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 35 of 57)
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elicited by an examination which took place at the Mansion House, when a Mr. Symons, a share-
holder, was charged by the directors with having attempted to extort money by threatening to
publish injurious matters.

It appears that Mr. Symons when he found the shares had gone to a heavy discount, made
considerable efforts to induce the directors to buy him out at par. But it also appeared that the
manager at the Bank had at all events become a party to such a negotiation by telling him he would
see what he could do. At the same time it was far from clear that the publication threatened by Mr.
Symons was of the character to render him amenable to the charge on which he had been brought
up, and the magistrate therefore dismissed the summons.

On the other hand, nothing came out to affect the moral character of the directors. Indeed
they seem to have resisted the idea of making any compromise to procure silence with considerable
firmness. But the extent to which the question of their fitness for the management of a bank with a
million of capital was affected by their own admissions, and that of their Solicitor, is a point on
which the commercial public will perhaps entertain strong opinions.

In the first place their solicitor represented that the bank had been attended with ^absolute
success,' since up to September they were making a clear profit of £20,000 a year ; that during the last
eight weeks, it had been found there were losses of £35,000, and that this amount is not only of itself
• comparatively small for a bank under the circumstances,' but would be reduced by dividends. It is
also a peculiar kind of boast that a bank which had been making at the rate of £20,000 a year, by
discounting perilous bills, which when they come to be tested involve a reduction of one-third of the
assets, may be termed to have been up to the moment preceding the non-payment of the bills
' absolutely successful.' In the next place, the facts that the director who attended to represent the
bank declares he was ' totally unaware that any discounting business was being done in London by
the bank,' and that he was also ignorant not only that it is highly improper for a bank to advance
money by accepting bills, but even of the possibility ' that a bank can be carried on without acceptances,'
are such as to deserve attention. Coupled with all the revelations of the past month, such things
might be expected to put a stop to the trade not only of the promoters of banks, but of a majority of
the other descriptions of companies that are brought out under analogous conditions."

The amalgamation with the Midland Banking Company was subsequently
arranged, but the Newcastle branch was abandoned.


Xonbon Bank of Scotland), XD. mewcastie^upon-xcpne.

Founded 1864. Wound up 1865.

TALKING of banks, I understand we are shortly to have another one started
in Newcastle. The London Bank of Scotland is about to establish a branch
in St. Nicholas' Square, in the premises occupied by Messrs. Hodgkin,
Barnett, & Co. before they removed to their present place of business."

Such was the announcement made in one of the daily papers. The official
intimation in May, 1864, was : —

" London Bank of Scotland, Limited. Capital £1,000,000. An agency of this bank was opened in
the Bank Buildings, St. Nicholas' Square, on Monday, 2Dd May inst., under the management of
Samuel Hedley, Esq. By order of the directors, W. H. Logan, General Comptroller of Agencies."

This bank was opened in Berwick the November previous, with W. W.
Cargill, Esq., M.P. for Berwick, as Chairman of Directors. A year afterwards, the
establishments at Newcastle, Alnwick, Morpeth, Berwick, and Hexham, were
merged in the London and Scottish Bank, with a capital of ^500,000. Mr.
Cargill's name was dropped from the list of directors, and Mr. W. H. Logan was
appointed managing director for Scotland. He was the Berwick agent of the
Northumberland and Durham District Bank at the time of its failure, and then
started on his own account the Scottish Border Bank, the business of which Mr.
Alexander Logan conducted, as well as becoming agent for the London and
Scottish Bank at Berwick.

The London and Scottish Bank was " formed for the purpose of continuing
the business of the branches of the London Bank of Scotland, which had not been
included in the arrangements entered into between that bank and the Mercantile
and Exchange Bank of Liverpool."

Its business operations in Newcastle were very limited, and in less than five
months the bank suspended payment. The city article of the Daily News for
April 13th, 1865, says : —

" Some drafts drawn upon the London and Scottish Bank (Limited) remained improvided for on
Tuesday. This concern was formed in October, 1864, and its paid-up capital is only £25,000.

At Newcastle, where exists one of the principal branches of the undertaking, proceedings were
conducted as usual up to 11 o'clock yesterday morning, when, as announced in the third edition of the
Chronicle, business was suspended. The following telegram has been received by Mr. Hedley, manager
of the Newcastle branch : — ' B. Williams, London, to Samuel Hedley, Newcastle. Send by to-night's
post quarterly statement to 31st March, to enable us to complete arrangements with another bank.'
The head office is in the Old Jewry, London, and the various branches at Edinburgh, Dundee, Falkirk,
Jedburgh, Hawick, Berwick, Alnwick, Morpeth, Newcastle, and Hexham. The above telegram would
seem to indicate that the difficulty by which the bank has been unhappily overtaken, is but of a
temporary character, and that operations in connection with the undertaking will shortly be resumed."


