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 37 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 37 of 57)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

Lords of the Treasury. The eighth was a private gentleman, and Director in the London and County
Bank, and was an M.P. The ninth was also a private gentleman, and was an M.P. The tenth was a
Captain in the Army, and the son of a General. The Eleventh is now a judge at Bombay, with a salary
of £5,000 or £6,000 a year. Men must be taken with the characters they held at the time of their
appointment (not when fallen). The Bank of Ireland thought well of the Irishmen, for they, as
neighbours to the Sadleirs, lost more than £20,000 by the Tipperary Bank."

Mr. Martin, a Chancery barrister, speaks highly of Mr. Walker :

"It is admitted that Mr. Walker for nineteen years conducted this company in the best possible
manner, . . . and during the whole of that time by his good management it paid an
average dividend out of the profits of the company of 6 per cent. . . . The Bank was one of the
few companies that was in a perfectly sound condition, and which survived the great crisis of 1847, and
was still in a sound condition in 1855."

Mr. Walker finishes his circular thus : —

" It is bad taste and unfeeling to wilfully annoy an affiicted fellow- creature like myself, who has neither
been able to stand or walk during the last seven years."

_^ [319]

IRewcaetle Joint Stoch Bantling Co. -wewcastie-upon-XTpne.

Founded 1836. Failed 1846.

THE second prospectus that was issued to tempt the public to the formation
of another bank was that of the Newcastle Joint Stock Banking Company,
the Arcade being again chosen as the field of operations. The prospectus
is dated May 23rd, 1836, and states : —

" Capital— £500,000, in 20,000 Shabes op £25 each. Public opinion has been so often unequivocally
expressed in favour of Joint Stock Banks, that it would be quite superfluous to offer any observations
on the subject. It is therefore at once proposed to establish a Bank in Newcastle under the style of
' The Newcastle-upon-Tyne Joint Stock Banking Company.' . . . No individual shall hold more
than 200 shares or less than five. Each subscriber shall on the call of the Committee pay £2 10s. on
each share, further calls as the Directors require at one month's notice. The management to be
vested in a Chairman and not fewer than four and not more than six directors. If the bank should at
any time lose its surplus profit, the directors shall forthwith call a general meeting when the affairs of
the Company may be dissolved. If any shareholders be desirous to continue the business of the Bank
they shall be at liberty to do so, on paying the dissentients the value of their shares. It is intended
that the Bank shall be conducted in a liberal manner but with the greatest secrecy as to its
transactions with customers, and with strictest economy in all its departments. George T. Gibson,

At a meeting held May 24th — Richard C. Askew, Esq., in the chair — it was
reported that 5,000 shares had been taken up, and it was agreed that the following
gentlemen form a Committee of Management : — R. C. Askew (chairman), Andrew
White (Mayor of Sunderland), and Matthew White ; that a meeting be held on
the 31st inst., at the Turf Hotel, to appoint directors for the ensuing year, and
that John Morrison be appointed manager of the head establishment, and S. M.
Bell, sub-manager.

On June 25th it is announced that the directors have procured and are fitting
up very eligible premises opposite the Post Office, in the Royal Arcade, and that
business will be started on Saturday, August 2nd.

On July 2nd it is stated that another allotment of shares will take place on
Friday, July loth, until which date applications for shares will only be received
from persons likely to do business with the bank.

On December 5th, in the year of opening, an unusually strong gale of wind blew
down a chimney stack, considerably damaging the glass roof of the Arcade and
the premises of the bank. This may have led to a change of address, for the Newcastle
Directory of 1844 announces the bank in St. Nicholas' Square, with H. Bleckley
as manager. Here they remained until their failure in 1846 ; on January 22nd of
that year their London agents refused their drafts.


The business of the bank was small, the shareholders only numbered one
hundred. The managers contrived to keep the premises in St. Nicholas' Square
open for some days, and the deposit accounts were promptly paid, so that the
stoppage was very slightly felt.

Thus another Joint Stock Bank vanished from the business life of Newcastle.

1Flewca0tle, Sbielba, & Sunberlanb Tnnion Joint StocFi Banh.

Founded 1836. Suspended 1847.

Purchased by Woods & Co., January, 1859.

