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 44 of 57)
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On December 26th, 1835, the first election under the new Municipal Act took
place, when Mr. Skinner, sen., was elected a Councillor ; on the 31st he was made
an Alderman, and the next day, January ist, 1836, he was chosen Mayor. His
son, Wm. Skinner, jun., is again recorded Mayor in 1840, 1841, 1844, and 1853.

Mr. Holt was also a public man, though in a different way. When the
business was taken over by the Joint Stock Bank, he was made — or subsequently
became — district inspector for the National Provincial Bank, in whose service he
remained for many years.

At the formation of the Ragged Schools in 1856, he was appointed Treasurer
and Secretary, and he evidently took an active part in promoting the philanthropic
works of the town. On May 19th, 1863,

" A Tea party was held in the Borough Hall, Stockton, to bid farewell to Mr. Wm. Holt, district
inspector of the National Provincial Bank, who was about to leave the town for London, and to present
him with a testimonial of their esteem .... the cofEee pot bore the following appropriate
inscription : — ' Presented to William Holt, Esq., on his leaving Stockton, by 81 subscribers, as a token
of esteem, and of their appreciation of his services in connection with the Mechanics' Institute, British
School, Ragged School, Town Mission, and other kindred institutions. May 10th, 1863.' "

Mr. Holt originally came from Whitby, W'here some members of his family
were in the firm of Richardson and Holt, bankers {see page 22p).

^toMon S, H)urbam County Bank. stocftton.

Established 1838. Transferred to Nat. Prov. Bank of England, 1846.

BANKING upon Joint Stock principles was not adopted at Stockton for
some little time after its introduction in 1825. In October, 1838, meetings
were held, and eventually a bank was constituted under the title of the
"Stockton and Durham County Bank." The capital was to be ;^i 50,000 in
shares of £20. The prospectus stated : —

" The opening out of various railways and branches, the increase of the exports of the port, and of the
trade generally in the district, hold out favourable prospects for the establishing of such an undertaking,
the increase of productive industry requiring a corresponding augmentation of banking facilities, and
experience has shown that these facilities can be best secured by the joint stock banking system."

A provisional committee was appointed, and in a short time the requisite
capital was secured.

[ 383 ]

When we consider the loss and inconvenience that the Stocktonians had been
put to from time to time by the numerous failures of their private banks, it is not
surprising that they were anxious to try the new and popular Joint Stock principle ;
but experience taught them that no kind of banking business was a bed of roses.
By June, 1846 — eight years from its opening — the County Bank had lost about
;^9o,ooo of its original capital, and the shareholders were then willing to transfer
the remainder of their connection to the National Provincial Bank of England,
which in 1836 had acquired the business of Messrs. Skinner & Co.

The bank had a note issue, and, like many others, suffered from the loss and
annoyance caused by forgery —

•' In November, 1844, Matthew and James Watson, Henry Russell, and D. Buglass, were committed
to Durham gaol to take their trial for forging and issuing notes upon this bank. They were brought
up at the following assizes, when they were all found guilty. Buglass was sentenced to fifteen years'
transportation, and the others to twenty years. James Watson, having given evidence at the trial,
had his sentence remitted."

When the bank was disposed of, their note issue stood at ;^8,29o.

Sun^erlant) 3oint Stock Banl^. sun&erian&.

Established 1836. Suspended payment 1851.

THE prospectus announcing the formation of this bank was issued May 28th,
1836. The Capital was to be ^"200,000 in 20,000 shares of ;^io each, with
power to increase the capital to ;^400,ooo. The projectors stated that —

" Many influential individuals connected with the trade and commerce of Sunderland had long held
that there was much more profitable Banking business in that town than in many of those where
Joint Stock Banks had been conducted in a most successful manner ; and from the spirited, opulent,
and enterprising character of the inhabitants, little doubt need be entertained of its usefulness and
prosperity. . . . One shilling per share to be paid on application, £2 10s. per share 30 days after
directors are elected, and a further £2 lOs. within 60 days. The remaining £5 as the directors may
appoint. That the business shall be that of a deposit, loan, agency, discount, and circulating bank,
and shall be strictly confined to such business as is usually carried on under the term of Banking.
Application for shares to be made to Robert Brown, solicitor, Sunderland, Wm. L. Harle, solicitor,
Newcastle, W. J. Barker, sharebroker, Sunderland, J. & J. Kimpster, sharebrokers, Newcastle."