The stoppage in Newcastle caused little excitement, but at Berwick it created
considerable inconvenience. Seven petitions for winding up were immediately
presented, two of them by local firms, Thomas Richardson, trading as
M. Stenhouse & Co., being one, and Messrs. Woods & Co., bankers, the other. The
Master of the Rolls decided that there should be a compulsory winding up.
Subsequently (in January, 1870) Mr. William Hugh Logan made a considerable
claim for salary as late manager of the bank. He asked to be allowed to prove for
;^2,400, "being three years' salary at ^800 per annum." Mr. Logan became
manager of the bank in 1864, under an agreement incorporated with the articles of
association, which provided that in the event of his ceasing to be em.ployed from
any cause except gross misconduct, he should be paid as compensation a sum equal
to three years' salary. The winding up commenced in May, 1865, when his
employment of course ceased. Counsel for the official liquidator " contended that
there ought only to be an inquiry what was proper to be paid by way of damages.
His Lordship said the termination of the employment by the winding up could
not have been contemplated when the agreement was made ; but the agreement
must be taken most strongly against the company, and as it clearly provided that in
the event of the cessation of Mr. Logan's employment from any cause except
gross misconduct, three years' salary should be payable, the claim must be allowed."

Xoraine, Sir (Tbaa, Si do mewcastie-upon-Ume.

(see Baker, Shafto, & Co.)

Xumlei?, Smitb, ^ Co.

Founded Prior to 1774. Partners.


Failed 1815.

Benjamin humUy. Robert Wilkinson.

— Brown. George Snowdon.

Christopher Smith. John Frederick Lumley.

BANKING in Stockton probably commenced, as it did in so many other
places, by some monied and enterprising tradesman making small advances
to neighbours who required it, discounting a bill now and then for some
one who could not await its maturity, or holding the deposits of others in safe-
keeping upon some low rate of interest ; and thus almost unknowingly adding the
business of banking to his original trade.

[ 305]

There is good reason to believe that in this way, some time prior to 1774,
Messrs. Lumley and Smith, drapers, became bankers. In the letter book of
Davison-Bland & Co., in December, 1787, they are named as Messrs. Lumley,
Brown, and Smith. In the books of Messrs. R. & J. Campion, bankers, at
Whitby, they are recorded first, as Lumley & Co., and then as Lumley,
Smith, & Co. The list of Mayors for the town of Stockton for 1774 and
1775 says, "Benjamin Lumley, Banker and Draper," in 1789 "Benjamin
Lumley, Draper and Banker," in 1786 and 1787, "Christopher Smith,
Draper," presumably the partner of Benjamin Lumley. At Mr. Smith's election
in 1787 an amusing incident occurred, of which more anon.

Of their business transactions I have no record until March, 1793. In that
year the suspension of payment of Messrs. R. & T. Harrison of London caused
them to change their London agents, as announced by the following advertisement: —

" Stockton and Cleveland Bank.— All Notes and Drafts drawn by Messrs. Lumley, Smith, & Co., of
Stockton, upon or payable at Messrs. Robert and Thomas Harrison & Co., will now and in future be
paid at Messrs, Sikes, Snaith, and Snaith, Bankers, in London" (first mentioned in the London list of
Bankers, 1791, then at 5, Mansion House Street).

Sometime prior to 18 12, Robert Wilkinson joined the Stockton firm. He was
the son of John Wilkinson, Mayor of Stockton, 1766, who married Ann, daughter
of William Hoar of Limehouse, two of her nephews, Geo. and William Hoar,
being partners in Davison-Bland & Co., bankers, Newcastle. By 1812 the firm
had become Lumley, Wilkinson, & Snowdon, for notes dated May 6th and
November 4th in that year are signed by George Snowdon. Two years later, a
Five pound note, having in vignette a view of Stockton (printed by Lambert & Co.
of Newcastle), dated October 19th, 18 14, is signed in the same way. Entered by
John Baxter. In another two years the bank had run its course. On July 27th
of that fatal year, 18 15, Messrs. Lumley & Co. (Stockton & Cleveland Bank)
dechned business — a declaration which was followed by the announcement of their
bankruptcy. They evidently had a very extensive note issue ; I have inspected
more notes of theirs than of any other bank of the same period. The various
properties owned by the members of the firm were advertised for sale on May 3rd,
181 6, at Stockton.