'T^HE contemplated formation of the bank was announced thus : —

■*- " Prospectas for converting the old established bank of Messrs. Chapman & Co. into a Joint
Stock Banking Company to be called the 'Newcastle, Shields, and Sunderland Union Joint Stock
Bank.' Provisional Committee — Messrs. Chapmans & Company. Newcastle, Messrs. Wm. Angus,
Jos. Arundale, Jno. T. Carr, Harrison Colbeck, Jos. Grey, Jos. Hedley, Jos. Hedley, Jr., Thomas Hogg,
Wm. Hymers, Wm. Knox, Robt. Kidd, James Badford, Wm. Winder, Ralph Wilson. Noeth Shields,
Thomas Atkinson, Wm. Brown, Alex. Crighton, Thos. Dryden, Jos. Elder, Jno. Fenwick, Preston Villa ;
Thos. Fenwick, South Preston ; Richard Fenwick, Robt. Hansell, John Harrison, Jos. Laing,
Solomon Mease, Hy. Mitcalfe, Jos. Ogilvie, Wm. R. Omond, Robert Pow, John Rennison, Alex. Russell,
Michael Spencer, Jos. Straker, Wm. Wheatley, Thos. Young. South Shields, Thos. Barker, Jas.
Brown, James Eddowes, James Edwards, John Eden, Francis Jefferson, Robt. Jefferson, A. J. F.
Marreco, John Oyston, John Robinson, John White. Mr. Robert Anderson, Hon. Sec.

Messrs. Chapman & Company at the solicitation of many of their friends, who have long
honoured them with their confidence, and of other respectable individuals in this neighbourhood, have
agreed to convert their Banking Establishments at Newcastle, North Shields, and South Shields, with
the Branch at Morpeth (which have been in prosperous existence for many years), into a Joint Stock
Company, under the above designation.

They have made arrangements with the Provisional Committee for this purpose, and often the
following as an outline of the proposed constitution of the Company."

The particulars are too long to give in full. The leading points are the
following : —

Change from Private to Public Bank 1st July, 1836. Present banks under management of present
partners — Manager to be appointed for Sunderland — William Chapman, General Director. Capital
£300,000. 30,000 shares of £10 each. To be increased when necessary to £500,000. Present shares to be
appropriated as follows:— 3,000 to the present partners at par— one half of the remainder to such
Customers and Friends of the Bank as may wish to take them at par. The rest to the Public at a
premium of £1 per share. Provisional Committee to appoint directors and allot shares. General
meeting of Shareholders to be held in Newcastle, June 28th, at which three Shareholders residing at
Newcastle, two at North Shields, two at South Shields, and two at Sunderland shall be elected Directors
for the first year. On first allotment no application less than five, or more than 200 shares. Directors
to have power to grant a Customer cash credit to the extent of two thirds of his paid-up capital. A

I 32i]

form of application is attached, and the document concludes : — " June 8, 1836, We take the liberty to
hand you the annexed prospectus, from which you will learn that at the solicitation of many of our
friends, we have been induced to form our present establishment into a Joint Stock Bank," etc., etc.

It is not stated on the prospectus, but from the account of Messrs. Chapman's
bank, we gather that ^2 0,000 was to be paid to the vendors for the good will of
the business (see page 22^.

The shares appear to have been well taken up. The allotment letter is dated
June 2ist, 1836, and announces a general meeting of the shareholders at the Turf
Hotel, Tuesday, 28th June, for choosing directors, &c. A list is before me of
persons holding fifty shares and upwards ; it contains 178 names, many of them
being well known in the district. Wm., J. M., and Abel Chapman of Newcastle ;
Edward H., Edward W., and Thomas Chapman of London ; are all on the list.

The first report is presented to the proprietors July 25th, 1837. General
congratulations are expressed.

'• The Directors consider it due to Messrs. Chapman & Co. to state that the representations of those
gentlemen have been fully verified, and they have the gratification of stating their conviction that no
Bank can be in a more sound and healthy condition."

The system is highly approved, business has increased, more agencies are to
be opened, those now reported are : —

Alston - - - Mr. Jos. Dickinson, jun.* ... 28 July, 1836.
Hartlepool - - „ Thos. Rowell - - - - 29 „ „

Hexham - - >, John Oliver - - - - 12 Oct. ,,

Blyth - - . „ William Shepherd . - - 18 „ „

Alnwick - - - „ Edward Thew, jun. ... 16 Nov. ,,

The sum of £3,430 has been received as premiums on shares allotted, " which has been applied to the
reduction of the Bonus Account, leaving a balance due thereon of £16,570, which the directors expect
will be greatly liquidated by premiums on the 6,375 shares which remain to be disposed of." f
£11,785 15s. remains for distribution. £2,631 Is. 3d. to the Guarantee Fund, and a dividend of £10 per
cent, upon paid-up capital are proposed ; . . . " most favourable expectations may be entertained
as to the future."