The provisional committee appointed were Andrew White (Mayor), John Miller, M.D., Alderman
White, Alderman Kirk, and Alderman Brown. It was announced that suitable premises were wanted
in High Street, and a manager also, acquainted with Banking business. A meeting of shareholders was
advertised for July 5th, in the Arcade, to receive the report of the Provisional Committee, and appoint
directors. On July 9th it is stated that premises lately occupied by Panton and Son had been
purchased, and that the bank would open early in August. Shareholders were informed that they
could "pay their call of £2 lOs. per share into the North of England Joint Stock Bank at Sunderland
or Newcastle. Wm. Curry, Manager."


The first directors appointed were: — Andrew White (Mayor), John Miller, M.D.,
Alderman Kirk, John Clay, and Alderman White ; managing directors — H. Panton
and Alderman Brown. Messrs. Thomas Brown and Hill Parker were managers
for some time. In 1849 Hill Parker is quoted as sole manager, and he appears to
have been followed by Thos. C. Squance in 1850.

Prosperity smiled upon the early days of the bank. The first report
announced that upwards of 12 per cent, had been earned, and a dividend of
10 per cent, was declared. From time to time satisfactory accounts were annually
rendered, even up to February, 185 1. It was then stated that a balance of
£1,02^ remained to be carried to the reserve fund, which would then amount to
;^5,684. Soon after this very heavy losses were sustained, and in November the bank
stopped payment. The Newcastle Chronicle of November 28th, states : — "Vague
alarm instinctively runs through the public mind, and spreads as it goes ; it is best
to check the same by giving facts as far as possible." The deficiency was first
reported to be about ;^20,ooo, and as £y los. per share had been paid up, a call of
the remaining £2 los., it was expected, would meet the difficulty. A committee
was appointed to investigate the accounts, when a terrible state of things was
discovered. The deposits held were about ^28,000 ; four or five depositors
owning one-half of that amount. Some of the directors had very heavy over-
drafts, ;^30,ooo being the amount of one. Another director, " on his petition being
heard . . . was remanded for two years for having fraudulently disposed of
his private property so as to diminish the sum to be divided amongst the

A local pen upon the occasion records : — " The managing clique of Tarhiffes, over a series of years,
employed the capital in their own shipping transactions — concealed those transactions from the other
directors and clerks — had fictitious accounts opened — closed those accounts, when the speculation
that originated them failed, by crediting them with cheques drawn against their previously overdrawn
private accounts — released each other from liabilities to the bank — made arrangements out of bank
funds with their creditors — manufactured, amongst themselves, accommodation paper to carry on an
unprofitable business — and continued this business until it broke down under the weight of helpless
and hopeless ruin."

Another writer remarks : — " The conduct of the directors was stated by the
committee appointed by the shareholders to have been reckless, deceptive, and
improvident to a degree almost unparalleled, and the shareholders dismissed them
from their office with great indignation." The liabilities of the bank were all
cleared off by June, 1857.

This bank never opened any branches. It circulated Bank of England notes.


SurtCCB Si Burbon. -newcastle d JSerwicft.


Founded 1768. Partners at Newcastle. Failed 1803.

Aubone Surtees. Aubone Surtees, jun. jfohn Brandling.

Rowland Burdon. John Surtees.

Partners at Berwick.

The above Named with — Weatherby. John Embleton.

THE second firm that opened their doors as bankers in Newcastle were
Messrs. Surtees and Burdon, who traded as the " Exchange Bank." They
commenced business some time between January and May, 1768.* The
original founders were Aubone Surtees and Rowland Burdon, names calculated at
once to gain the confidence of the public. They had been in partnership as general
merchants some time prior to their commencing the bank.f

In 1772, four years after its foundation, a crisis occurred amongst the
London bankers, which soon spread to the provincial houses, when, to allay the
alarm, the notes of the Newcastle bankers were guaranteed by a number of
influential gentlemen {see page 2p). The difficulty was tided over, and public
confidence restored. The Newcastle Directory of 1778 names the Exchange Bank
as at the end of Silver Street, and the next Directory (1787) announces it at the
head of Silver Street. In the latter year they are styled Surtees, Burdon, & Co.,
and that signature is attached to a letter written by the Committee of Bankers in
Newcastle, dated July 30th, 1788 {seepage 34).

