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 41 of 57)
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Northallerton estates from his grandfather, and the Bedale estates from his great-
uncle, John Peirse. He died 1759.

Henry, son of the above, was M.P. for Northallerton 1775. He was born
1754, and married in 1777, Charlotte Grace, second daughter of John, second Lord
Monson. In 1825 he purchased the Manor of Hutton Bonville from Anthony-
Hammond of Richmond (who had purchased it in 1785 from Richard William
Peirse, banker, of Thimbleby).

The Consetts were a North Riding family now represented by William
Warcop Peter Consett, Esq., of Crosby Court and Brawith Hall, Yorkshire.

1Rec^, JBatson, Si Co. •Wcwcastie-upou-xisne.

(see Batson, Wakefield, & Scott.)

1Ricbarb0on 8i 1bolt.

(see Clark, Richardson, & Hodgson.)

IRicbarbson R flDowbra^.

Founded prior to 1778.




Failed in 1815.

William Shields.
Wtlliam Boulton.
John Wetherell.
Christopher Mason.
William Richard Stokes.

Richard Richardson.

Richard Richardson, jiin.

John Mowbray.

John Wetherell.

Arthur Mowbray.

Geo. Lewis Hollingsworth.

THE exact date of the foundation of the bank has not been ascertained.
Darlington appears to have been its birthplace. The earliest record is
obtained from an advertisement in the Newcastle Chronicle, which
announces the loss of a letter whilst passing through the post ; it contained two
drafts, one of which is here cited: — "Darlington, February 4th, 1778. Thirty
days after date pay Mr. Robert Forster or order twelve pounds. (Signed), May
Mowbray." It is addressed to " Messrs. Thos. and Richard Richardson, 54, London
Wall." Bailey s British Directory for 1 781, has: — Richard Richardson, Son, and
John Mowbray, bankers. In 1784 they are announced as Richard Richardson, sen..
Sons, and John Mowbray, bankers, Derby, but it is undoubtedly a mistake and
should be Darlington. A directory for 1790, in the list of traders in Darlington,


has : — Richardson & Mowbray, bankers and surveyors, their London agents being
Messrs. Dorriens, Mello, Martin, & Harrison. As surveyors and estate agents,
several of their advertisements may be found in the Yorkshire papers of that date.
Upon June loth, 1794, the following notice appeared in a local paper : —

" Mr. Mowbray Respectfully returns his sincere thanks to his Friends and the Public in general for the
many Favours he has received, and begs to inform the Holders of Notes issued by the late Mr. Richard
Richardson and himself, that on the 12th August next, all such Notes then outstanding, vrith Interest
to that day will be paid at his office in Darlington."

From this announcement it seems highly probable that Messrs. Richardson and
Mowbray were compelled, in the panic of 1793, from general want of specie, to
suspend cash payments, and that in 1794 the surviving partner re-opened his doors
to pay the notes with interest. Some time prior to 1802, the firm became Messrs.
Wetherell, Mowbray, & Co., with business premises at Darlington and Durham,
for when in May of that year Messrs. Mills, Hopper, and Chipchase, of Durham,
dissolved partnership, their outstanding notes were taken up by Messrs. Wetherell,
Mowbray, & Co. The Gentleman' s Magazine informs us that on " October 8th,
1805, died (aged 71) much lamented, John Wetherell, Esq., of Field House, near
Darlington, one of the partners in the Durham and Darlington Banks." By
January, 1806, the firm had grown to the full limit of partners allowed. One of
their £1 notes of that date is headed, "Durham Bank," and signed, "For
Mowbray, Hollingsworth, Shields, Boulton, Wetherell, and Mason. J. Wether 5II."

The note has a small vignette of the Bishop's Mitre. In Houlden's directory
for 181 1, Messrs. Mowbray & Co. are announced as having estabhshments at
Berwick and Kelso, Darlington and Durham. (See Mowbray, Hollingsworth, & Co.,
Berwick Bank.)

They doubtless had an extensive issue of small notes, which like all others
of their day were subject to forgery. It was for a forgery upon this bank
that John Boyd was executed at Morpeth in 1809. The following records copied
from the originals will show the procedure : —


Town and County op] To the Keeper of the Qaol of Newcastle

Newcastle-upon-Tyne. J in the said Town and County.

