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 47 of 57)
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In 1875 the paid-up capital was ;^i 62,500 and a 20 per cent dividend paid, the
branches then numbering twelve, and five sub-branches.

The Company was registered under the Limited Liability Act, July 2nd, 1883,
when the capital was increased to ;^ 1, 000,000. In 1893 the following particulars
are reported: — Capital, ;^i, 250,000; Paid-up Capital, .^335,304; Reserv^e fund,
^'371,202 (larger than the paid-up capital) ; authorised note issue, £94,6^^ — from
;^8o,ooo to ^90,000 being kept in circulation. Branches 40, sub-branches 2^.

' [410]

During the last few years the Company have firmly established themselves in
the northern district, and now have important branches at Newcastle and
Sunderland, the former being under the management of Mr. Wm. Spicer, and the
latter of Mr. E. H. Kirby. The dividends paid have been very substantial, varying
from 15 to 20 per cent. The general management was in the hands of Mr. Robert
Barnes from 1830 to 1852. He was succeeded by Mr. Edward Smallwood, who
retained office until 1873, when the present general manager, Mr. W. W. Morrell,
was appointed.

^ovk innion BanF^ing Co. /iDaiton, umbitbs, ubtrsh. ac.

Established 1833.

IN February, 1833, a prospectus was issued of a joint stock bank to be established
at York under the title of " The York Banking Company." The capital was
to be ^500,000 in 5,000 shares of ;^ioo each.

The preamble states that in consequence of the very prosperous state of the York City and County
Bank, which was established in January, 1830, it was thought desirable to form another joint stock
bank. The usual attention is drawn to the soundness of banking in Scotland compared to England, &c.
No one shareholder is to have more than one hundred or less than five shares ; 10/- to be paid on
subscription, to defray expenses of establishment, £4 10s. at the call of the Committee, and £5 on signing
the deed of settlement if necessary. To be managed by Five directors to be chosen by the shareholders,
two of whom shall retire annually, but shall be eligible for re-election at the end of one year. Fifty
shares a qualification for director. Annual Meeting to be held in February. The Prospectus was
issued by Mr. Ord, Solicitor, Petergate, York, who was authorised to receive applications for shares.

The following foot-note is added : —

" N.B. — It may be proper to add that more than 2,500 shares have already been subscribed for by the

gentlemen under whose authority I act. — York, February 1st, 1833.


A meeting of subscribers was held on February 13th, when it was resolved
that another meeting should be called for March 28th, to take place at the White
Swan Inn, Pavement, York, to receive the report of the committee — to choose
directors — and adopt the heads of the Deed of Settlement.

The meeting was duly held, Mr. Alderman Cooper presiding. The committee
handed in their report, the main points of which were : —

That the Company be denominated " The York Union Banking Company," and established under
Act 7 Geo. IV., cap. 46. That the capital consist of £600,000 in 6,000 shares of £100 each. That power
be given to create more capital if required, to be apportioned amongst persons resident in or near
places where branches may be established.


On May 1st, 1833, or within ten days, £4 lOs. to be paid for shares, which, with the deposit of
10s. per share already paid, makes the first instalment of £5 per share. A further £5 to be paid when
called for. The directors may call for the remaining £90 — not more than £5 per annum to be asked for,
and two months' notice to be given. " That no transfer of shares shall be made to any subscriber until
the expiration of twelve months after the Company shall have actually commenced business, but
afterwards they may be sold with the approbation of the directors." The bank to be managed by five
directors — three to constitute a board. The directors shall appoint two of their number to be the
" Managing Directors." Directors to have the appointment of the requisite staff. " Private accounts
and concerns of customers" to be only open to managing directors. That the first annual meeting be
held in February, 1835. Provision was made for forming a guarantee fund. No proxies to be allowed.

The following gentlemen were then appointed directors : — D. W. Cooper, George
Hudson, William Scawin, Joyce Gold, and Richard Wood, the first-named being
appointed chairman.

Business was very soon commenced at 33, Coney Street, where a meeting
was held on May 20th, 1833, and it was resolved —

" That a Branch of the York Union Banking Company be established at Drifiield, and that shares be
allotted to the Gentlemen, Tradesmen, and others resident in Driffield, Bridlington, &c. Applications
to be made to ^Mr. John Ord, Solicitor, York ; Messrs. Scotchburn and Shepherd, Solicitors, Driffield ;
and Sir. Robert Davison, Bridlington."

The first annual meeting was held on Tuesday, February 24th, 1834, at the
George Inn, Coney Street. The circular calling the meeting has the following foot-
note : —

"It is proposed to dine on the occasion at Mr. Braithwaite's at Half-past Four o'clock. Tickets
lOs. 6d. each ; for which early applications are requested."

The files of the York Herald do not divulge what passed at the dinner. .

An extensive and profitable business was very soon gathered. By 1845, five
branches and six sub-branches had been added — Malton and Thirsk being within
our district.

The official date of registration is given as May ist, 1833. They were
registered under the Limited Liability Act in June, 1883.

The Company's authorised note issue is ;^7 1,240 — a large percentage of which
is kept in circulation.