♦ This information is derived from the following interesting letter written to William Boyd, Esq., in 1829:—" Mr
Peters presents his compliments to Mr. Boyd, and on looking into the Account Book of his late Father as
Receiver for the late Henry Stephenson, Esq., for his Estates at Coxlodge, Knarsdale, Usworth, &c., which
began in October, 1767, he finds he sent Mr. Stephenson a Remittance by Bill drawn by Jos. Saint & Co. (the
Newcastle Old Bank) on Glyn and Hallif ax, 2nd January, 1768— and that the next bill for the Balance of the Account
was drawn 25th May, 1768, by Burdon and Surtees on Browns and Collinson, so Peters conceives that the
Exchange or Burdon and Surtees's Bank Establishment must have taken place at or about 4th January, 1768,
or between that time and 25th May following, as he recollects having heard his Father say he had Directions
from Mr. Stephenson to make his Remittance thro' the Medium of Burdon and Surtees's or Surtees and Burdon's
Banking House (Mr. Surtees being brother in law to Mr. Stephenson) after he knew that it had opened, and it
continued to be so remitted to Mr. Stephenson and his successors from that Period, until the Stoppage of
Surtees', Burdon's, and Brandling's Bank in 1803.

PHiGBiM Stbeet, lat March, ISZO."

+ The Newcastle Courant of November 20th, 1756, announces :— " The Shop of Messrs. Surtees and Burdon on the
Side was broken into by the roof, and robbed of some silver, and a great quantity of good and bad half-pence
and the lid of a silver tankard. Much blood was seen in several places, supposed cut from glass in compting
house which was broken."



Another panic occurred in 1793, and so great was the demand for gold, that
in April all the bankers resolved to suspend payment. A public meeting was held
and a committee formed to look into the affairs of the four banks. A favourable
report was soon made upon three (the "Commercial" dechning business), and
a guarantee was entered into to accept their notes. Public confidence was
re-established, and the banks soon after resumed cash payments.

The proprietors of the bank evidently made strenuous efforts to obtain gold,
and from the following record we may conclude that Mr. Burdon, one of the
partners, went to London for the special purpose of obtaining specie.

The Newcastle Chronicle for April 27th, 1793, states : —

" Thursday se'nnight about 1 o'clock in the morning, the chaise in which Mr. Burdon and his servant
were conveying specie to the Bank here was attacked at the 63 mile stone, near Bugden, by three
footpads, who robbed Mr. Burdon of his watch and purse, and the servant of two watches and his
purse, and got off without being discovered. Happily the great quantity of specie was preserved by
the spirited conduct of Mr. Burdon, who wounded one of the ruffians with his cutlass, the robbers
having first thrown out the firearms." The paper of the next week adds :- " We are informed that
the footpads that robbed Mr. Burdon as related in our last, are taken."

Upon May 18th " John Weltshire was brought to the Public Office, Bow Street, and charged
before Wm. Addington, Esq., on suspicion of having committed divers footpad and other robberies,
likewise by Rowland Burdon, Esq., with stopping .him on the 17th April last, and robbing him of his
watch and twenty-five guineas. Mr. Burdon deposed that about 2 o'clock on the 17th April last, he
was stopped in a postchaise by three footpads ; one of whom opened the door and presented a pistol to
him, threatening at the same time if he did not deliver immediately he would blow his brains out.
Mr. Burdon immediately drew a cutlass and levelled a blow at the robber whom he believes to be the
prisoner, which missed him ; he immediately jumped into the chaise, and after having pinioned down
his arms, rifled his pockets of all the property he had about him, viz., twenty-five guineas and a gold
watch. His servant was dragged out of the opposite door by the prisoner's companions. Mr. Burdon
was bound over to prosecute, and the prisoner was on this charge fully committed for trial."*

Rumours respecting the stability of Messrs. Smith, Payne, and Smith, ot
London, were evidently in circulation, for on April i8th, the following announcement
was made : — ■

" False reports injurious to the House of Messrs. Smith, Payne, and Smith, and its connection, having
been circulated in this neighbourhood, Surtees, Burdon, & Co. think it their duty to declare that they
are without foundation. Surtees, Burdon, & Co. continue to draw on that House as usual. —
Newcastle, April 18th, 1793."

By 1795 the Exchange Bank had removed to the newly-formed Mosley
Street. In 1797 another monetary panic occurred in the town, when the notes of
the bank were again supported by the townspeople.