Receive into your Custody the body of John Boyd late of the Town of Newcastle-upon-Tyne
in the County of the same Town, whom I herewith send you, he having been apprehended and
brought before me one of his ^Majesty's Justices of the Peace, in and for the said Town and


County of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, charged with having on the 22nd day of April last at the
Town and County aforesaid feloniously uttered as true to divers persons divers (to wit) Twenty
pieces of paper partly written and partly printed purporting to be promissory notes for the
payment of money (that is to say) the sum of twenty shillings each, such promissory notes
being false, forged, and counterfeited, and the said Jolin Boyd at the time of so uttering the
same knowing the same to be forged, with an Intent to defraud the said persons, and also to
defraud Arthur Mowbray, George Lewis HoUingsworth, William Shields, William Boulton,
John Wetherell, and Christopher Mason.

I do therefore command you to keep the said John Boyd safely in Custody in the said
Prison until he shall be from thence delivered by due Course of Law.

Given under my hand and Seal the Nineteenth Day of May, 1809.



George the Third by the grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland King,
Defender of the faith. To our Sheriff of our County of Northumberland, Greeting. — Whereas for
certain reasons us thereunto moving We have lately commanded our Sheriff of our Town of Newcastle-
upon-Tyne and County of the same Town to convey the Body of John Boyd detained in our Prison of
our said Town of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and County of the said Town, under his custody and to deliver
him to you without delay, together with the Cause of his being taken and detained. We therefore
command you firmly injoining you to receive the said John Boyd from our Sheriff of our said Town of
Newcastle-upon-Tyne and County of the same Town and that you do without delay cause him to be
kept under safe and secure custody as you will answer to us thereupon, until he shall from thence be
delivered by due course of law, and this you are not to omit on peril that may fall thereon. Witness —
Sir Alan Chambre, Knight, at the Guildhall of the Town of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the twenty-ninth
day of July in the forty-ninth year of our reign. — Rigge (Clerk of Assize).

Endorsement for the King — Geo. Wood.

Endorsed upon the first warrant is the following : — 19th May, 1809. John Boyd's Warrant.

Assizes, 29th July, 1809. John Boyd's Warrant. 19th August, 1809. The within-named

John Boyd was Executed according to his Sentence.

A local paper writes, August 19th : —

" John Boyd was executed at Morpeth, pursuant to his sentence, for a forgery on the Durham Bank.
He was taken to the place of execution in a chaise, handsomely dressed in a suit of black, with black
silk stockings, in which attire, at his own request, he was deposited in the earth. This unfortunate
young man, who was only twenty-one years of age, had very respectable connections in Ireland, but
had assumed a false name that this history of his guilt might never the knowledge of his friends
and relatives."

I am informed that while Boyd was upon the scaffold, two gentlemen came
up on horseback and saluted the wretched prisoner, and then rode away. It is
also related that the condemned man, while in Morpeth prison, presented his
gold watch to the daughter of the governor.


In 1 8 10 a Durham note is signed "For Mowbray, Hollingsworth, Wetherell,
Mason, Shields, and Boulton, Wm. Shields." Another change in the firm occurs
prior to June 22nd, 1813, when a Darhngton note is signed "For Mowbray,
Hollingsworth, Wetherell, Shields, Boulton, & Co., George Lewis Hollingsworth
(Mr. Mason having quitted the partnership). Entered by Nath. Plews." A
Durham note, dated 29th July, 1814, names the same partners and is signed by
Wm. Shields. Entered by H. Simpson. Mr. Shields appears to have been the
active member of the firm at Durham, where the bank is still remembered as
"Shields's Bank." Probably he was the William Shields named at Durham in 1790
as Mercer, Draper, and Banker. Several of the notes quoted are from a " pile "
recently found, and supposed to have been part of the spoil of a robbery in 18 15,
interesting particulars of which have been furnished by a Durham magistrate,
and will be found at the end of the history of this bank.

Up to this date all the notes of the firm that have come before me are for £1
or £^ ; on October ist, 18 14, they were issuing notes for one guinea.

The following year saw the close of their banking career. In July of 18 15,
they were proclaimed bankrupt, wiien the partners were Arthur Mowbray,
George Lewis Hollingsworth, John Wetherell, Wm. Shields, William Boulton, and
Wilham Richard Stokes, trading as bankers at Darlington, Durham, Thirsk, and
Lothbury, London. The firm had recently opened a London house, as in the list

of Metropolitan bankers for
1 8 14, Mowbray, Hollings-
worth, & Co. are announced;
they do not appear in any
subsequent list. They were
probably led to open a bank in
London by their new partner,
Mr. William Richard Stokes,
evidently a brother-in-law of
Mr. Hollingsworth who had
married Miss Mary Stokes of
Queen's Square, London.

