexham,
" They beg to intimate that a Branch will be opened in that town on Monday,
nth April next, under the agency of Mr. William Taylor." Branches had
previously been opened at Morpeth (James Hood, agent), and Alnwick (Thomas
Duncan, agent). The life of the London and Northern Bank was not a very long
or a very happy one.

In October, 1864, the shareholders were informed that the directors had
entered into a conditional agreement for the amalgamation of their bank with
another banking company upon advantageous terms. A special general meeting
was held in Newcastle, Mr. Ralph Walters presiding, when formal resolutions
were passed for amalgamating with the Midland Banking Company.

The chairman showed the advantages that would accrue to the shareholders
from this arrangement. In response to a vote of thanks to the chairman and
directors for the way in which the business had been conducted, the chairman said
that whatever had been done by their manager had been in the interest of the
company alone, and the directors exonerated him from all blame. The reference
was to the fact that a risky and speculative business had been done, which had
occasioned heavy losses, the matter perhaps being brought to a climax by a certain
shareholder — Mr. Frederick Symons of 64, Lower Thames Street — who had filed
a bill to compel the company to wind up. It was stated that his object was only
a personal one, as had the directors purchased Mr. Symons' shares at par,
nothing would have been heard about the bill, and so strongly did the directors
feel this that they issued a summons against Mr. Symons for an attempt to extort


The case came on at the Mansion House before Mr. Alderman Stone, and the
account of it occupies three columns of the paper before me. Some extracts from
an article upon the matter give a good digest of the history of the bank.

" The facts made public yesterday regarding the London and Northern Bank, one of the numerous
family of companies concocted by practised promoters, who undertake the trouble at the rate of
£10,000 per company, are such as should convey further useful points of reflection to the subscribing

This concern was started in London, November, 1862, with a capital of £1,000,000, and branches
at Leeds, Newcastle, Hull, and Middlesbrough, and until last month nothing transpired of its
operations beyond the routine circumstances of appropriation being made for dividends and reserve,
and of previously unissued shares being offered at a premium.

At a meeting of creditors of Manual and Brillman, a failed firm, who showed liabilities for
£99,864, and actual assets for £6,504, it was then announced that the insolvents had been assisted by
the London and Northern Bank, who had made them advances — not in money, but by accepting
their drafts, or, in short, by the manufacture of accommodation paper. This was sufficient to give an
unpleasant insight into the mode of management, and yesterday many further particulars were

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 34 of 57)