* Bugden appears to have been a notorious place, as a York paper announces :— " 1794, November 2nd (Sunday).—
As Richard Lee, Esq., and his son were on their way in a post chaise from Leeds to London, they were
stopped near Bugden by three highwaymen, who robbed them of their watches and a small sum of money ;
but, very much to the satisfaction of the gentlemen, they did not search the carriage, or they would have
got upwards of three thousand guineas in light gold, which, together with bank notes to a considerable
amount, were concealed therein."


On March loth, 1788, a branch was established at Berwick, the partners being
the Newcastle firm with local additions. The first partners were announced as
Surtees, Burdon, Weatherby, & Co, ; they were soon after styled Surtees, Burdon,
Embleton, & Co. A Berwick writer referring to the bank, says : — •

" Business is transacted here to a great amount, and in justice to the institution, it is but fair to state
that its matters are conducted in such a liberal and accommodating manner as reflects great honour
on the bank in general, but in particular upon Mr. Embleton, one of the partners who has the
immediate direction and management of it. The advantages which result to this to^vn and the
neighbouring county from this institution are exceedingly great, and they are so universally known as
renders it unnecessary to expatiate upon them here."

The firm issued notes of various denominations. An early example is here
shown. At Berwick they circulated notes for one guinea ; No. A. 482, dated
May 9th, 1799, is signed, "For Surtees, Burdon, and Embleton — John Embleton."

■; ';^f:^.:z^i^r '^''^■^ f ^^^^^

In 1800, September 30th, Aubone Surtees died at Benwell in his ninetieth year.
Soon afterwards, the firm was reconstituted, the two sons of the deceased partner —
Aubone and John Surtees — and John Brandling joining the firm. In 1801 they
are named as " Surtees, Burdon, Surtees, and Brandling." A note of theirs dated
January 3rd, 1802, is signed, " For Surtees's Burdon and Brandling — John Surtees.
Ent. Jno. F. Challoner."

The following year was one of great commercial excitement ; another run was
made upon the banks, and on June 30th, 1803, the firm issued the following notice : —

'• Messrs, Surtees's, Burdon, and Brandling respectfully inform the Public that they find themselves


obliged to request the Indulgence of the Holders of their Notes and Securities, for a short Period, for
the purpose of making effectual Arrangements for the Discharge of the Demands upon them, of which
due Notice will be given."

On the same day a public meeting was held in Newcastle, and the notes of
three of the banks guaranteed, but this time Messrs. Surtees's, Burdon, and
Brandling were omitted from the list. On July 29th, 1803, a further announcement
was made, in which they declined business but fully hoped to meet all their

" The Proprietors of the Exchange Bank, at Newcastle, under the Firm of Surtees's, Burdon, and
Brandling, and of the Bank at Berwick-upon-Tweed, under the Firm of Surtees's, Burdon, Brandling,
and Embleton, having determined to decline entirely the Business of Banking, beg Leave to assure
the Public, whose Forbearance they have taken the Liberty respectfully to request, that they are
about to lay their Accounts before Gentlemen of the first Respectability, who, they are satisfied, will
soon be enabled to give a correct and satisfactory Statement of their Affairs to the Creditors at large.

Independently of the various Securities, Bills, &c., belonging to their Banks at Newcastle and
Berwick, the respective Partners have very ample Property, equal to more than the Liquidation of
the Debts of the two Establishments, of which the Circulation in Promissory Notes to Bearer will be
found much less than has been generally represented.

Persons therefore holding the Notes of the said Banks are respectfully requested upon no
Account to part with them for less than their full value. — July 15, 1803.

Messrs. Surtees's, Burdon, and Brandling, and Messrs. Surtees's, Burdon, Brandling, and
Embleton, anxious to prevent Loss to the Holders of their Notes and other Bank Debts, from the
Suspension of their Payments, engage to allow legal Interest on all such Notes and Debts, from the
1st of July inst. to the Time of giving Notice for their Discharge. — 29th July, 1803."

A notice was issued, dated August 5th, 1803, in which the firm say : —

" That they have committed the Arrangement of their Affairs into the Hands of the Gentlemen
mentioned below, in whose Honor and Knowledge of Business they repose, and they trust their
Creditors will repose, the utmost confidence, and who for the more complete Security of the Creditors,
will immediately be invested with all their Partnership Effects, and as ample a proportion of their
separate Property as may appear to be requisite to effect the perfect and speedy Liquidation of their
Engagements to the Public.