The premises occupied by
the bank in Darlington were
situated upon the High Row.

After the failure of the firm the property was acquired by Messrs. Backhouse & Co.

(see page i^y). A sketch of the premises is given in the margin.


17, & 18, from 10

'clock to 4 each


19 & 20,




26 & 27,



informed what the terms were that Mr. Mason

It has been stated that Mr. Mason retired from the firm some httle time
prior to the stoppage, but doubtless many notes with his name upon them would
still be in circulation. For these notes he considered himself liable ; he therefore
made the following arrangements. The Durham County Advertiser ^ December
7th, 1 8 1 6, announces : —

" The Holders of Cash Notes of the Durham and Darlington Banks bearing Mr. Slason's name are
requested to meet him at any of the undermentioned times and places, when (the notes being produced)
such mode of payment will be offered as he trusts will be satisfactory.

At Mrs. Smurthwaite's, Hat and Feathers, Durham, Dec. 16, 17, & 18, from 10 o

,, Scott's, Darlington

,, Harrison's, Barnard Castle

,, Ferguson's, Catterick Bridge

,, Haseltine's, Thirsk

„ Hewson's, Stockton

„ Loftus', Newcastle

,, Black Bull, Hexham
Durham, 13th November, 1816."

Unfortunately we are not
offered. I received a letter from Mr. John R. Ord of Haughton Hall, dated
August i/th, 1893, that contains some interesting information regarding the above.
He says :—

" Early in the century — probably its second decade, my father, the late John Oxd of Newton Ketton,
near Darlington, was journeying towards York. In the company was a gentleman — a partner in one of
the then Darlington Banks — who took every opportunity of passing off some Bank Notes, erasing his
own name before doing so."

It is highly probable that the gentleman referred to was Mr. Mason, and that
after he left the bank he made a point of erasing his own name from all the notes
of the old firm that came through his hands.

The most active partner in the firm at the period of their collapse was
Mr. Hollingsworth. Some little time after the stoppage, he issued a pamphlet
from which a good idea of the cause of their failure is gathered. It is entitled : —

" A Plain Statement of Facts Concerning the Cause of the Failure of the Durham, Darlington, and
Thirsk Banks, and with regard to certain reports which have been circulated relative to the writer of
these pages." By George Lewis Hollingsworth, lately a partner in those Banks. A New Edition with
additional Notes. " I will a round, unvarnished tale deliver." — Othello. Printed for the Author
(and not Published) By Edward Walker, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle, 1815."

After the preamble, the writer states : —

" That the debt of Easterby, Hall, & Co., proprietors of lead mines in Arkendale and Derwent, may be
considered the exclusive cause of the Bank's failure. The account with that house commenced in 1805,
advances wore made from time to time until by 1808 they were debtors to the bank of £100,000 (which
by the time of the failure had grown to £170,000). Many of the needy creditors of Easterby, Hall, & Co.,
got to know that the Bank was so deeply involved that it could not let them stop, pressed their claims


and so increased the difficulties. la 1812 the Arkendale and Derwent Mines Company was formed.
The persons who joined Easterby, Hall, & Co., gave them £216,000 for twenty-seven fiftieths of the
mines, and the remaining twenty-three fiftieths were reserved by Easterby and assigned to trustees for
the security of the Bank.

Mr. HoUingsworth recounts a chapter of misfortunes and disappointed expectations of reducing
the debt of Easterby, Hall, & Co., that doubtless are too often the fate of bankers who have over-
advanced to one firm. Two vessels were despatched with lead to Petersburgh, where it was selling at
a high price, and they were to bring back Russian produce. At least £20,000 was expected ; the
matter, however, was mismanaged and no payment was received. In 1809 a considerable sum was
anticipated from Hazlehurst & Co. of Philadelphia, who owed Easterby £25,000, but they failed and
assigned all their property to American Creditors. A large sum was expected from an arbitration with
respect to damage which had been done to the Derwent Mines of Easterby, Hall, & Co., by the Lead
Company, usually denominated the Quakers' Company, who had formerly occupied them. In the year
1809 a verdict was obtained against that company at the Assizes in Durham for £100,000, subject to the
award of a very respectable Counsel, to whom the case was referred. *' The award, however, was made
only for £9,000, and our hopes from this source were of course frustrated."