The amusing incident regarding Mr. Christopher Smith's re-election as Mayor
to which I previously alluded, occurred October 2nd, 1787. Ritson, a local
chronologist who was present, thus writes : —

"The election of a Mayor came on last night, at which our friend Wear cut a most conspicuous figure,
having to oppose the re-election of his late worship, and of course the whole corporation, by his single
solitary vote ; several who had solemnly engaged to support his cause turning tail like true Stocktonians,
and either refusing to poU or going over to the enemy. Great souls, however, are incapable of


depression, and our hero concluded his opposition hy demanding a scrutiny against a majority of
20 to 1. In truth it was a high scene and such a one as I may safely venture to say was never before
exhibited on that stage."

An interesting entry regarding Benjamin Lumley of Stockton will be found in
the account of Messrs. Backhouse & Co. (See page 137.)

Founded prior to 1802. WHITBY BANK, Extinct prior to 1816.



Jonathan Miles. Dymohe Wells.

UPON September nth, 1802, Jonathan Miles, of Smeaton, near Whitby, and
Dymoke Wells, of 1 1, Gate Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, leased
the premises at the west end corner of the Bridge in Whitby, from
Jonathan Lacy, Rope Maker, for a term of seven, fourteen, or twenty-one years.
Here they commenced business as bankers and merchants, but the partnership
was soon dissolved, and the following advertisement appeared in the Yorkshire
paper : —

" Whitby Bank. — Notice that the partnership between Jonathan Miles and Dymoke Wells, of Whitby,
trading under the firm of Miles, Wells, & Co., Bankers and Merchants, is dissolved by mutual consent.
The business will be carried on by Dymoke Wells alone upon his own account. — July 9th, 1803."

In the list of bankers for 1805 they are named as "New Bank, Wells & Co.,"
with Wilkes & Co. for their London Agents. The bank is not recorded in the list
for 18 16, which is very imperfect. I have no further information regarding this

JONATHAN MILES was the owner of the Smeaton estates which were sold
to Col. James Wilson, August 8th, 1812, for ;^4,5oo. He died in 1821 ; his death
being thus announced in the Ge?itlema7i s Magazine : —

" July 22nd, 1821, at Ealing, in his 60th year, suddenly, while in bed. Sir Jonathan Miles, Kt. Lady
Miles was awakened by a noise in his throat and called up the servants, when medical advice was
applied to, but in vain, A coroner's inquest was held — Verdict — Died by the visitation of God. Sir
Jonathan Miles served the office of Sherifi of London and Middlesex with Sir James Branscomb in

The following announcement would almost imply that Dymoke Wells was a
banker in London as well as at Whitby, but I cannot find the name in conjunction
with any of the London banks of that date. "March 25, 1804, at Whitby, the wife


of Dymoke Wells, Esq., banker, of Great St. Helens, Bishopsgate Street, of a son."
For some time he resided at Smeaton, and was agent there for Jonathan Miles.
DYMOKE WELLS died at Kexby Grange, Lincolnshire, August i6th, 1832,
aged 60.

The Gentleman s Magazine, Vol. 37, N.S., 1852, says : — " Died February 2,
1852, Dymoke Wells, Esq., of Grebby Hall, co. Lincoln. He was the second son
of the late Dymoke Wells, by Anne, daughter and co-heiress of Thomas
Waterhouse, Esq., of Beckingham Hall, Notts. His father claimed in 18 19 the
barony of Marmion, being descended from Edward, the second son of Sir Charles
Dymoke who performed the office of Champion* at the coronation of Charles H.,
the present Henry Dymoke, Esq., of Scrivelsby, now Queen's Champion by the
tenure of that manor, being descended from John, the fourth son of the same
Sir Charles."

flDUIa, IRobineon, Ibopper, pcarsou, a (Tbipcbasc, 2)urbam.

Founded prior to 1787. DURHAM BANK. Dissolved 1802.


Henry Mills. — Pearson.

— Robinson. Thomas Chipchase,

Hendry Hopper,

THE earliest record that I have of this firm is from the list of bankers with
whom Messrs. Davison-Bland proposed to do business when they made
their preliminary arrangements in December, 1787, when the members of
the firm are quoted as above. Before me is a blank draft bearing the same
names. The next information of the bank under consideration is at the time of the
panic in 1793, when they are recorded as Mills, Hopper, & Co., "Durham Bank."
This panic, so often referred to in connection with the Newcastle banks, also
affected the City of Durham.

A pubhc meeting was held on April loth. The copy of a hand-bill issued at
the close of the meeting will show what transpired. As some of my readers may
be interested in the nomenclature of the city one hundred years ago, I give a full
copy of the document.