(Signed) WILLIAM CHAPMAN, Chairman.

The second report was submitted at a meeting held in the Assembly Rooms,
Newcastle, 30th January, 1838. General congratulations were again exchanged,
and a 10 per cent, dividend recommended. The principal business reported was
union with Sir Wm. Chaytor & Co., bankers, at Sunderland. One thousand shares
were granted to the said firm, and their business carried on at Sunderland,
Durham, and Hartlepool was transferred to the Union Bank.

* Subsequently Mr. Dickiuson became a banker at Alston, and conducted business there until 1890, when the
bank was taken over by the Carlisle City and District Bank, Mr. Dickinson acting as the agent for that
company, which position he still retains.

+ It would thus appear that from the bonus account was to come the £20,000 that bad to be paid to Messrs.
Chapman for good will.




Mr. Matthew H. Chaytor took joint management at Sunderland with Mr. Ord,
Mr. Ramshaw continued at Durham, and at Hartlepool, Mr. Rowell, the manager
of the " Union," was installed.

From the commencement of the bank, the entire management of the North
Shields branch was in the hands of Mr. Robert Spence. In July, 1838, it was
proposed that Abel Chapman be appointed assistant manager at Newcastle, while
John Mellor Chapman the Newcastle manager was relieved from constant
attendance, but was to give personal services as required at a reduced salary.

In Jul}', 1841, "The directors are glad to state that the alterations made in the Newcastle House
with the further improvements of which it is capable, have saved the Cost of a New Building."

About this time Messrs. Chapman removed from their premises in St. Nicholas'
Square (now Messrs. Franklin's) to the old house so long occupied by Sir M. W.
Ridley's bank at the corner of Mosley and Pilgrim Streets (now Messrs.
Woods & Co.)

In July, 1843, the subject is further alluded to : —

" The directors have to state that they have just completed the desirable purchase of the premises
now occupied in Newcastle which with moderate alterations, will afford all the Accommodations of a
New Banking House and save the Company the expenditure of a large sum. They have also made
a good sale of the House in St. Nicholas' Square."

The thirteenth report was submitted July 28th, 1846 : —

•' The Directors desire to give publicity to the Minute which was recorded by them on the melancholy
occasion of the death of Mr. Robert Spence, the manager of the North Shields Branch. ' In reference
to the death of Robert Spence, Esq., which took place on the 17th August last, the directors are at a
loss how to enter any Minute expressive of their feelings of respect and attachment to his honoured
memory, in common with all who knew him. They desire to record their admiration of his character
in his unblemished integrity, in his devoted attention to the duties of his office, and in the courtesies
and sympathies of life by which he was ornamented, and which caused him to be greatly beloved.'
Mr. Robert Spence was immediately appointed to succeed his excellent Father, under whom he long
acted in the most exemplary manner ; and although his state of health rendered it necessary that
he should spend some months in Madeira, the Directors are glad to say that he has returned home
much restored, and is again discharging his official duties,"

Regret is also expressed that Mr. Chaytor had resigned the management at
Sunderland, as he had settled in London. Mr. Armstrong was appointed manager
in his place.

The fourteenth report is a most important one, and was presented July 27th,
1847. The usual dividend of 10 per cent, is recommended. ;^5,268 6s. 7d. is
carried to the Guarantee Fund, which then amounted to ^60,444 15s. lod.

" Notwithstanding the general restrictions in Trade, the business of the Bank has increased, and has
been of that legitimate character as to afford the prospect of continued advancement." The directors
and managers are recorded as : — " Samuel Parker, John M. Chapman, and Ralph Wilson for
Newcastle ; Thomas Atkinson and William Brown for North Shields ; Robert Anderson and John


Eden for South Shields. Tha Branches are :— North Shields— Robert Spence. South Shields-
Joseph Hargrave. Sunderland — Henry Armstrong, Managers. — Durham — W. Ramshaw. Alnwick —
Edwd. Thew, jun. Berwick— Andrew Mallock, Agents. The Report is signed by William Chapman,
General Director."

The bank had a note issue of which an example is here given.