Mr. Stokes, father-in-law of Mr. HoUingsworth, had run up an over-draft of
about ;^ 1 2,000 which led to family recriminations and lengthy explanations. The
pamphlet consists of 30 pages ; it also contains an account of Hollingsworth's
private property and expenditure.

The statements made by Mr. HoUingsworth were vigorously assailed by " A
Creditor " in a letter to the Durham Advertiser, to which he sends a long
rejoinder from Haltwhistle, dated February 19th, 18 16, but it simply recapitulates
the pamphlet and contains no new information. The estate was not wound up
until 1849, when a final dividend was paid of 3/4 in the pound.

ARTHUR MOWBRAY was Receiver for Bishop Barrington of rents and
fines belonging to the See of Durham, and owned and resided at Sherburn Hall,
near Durham.

" Sir Henry Vane Tempest died Augusb 1st, 1813, and on the 17th the Court of Chancery appointed a
manager and receiver of his collieries in the interest of his only child Lady Frances Emily Vane
Tempest ; and the Lord Chancellor observed that he was well acquainted with these collieries and
was convinced that a single week's delay would be disastrous, and Arthur Mowbray was appointed to
the post. When he bacame bankrupt at the time of the stoppage of the bank, the Court of Chancery
made an order that all unsatisfied claims should be proved before the Master on or before February
30th, 1816. In April, 1819, the Lady Frances Emily married Charles William Stewart, who became
Marquis of Londonderry."

GEORGE LEWIS HOLLINGSWORTH, of Darlington, married January
24th, 1807, Mary Stokes, the daughter of Henry Stokes, Esq., of Brunswick Row,
Queen's Square, London. Mr. HoUingsworth was owner of some fields in the
vicinity of Darlington through which a very pleasant footpath passed. He had
the foot-way closed to the public " to the great indignation of the Cockerton
weavers, who repeatedly demolished portions of the excluding fence." G. L.


Hollingsworth appears as a subscriber of £20 to the Hartlepool pier fund about
18 1 3, and of £20 to the fund for procuring an Act of Parliament for the same
town. In 1808, April 13th, he laid the foundation stone of the New Town Hall,

The bank very early in their history had an agency at Barnard Castle. In
1 79 1 Messrs. Harrison, Swainston, and Son, Grocers and Drapers, were their
agents in that town. One of the employes of this establishment became a man
of some eminence. Mr. Nathaniel Plews was a clerk in the bank for some years,
and a great many of the old notes are entered by him. Upon its failure he
transferred his services to Messrs. Backhouse & Co., where he became cashier.
Subsequently he joined his brothers in conducting their father's business as brewers
at Bedale, still retaining his position in the bank. He took an active part in
promoting the formation of the North of England Railway, and finally became
a director, holding that position until his death. Through his interposition, a
scheme for removing the Railway Shops from Darlington to York was abandoned.
He died November 17th, 1858, his funeral being one of the largest ever seen in
the town.

I have been favoured with the following account of the robbery of a number
of notes of this bank : —

" In the winter of 1814-15, Mr. Richardson, a messenger of the London Lead Company, was returning
on horseback from Durham with money for the ' Pays,' amounting to £1,500, said to consist of £1,000
in gold and £500 in notes of Mowbray & Co. He crossed the moors lying between Weardale and
Teesdale, and when he was near St. John's two men in disguise attacked him and robbed him of the
whole £1,500 ; he afterwards recognised one of his assailants in Romaldkirk. At this date. Parish
Constables represented the law, and they, being unwilling ratepayers annually elected at the
Parish Meeting to serve the office of Constable, but little effort was made by them to trace out and
apprehend offenders against the laws. Reports and suspicions were very rife in the neighbourhood,
one person hinted at being a farmer living on a small and poor farm near the moors, about three miles
from where the robbery took place, and known to be deficient in worldly means ; very soon afterwards
he took a much larger farm and found ample means to stock the land ; this fact made suspicion a
certainty in the eyes of his neighbours.

Time passed on bringing many changes with it and the Robbery became a dim memory of the
past, only lingering in the fireside talk of some of the aged people, but it was revived by a
singular occurrence. On March 4th, 1885, a woman changed a £5 note at a draper's in Towlaw, a
town about four miles from where Richardson was robbed in 1815. She received £2 13s. in cash
and £2 7s. in goods; it was soon discovered that the note was one of the Durham Branch of
Mowbray & Co. which suspended payment in 1815. She was apprehended and charged with " obtaining
monies and goods by false pretences by tendering a bad bank note. She was released on bail, and on
March 11th the Justices sitting at Wolsingham adjourned the case to April 7th, when she was
discharged, as it was shown that all the parties at the time expected, or thought, the note was a good
one. The goods and monies were returned to the draper, and the note was detained by the
Justices' Clerk.