Being anxious to prevent Loss to the Holders of their Notes and other Bank Debts, from the
Suspension of their Payments, Messrs. Surtees's, Burdon, and Brandling, and Messrs. Surtees's, Burdon,
Brandling, and Embleton, engage to allow legal Interest on all such Notes and Debts, from the 1st
July to the Time of giving Notice for their Discharge.

CHARLES JOHN BRANDLING, Esq., of Gosforth House; WILLIAM ORD, Esq., of
Fenham ; WALTER TREVELYAN, Esq., of Netherwitton ; WILLIAM GRIEVE, Esq., of Ord
House; WILLIAM RUSSELL, Esq., of Brancepeth Castle; THOMAS HARRISON, Esq., of
Whitehaven; THOMAS EMERSON HEADLAM, Esq., of Gateshead; Mr. WILLIAM BERRY,
Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Aiigzist 5th, 1803."

[^89j ^___

Aubone and John Surtees appear to have been part proprietors of the Tyne
Iron Company. This partnership was dissolved October 4th, 1803.

"Newcastle upon-Tyne, 4th October, 1803.
Notice is hereby given that the Partnership between Aubone Surtees, John Surtees, Richard Fishwick,
John Gibson, and Peter John Bulmer, carrying on the Business of Iron-Masters at Lemington, in the
County of Northumberland, under the Firm of the Tyne Iron Company, was this Day dissolved by the
mutual consent of all the parties. All debts due to the said Tyne Iron Company are requested to be
paid to the said Peter John Bulmer, who has undertaken to liquidate all Debts due from the said
Company ; and the Business will be carried on as usual by the said Peter John Bulmer."

On November 3rd the following announcement regarding the winding-up of
the bank was made : —

" The Gentlemen who form the Committee for the Management of the Affairs of Surtees's, Burdon, and
Brandling, and also of Surtees's, Burdon, Brandling, and Embleton, being anxious to wind up the
extensive concerns of those Houses with all proper speed, request the Debtors of those Parties to
liquidate their Accounts immediately, as they have already experienced much Forbearance, and as
they must be sensible that any further Delay on their Part will materially impede the Arrangements
which the Committee are earnestly pursuing for the Purpose of bringing the Affairs of those Houses to
a speedy Settlement. Newcastle, November 3rd, 1803."

The committee do not appear to issue a report until May ist, 1804, when
they say —

"That they are anxious to state to the Public the Progress they have made in the Discharge of their
Duty. The very large Debt to Government has been entirely provided for ; many considerable
Accounts with Persons holding pledged Securities have been liquidated ; and nearly two-thirds of the
Circulating Notes issued by these Banks have been extinguished by their having been received
in Discharge of Debts due to them. These Measures have brought the affairs into a much narrower
compass, and present to the Committee the gratifying Prospect of winding them up with full
Satisfaction to all the Creditors. The liberal as well as prudent Forbearance the Conamittee have
hitherto experienced from the Public, has been attended with most beneficial Effects ; and what
further Indulgence may be required, the Committee pledge themselves to use for the best Advantage
of the Creditors.— Newcastle, 1st of May, 1804."

On January nth, 1806, the following announcement appeared : —

" Messrs. Surtees's, Burdon, and Brandling, of Newcastle, and Messrs. Surtees's, Burdon, Brandling, and
Embleton, of Berwick, are sensible of the great confidence given by the Creditors to their Efforts, under
the Direction of their Committee, to liquidate their very extensive and complicated Concerns ; and can,
with great Truth and Satisfaction assure them, that much Benefit and Security will be foimd to have
arisen from the Forbearance already shewn. The Concerns being now relieved from a great Proportion
of the collateral Incumbrances, and much of the Amount of their circulating Notes on Demand being
extinguished by their Receipt in Payment from the Debtors of the two Houses, they, under the
Direction of their Committee, in order to ascertain with Accuracy the Debts of every Description, and
especially those due on Circulating Notes, respectfully and earnestly request that all the Creditors of
the two Houses, will immediately send, under Cover, to Rowland Burdon, Esq., Newcastle-on-Tyne, a
full and accurate Statement of their Demands, of whatever Kind, on the said Houses, distinguishing
each Firm, with a particular Specification of the Dates and Numbers of the Circulating Notes which
they hold.— January 2nd, 1806."


Difficulties seemed to increase, and on April 4th, general meetings of the
creditors were advertised to be held in Newcastle and Berwick, on April i8th
and 22nd. After the meetings, the following announcements were made : —

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 44 of 57)