* Office of Champion.— " William the Conqueror granted large lots of land to Robert de Marmyon on condition
that he and his heirs filled the office of King's Champion. The male line of the family closed in the year 1292,
and by marriage the championship passed to the Dymokes. At the coronation of the English monarchs from
the time of Richard II. to the days of George IV.— four and a half centuries— the representative of the Dymokes
rode into Westminster Hall at the coronation feast during dinner, between the first and second courses,
mounted on one of the King's horses and clad in one of the King's best suits of armour."



At a numerous Meeting of the Gentlemen, Clergy, Merchants, and Inhabitants of
this City and its Neighbourhood, held in the Town-hall, this loth Day of
April, 1793 ; to take into Consideration the Propriety of giving every
possible Support to the public Credit and Commercial Engagements of this
City and Neighbourhood, at this Juncture.

Gilbert Starforth, Esq., Mayor, in the Chair.

Besolved unanimously,

That the Durliam Bank, which has been established for several Years, has ever since its
Establishment transacted Business on the most liberal Plan ; and that the Proprietors thereof
being Persons of undoubted real and Personal Property, are entitled to the fullest Confidence
and Countenance of the Public.

That from this Conviction of the Sufficiency of the Durham Bank and the Proprietors
thereof, and from a persuasion that all Persons possessing Property, whatever their Station
may be, must materially suffer by the present general Alarm and uncertain State of Public
Credit, ucless immediate and effectual Means be taken to quiet the one and confirm the
other ; we will as usual, in all Payments which may be made to us, accept and take the
Notes issued by them ; and will exert our utmost Influence and Endeavours to induce others
to do the same.

That a Committee of seventeen Gentlemen be appointed to communicate these Resolu-
tions to the Gentlemen, Clergy, Merchants, and Inhabitants of this County, and of the
Neighbouring Counties, and to the Public at large, in such Manner as they shall think
expedient. And that these Resolutions be signed by all present and all others who shall
approve the same. And that Mr. Mayor, Sir John Eden, Mr Ord, Mr. H. U. Reay, Mr.
Spearman, Mr. Nesfield, Mr. Hoar, Mr. Emm, Mr. Bowes, Mr. Kirton, Mr. Wood, Mr.
Parker, Mr. Britton, Dr. Fen wick, Mr. Burke, Mr. Shields, Mr. Castle, and Mr. Scruton,
be such Committee.

These Resolutions were signed by the several Gentlemen whose Names are subscribed, and
the same will remain for further Signatures at the Town Clerk's Office on the Palace

Gilbert Starforth,Mayor
John Eden
Ralph Milbanke
Charles Spearman
Cooper Abbs
Robert Thorpe, D.D.
W. S. Donnison, Clerk
William Robinson
William Nesfield
George Barrington
George Maclellan
0. Cooper, D.D.
Richard Richardson
William Hoar
William Emm
Robert Curry
R. Scruton
Ralph Ord
Henry Methold
Thomas Bowes
Carr Ibbetson
G. Robinson
Robert H. Macdonald
George Hodgson
William Kirton
John Drake Bainbridge

John Greenwell
Henry U. ,Reay
J. T. H. Hopper
George Wood
Edward Parker
Arthur Mowbray
James Britton
John Ralph Fenwick
Robert Anderson
R. G. Bouyer
Samuel Vyner
Smith Burke
John Wilde
Thomas Reed Ward
John Ward
Sober Watkin
Donald McDonald
Thomas Swinburn
Samuel Castle
Martin Wilkinson
John Hutchinson
John Ward, jun.
John Starforth
George Finch
Thomas Woodness
William Darnell

John Burlison
Stephen Arrowsmith
John Griffith
Abraham Oliver
Thomas Byers
William Stott
Thomas Liddell
Jonathan White
Anthony Smith
Thomas Rippon
William Scales
William Addison
W. Alston
William Shields
William Pringle
Nicholas Proud
William Appleby
William Worthy
Phipps Weston
John James
Robert Bone
Richard Shuttleworth
William Grey
Edward Walsh
James Eggleston

John White
John Smith
John Lofthouse
Robert Adamson
Thomas Richardby
John Patrick
Robert Mitcheson
James Barry
Lewis Legg
John Martindale
Francis Smales
Robert Burrell
George Johnson
M. Featherstonhaugh
Matthew Forster
John Flintoff
T. Croudace
M. Morrison
W. Stobart
Samuel Barrass
John Smith
William Watson
Ralph Harrison
Barnabas Brough
Lewis Pennington