If? til


^^- /" ^ Ar^^^-


In the spring of 1847 there had been a period of sharp financial pressure, and
apprehension had been aroused in Newcastle by the failure in March of the North
of England Joint Stock Bank. During August and September failures among the
large commercial houses in England and Scotland were incessant. On the 21st of
October, when the panic was at its height, the Union Bank closed its doors.
The sudden stoppage of the bank caused a great sensation in the town, which was
increased by the report that William Chapman, the managing director, had

A special general meeting was called immediately after the stoppage, and was
held on the 29th of October. "William Woods of Newcastle-upon-Tyne,
merchant, holder of 470 shares, was called to the chair, and the following
shareholders — William Woods, Robert Pow, Errington Bell, Wm. Ord, John
Dryden, William Anderson, Thomas Barker, Thomas Hewitt, and William Chaytor,
were appointed a committee to assist the directors and solicitor of the bank in
examining into the affairs of the Company, and were empowered to adopt such
measures as they might deem advisable for arranging the affairs of the bank and
protecting the interests of the shareholders." Mr. Woods was elected chairman,


and the committee proceeded at once to draw up and issue " The Basis of a Plan
which they recommended to the shareholders for resuming the business of the
Bank." Among other changes it provided that the office of General Director
should be abolished, and that there should be one manager and two responsible
paid directors associated with him in authority. The capital was to be provided
by the creation and issue of 30,000 7 per cent. £10 preference shares, upon which
£^ was to be paid. The note issue to be abandoned, Bank of England notes only
to be circulated.

The report of this committee was presented to an adjourned general meeting
on the 8th August, 1848. It shows that the liabilities of the bank at the date of
its stoppage were ^1,741,572, and that already the gross liabilities to parties other
than shareholders were reduced to ^309,724. The utmost amount of the ultimate
deficiency which the shareholders would be required to meet was estimated at
^80,000. Meanwhile a call of two pounds had been made upon the ordinary shares
of the company, and this was followed at frequent intervals during the next two
years by other calls, amounting in all to ^20 on each of the original ^10 shares.

Mr. Woods in his opening remarks as chairman of the adjourned meeting,
stated with regret, that the scheme for immediate reconstruction had not received
a sufficient support, and that a proposal from the National Provincial Bank to
purchase the North and South Shields branches had been declined. He moved
that the North and South Shields branches of the Union Bank should be forthwith
reopened, and that the capital required should be provided by a loan from
individual shareholders at 6 per cent. He announced that the management would
be entrusted to Mr. Robert Spence, and that "it was due to Mr. Spence to state
that if the affairs throughout had been conducted with the same ability as at North
Shields, the shareholders would not have been assembled there that day in the
unfortunate circumstances in which they were placed."

Notwithstanding the stoppage of the company, business had been continuously
transacted with several of the customers, and although only £2,000 of the
promised capital was at first forthcoming, the reopening of the offices at North
and South Shields was so successful, that it was followed in November of the same
year, by the opening of the Berwick branch. In 1849 the offices at Newcastle and
Sunderland where the company had sustained all its serious losses, were also
reopened. At the annual meeting in 1850, the auditors in their report suggest that
Mr. Spence should transfer his management to the Newcastle bank, and that it
should be made the head office. Mr. Woods acted as chairman of the directors
from 1849 to 1853, and gave constant attention to the business. His co-directors
were : — For Newcastle — Samuel Parker and George Bargate. North Shields —


Thomas Barker and Robert Pow. South Shields— ^\\\mm Anderson. Sunderland —
William Ord. Trustees^^iWmm Woods, Robert Pow, and Charles Henry Cooke.
Auditors — George Baynes, William Douglas, Joseph Blacklock.

The net profits, which for the past year were stated at ^13,251, were rapidly
and steadily increasing; and there seemed every reason to expect that the
shareholders, who had for the most part met their calls with promptitude, would
not only be freed from any ultimate loss, but would become proprietors of a
business much more safe, profitable, and extensive than that of the Union Bank
under William Chapman. Unfortunately, however, in January, 1853, John Teather
of Alstonby, whose name appears frequently in the reports as a seconder of
resolutions, declined to continue the payment of his calls, and in consequence,
having been sued by the company, he presented a petition to the Court for its
dissolution under the Joint Stock Companies' Winding-up Act of 1848-9.