The woman's husband said he found the note by the roadside and he and his wife were told by
several people that it was good and worth £5. It could not be proved that the woman knew it was
valueless, in fact, what evidence there was, went to show that she was under the impression
it was good, but the prosecution held the opinion that she obtained the note from the
Housekeeper of a gentleman, formerly a farmer, living on his own land about four miles from
where the robbery of 1815 took place, who is a descendant of an ancient family that had been owners
of the land for many years. In 1884 he sold the property and removed to Tow Law, but before he left,
report says, he found a roll or pile of Durham Bank Notes, amounting in value to near £500, and this
being the amount said to have been stolen from Richardson, it was supposed that the robbers had
utilised the gold and hidden the notes, and the bank suspending payment a few months afterwards, no
attempt had been made to put them in circulation.

A Rate Collector stated that he called at the house shortly before the removal, and visitors being
but few, for the house is some distance from any public road, he made a long visit, and in the course
of conversation he was asked if he would have a £5 note as a present ; a pile near six inches thick
was produced and one was given to him."

pelrson, XTbomaa^

Founded about 1778.

Extinct about 1820.


Thomas Peivson.
George Peirson.

THE Peirson family originally came from Helmsley, where they carried on
the business of tanners. They paid rates in Whitby, 1697, and had a
tannery at Spital Bridge until 1754. Subsequently they became drapers,
and latterly merchants.

About the year 1778 Thomas Peirson commenced (most probably) the second
bank established in Whitby. A Whitby historian says : —

"The notes issued by the three earliest bankers, viz., Simpson, Peirson, and Sanders, were at first
made payable in London, and many of them were ^os^ Bills, that is, bills not payable on demand, but
a few days after sight. It was in 1785 that notes began to be issued in the present manner, and the
bank bills of the old form did not continue later than 1789."

A mural tablet in St. Mary's Church, Whitby, informs us that Thomas Peirson,
Esq., banker and merchant, died November loth, 18 18, aged 6"/, and a headstone
in the Churchyard records that his wife Frances died May 13th, 1794, aged 32.
Other members of the family are buried near — James Peirson, Esq., of Whitby,
died in London, January ist, 1827. Jane (wife of Thomas Richardson) died June
24th, 1859, aged 70. Robert Peirson, Esq., of Coleman Street and Pentonville,
London, died in 1830 and left the following legacies to Whitby charities : —
Seamen's Hospital, ^^300 ; Female Charity, Public Schools, Dispensary, and


Clothing Charity, ;^ioo each. WilHam Peirson gave two houses for the poor in
Whitby in 1772, and John Peirson gave £20 for Church Ornaments in 1770. Mr.
George Peirson was the last of the family to carry on the bank, which he
relinquished about 1820. He died about i860, but left no male issue. It speaks
well for the stability and prudence of the Whitby bankers, that during the time of
panic which affected other parts of the North of England in 1793, 1797, 1803,
18 1 5, and 18 1 6, they stood their ground. I have not met with any record
regarding the guaranteeing of their notes, and no bank appears to have suspended
payment until the failure of Messrs. R. and J. Campion in 1841.

1RaiJ^C0 & Co, /iDaiton.

Founded Prior to 1810. Partners. Extinct prior to 1838.

Information incomplete.

IN the list of country bankers given at the end of Houlden's London Directory
for 18 1 1, the above firm is announced. In another place in the same
directory, they are named Raikes & Curries. Their London agents were
Lefevre & Co. Mr. Price in his " Hand-book of London Bankers," says : —
" Curries & Co. . . . In 178 1 the firm was Currie, Lefevre, James, & Yallowby ;
and in 1785, Lefevre, Curries, James, & Yallowby. In 1788 Mr. James's name
ceased to appear, and a junior partner of the name of Raikes was admitted into the
firm. . . . In 1 8 14 the firm was styled Curries, Raikes, & Co.; and from
1827 until 1864, when they amalgamated with Messrs. Glyn, Mills, & Co., the
style of the firm was Curries & Co."

IRaper, Swann, a Co. xrwrsft.

Established at Discontinued at

York 1771. Partners. Thirsk by 1827.

Information incomplete. Failed at York

IN 1823, Francis Amitt, who combined the business of tanner, grocer, and
draper, was agent for the above firm, his premises being situated on the west

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 41 of 57)