Another meeting was held at the same place at 10 o'clock on the following
day, when it was resolved —

" That the resolutions of yesterday, with the signatures thereto, be printed in all the Newcastle papers.*
That another meeting be held Tomorrow Morning at eleven o'clock, for the purpose of receiving the
Report of the Committee, a Meeting of which will be held this afternoon. That a Select Committee,
consisting of the following Gentlemen, be appointed to examine the Statements of the Funds and
Affairs of the Bank, and the Proprietors individually, viz. : — Gilbert Starforth, Esq., Slayor, George
Wood, Esq., Dr. Fenwick, Henry Utrick Reay, Esq., William Hoar, Esq., Charles Spearman, Esq.,
and Mr. Alderman Shields, or any five or more of them. — And that such Select Committee do
immediately proceed in the business and Report the Result of their Enquiries at a general Meeting of
the Inhabitants of this City to be held at the Town Hall tomorrow Morning at Eleven o'clock."

On the day following, the Committee handed in their report stating that
they had

•' required the Proprietors of that Bank to show— 1st. The amount of their Notes now in Circulation.
2ndly. The Specie now in their hands towards the discharging of those notes. 3rdly. The Commissions
they have given for a further Supply of Specie ; their Grounds for expecting that those Commissions
will be complied with, and how soon. 4thly. The Amount of Bills of Exchange drawn or accepted
by them. 5thly. The amount of Bills of Exchange payable to them, as well those now in their own
Hands as those in the Hands of their Bankers in London. 6thly. The Particulars and Amount of
their other Debts. 7thly. The Particulars and Amount of their other Funds and Securities,
distinguishing the Natures of such Securities. 8thly. The Amount of the Payment in Specie made
by the Bank in each Day of this Week. . . . The Amount of the Durham Bank Notes now in
Circulation is only Thirty-one Thousand Four Hundred and Twenty Pounds, even including the
Notes in their Agents' Hands ; f a Sum greatly within the Amount of the Co-partnership Funds of the
Bank and a Sum which, exclusive of those Funds, the private and separate Property of several of the

Individuals of the Bank is adequate to the Discharge of We have the most sincere

satisfaction in informing you that the Funds and Securities of the Durham Bank enable them to
answer in the fullest manner their engagements with the Public, and leave a very large Surplus.
They have moreover made an unsolicited Offer of pledging their respective private Properties, real
and personal (if necessary), in aid of their Banking Engagements, so that we most firmly hope that
the Public will afford them the fullest credit in the continuance of their Commercial Transactions,
which their Regularity, Stability, and Integrity, appear to us so justly to deserve."

At public meetings held at Newcastle and Sunderland in support of the
various banks no mention is made of the " Durham Bank," but it is curious to note
that at a meeting held at Wooler, an account of which I give on page 53, the
persons present agree to accept the notes of the Newcastle and Berwick banks,
and " those of Mills, Hopper, & Co. of Durham."

The satisfactory report of the Committee restored the public confidence, and
a newspaper of the following week announced : —

" We are happy to hear that the late run upon the Durham Bank entirely subsided on Saturday last,

the public having become fully satisfied with the security they held, and convinced of its permanent

stability. The business of that house now proceeds in its usual state of regular tranquil negotiation."

* Durham had no newspaper at that date. The Advertiser commenced 1814, the Chronicle 1820.

+ The mention in the report of " Notes in the hands of their Agents" shows that they like other bankers of their
day had "Note Agents" in various towns adjacent.


Nothing is known of the further doings of the bank until 1797, when the
occurrence of another panic brings it again before the public, the partners then
being Henry Mills, Hendry Hopper, — Pearson, and Thomas Chipchase. The
Newcastle banks had all suspended cash payments, and on February 22 nd
a public meeting was held in Durham, when it was reported that

" At a General Meeting of the Gentry, Clergy, and Tradesmen of the City and Neighbourhood of
Durham, convened by public Advertisement, and held at the Townhall this 22nd Day of February, 1797,
John Starforth, Esq., Mayor, in the chair. The Persons whose Names are underwritten being
convinced of the Necessity of supporting the credit of respectable Paper Currency at this juncture, and
having long experienced the Stability of the Banking House of Messrs. Mills, Hopper, Pearson, and
Chipchase, do hereby promise to receive their Notes in Payment as usual."

The list is headed " For and by the Authority of the Lord Bishop of Durham,
Samuel Castle" — and is signed by loi of the leading inhabitants of the City and

At some subsequent period Mr. Pearson died or retired, and in 1802 it appears

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 35 of 57)