A report signed by William Woods as chairman of the directors and committee
was presented to a general meeting of the shareholders on the 8th Janiiary, 1853,
and on the motion of Mr. Woods it was decided that the affairs of the company
should be placed under the provisions of the Winding-up Act, and further, it was
resolved : —

" in order to preserve the valuable and increasing business of the Company, to establish a new bank
under Sir Robert Peel's Banking Act, in which each shareholder shall have an opportunity of taking
shares, and until that object shall have been effected, the business shall be taken up and carried on by
six gentlemen, who will provide the necessary capital, and who will be ready to transfer the business
to the new Company when formed.

The six gentlemen who undertake to carry on the business intermediately, and whose names
will ensure the confidence of the shareholders and the public, are : —

William Woods, Esq., )

, „ , ^ \ Newcastle.

Samuel Parker, Esq., )

William Ord, Esq., Sunderland.

Thomas Barker, Esq.jX

Robert Pow, Esq., (• North Shields.

John Dryden, Esq.,

To whom a transfer will be made of the Current Accounts and who will hold the bank premises
under a lease until the new Company shall be formed."

It was also resolved that the following gentlemen should be recommended as
official managers under the Winding-up Act : — " Mr. George Bargate, William
Anderson, Esq., J.P., Mr. John Rennison, Mr. WiHiam Douglas."

Arrangements for the formation of the new company were immediately set
on foot, and when the share list was closed at the end of January, 1853, applications
had been received for about 1,800 shares, the number to be issued being 1,000.
A meeting was held for allotment of shares, but some difference of opinion
having arisen between two of the members of the committee as to a proposed
increase of the capital, nothing was actually done, and two years elapsed before


another meeting, called by Mr. Woods on behalf of the Committee, was held at
the Assembly Rooms. It was then decided that the formation of the new bank
should be proceeded with forthwith, and that the capital should be ;^2oo,ooo. The
profits made during the previous two years were stated at £^[6,2^^2, and the work
of establishing the new company was delayed during the whole of 1855 by a
discussion as to the proportion of this profit which should be allotted to the official
managers. Owing to the suspension of the Royal British Bank in 1856, it was
considered prudent by all parties concerned to delay operations until the following
spring. Discussion was continued up to the date of the stoppage of the District
Bank in 1857, when Chancery proceedings, which had been instituted by the official
managers, were deferred owing to a desire that the general business of the Union
Bank might not be inconvenienced during the monetary crisis.

The project for the formation of a new Joint Stock Bank was not again
revived, and during the next two years negotiations between Mr. John Clayton,
acting for Messrs. Woods, Parker, & Co., and Mr. Joseph Watson for the
shareholders and official managers, resulted towards the end of the year 1859 in
the purchase of the business by the former. The Newcastle papers of the day
commenting on the change, prophesy " a career of great prosperity and usefulness
to the now private bank of Messrs. Woods, Parker, & Co."

Mr. Spence, whose energies had been entirely devoted to the interests of the
old shareholders, resigned the management, and joined in the establishment of the
new firm of Messrs. Hodgkin, Barnett, Pease, and Spence, in March, 1859.

IRortbern Countiee' BanF?. iRcwcastie-upon-xrpne.

Founded 1871. Failed 1881.

'HE Investors Guardian for 21st January, 1871, states : —


" As the name imports, this is a Banking Company with a capital of £50,000, in 1,000 shares of
£50 each, the objects being to carry on the business of bankers, money brokers, and bill discounters, the
lending of money to any person or persons whatsoever upon real or personal security, the discounting
of Bills of Exchange and promissory notes, &c. The first directors were to be John Summerskill,
Grainger Street, Newcastle, Commercial Traveller ; W. H. Darnell, 66, Clayton Street, Draper ; J. H.
Eutherford, Elswick Lodge, Surgeon; James Taylor, Campbell Street, Draper. Qualification for
director, 20 shares — remuneration £1 Is. for every attendance to directors. Mr. Edwin Ovenden shall
be manager, who shall have a seat at the board, and shall not be discharged during the first five years
after the registration of the Company, or at any other time except by special resolution at general


It was announced that business would bs commenced at Cross House,
Westgate, on February 20th, 1871, Edwin Ovenden being manager. Mr. Ovenden
had previously been manager of the Northern Counties' Loan and Discount

In July, 1 87 1, the first ordinary half-yearly meeting was iheld, when a most
favourable report was submitted. The trading had only been for four months, but

"besides making a considerable reduction from the charges of formation, the Company have declared

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 37 of 57)