In 1892 the long established business of Messrs. Simpson, Chapman, & Co.,
of Whitby, was taken over by the Company, Mr. John Chapman Walker, who
had formerly been a partner in the Whitby bank, undertaking the management of
the branch.

For many years the dividends have ranged from 17 to 18 per cent. A reserve
fund has been accumulated that now amounts to ^156,000.


l?orI^6bire BGriciiltural anb Commercial

Banl^ino Co. /iDaiton, Mbttbp, ^c.

Founded 1836. Failed 1842.

THIS bank was one of the numerous institutions originated in 1836, when
such a rage set in for estabhshing banks upon the joint stock principle.
The prospectus names the capital as ^500,000, to be divided into loopoo
shares of £c^ each. The principal promoters were : — Mr. Joseph Wood, a
gentleman who had made a considerable fortune in the cutlery trade, and Mr.
Henry Pearson, an attorney. The prospectus was issued in May. It was soon
announced that the required number of shares had been applied for. In August
the bank was opened, the head office being at York. Mr. William Gaskell, a
gentleman who had obtained some banking experience with the York City and
County Banking Company, was appointed general manager. In a short time,
branches were opened at Driffield, Pocklington, Hull, Leeds, Malton — under the
management of Mr. William Wilson — and Whitby, where Mr. Stormont Panton
presided. Agencies were formed at Hunmanby, Bridlington, Kirby Moorside,
Pickering, Market Weighton, and Tadcaster. Nearly all the establishments were
competitive, as in most of the places named, the ground was well occupied by
existing banks. In the course of the first two years, capital was called up to the
amount of ;^i 75,000.

In December, 1836, the directors purchased the business of the ''Northern and
Central Banking Co." at Leeds, giving ;^6,5oo for the goodwill, and taking over
accounts to the extent of ;^8o,ooo— all of which had to be paid for in cash. This
was deemed a most fortunate bargain for the " Northern and Central," but most
suicidal for the "Agricultural." A large sum of money was also most injudiciously
spent in building elaborate and extensive premises at York and Whitby.

Dividends averaging 6 per cent, were paid, and reports of a favourable nature
issued up to the early part of 1842. Soon after then, rumour was afloat of the
bank being in difficulties. This resulted in the appointment in June, of a
committee of investigation, who were to report at the next annual meeting
(February, 1843). Before the end of the year, the crash came. On December
23rd, the London and Westminster Bank (who were the London agents of the
"Agricultural ") refused their drafts, when the bank was compelled to close its doors
at the head office and all the branches. A terrible state of insolvency was soon
revealed. The shareholders, numbering about 580, were mostly of the thrifty middle
class, to whom the loss of their capital was most disastrous, the calamity being
enhanced by the dread of future calls.


The manager, Mr. Gaskell, had relinquished his post early in 1842, and
had accepted an appointment elsewhere.

The report of the investigating committee was given February 2nd, 1843, and
is described as " one of the most remarkable documents connected with the history
of English Banking." It is divided into eleven paragraphs, but it is too long to
give here. The committee report : —

The books kept in a very confused and irregular manner — the amount of losses far greater than
generally supposed — scarcely any minutes of meetings kept — many documents not forthcoming — the
Proprietors' Account in a very unsatisfactory state — preliminary expenses very heavy — a large outlay
on property not consistent either with economy or the known condition of the bank — many accounts
taken from the Northern and Central Bank in a very doubtful state — by certain entries the property
made to assume an increased value which it did not possess — in 1841 the sum of £5,500 added to
Interest Account as recoverable on doubtful debts, with a view to increase the profit of that year and
enable a dividend to be declared, whilst the real losses were stated as amounting to only £27,417 —
gross mismanagement— a reckless system of advances and accommodation to most improper parties
— certain discrepancies in the " Note Account, not satisfactorily explained." The report is signed by
John Hopps, H. S. Thompson, and Edw. Smeeton. No charge is made of positive fraud, the primary
reasons for the failure being stated as "1. A pre-occupied field ; 2. Unfit, and as regards banking
knowledge, ignorant directors ; and 8. An imprudent and riskful manager." The statement of
Liabilities and Assets will show the frightful losses incurred.


Decembeb, 1842.


£ s. d.

Due to the Public —

On Current Accounts .. .. 27,378 3 4

On Notes in Circulation . . 22,360

On Deposit Receipts . . . . 40,540 9 7

Drafts on Bankers .. .. 8,764 11 7

Sundry Bankers' Balances . . 69,597 3 7

Estimated Loss on Bills under

Re-discount 18,000

Balance of Profit and Loss . . 6,674 2 7

Capital paid up


Probable payments from over-
drawn accounts
Bills on baind
Securities valued at
House property and furniture

Due from Sundry Banks
Shares in DrifiieldCom Exchange
Cash in hand

s. d.


4,471 7



536 18

298 4


6,561 14

193,304 10
. 175,000


Gross Loss 259,386




£368,304 ]0





Gross Loss as above . . . . £259,386
Deduct capital paid up . . . . 175,000



Leaves as the actual deficiency

to be raised by further calls . . £84,386



An extra call of £i per share was made to meet the deficiency of ^84,000.
It was stated that " the amount of the call could be obtained in a great number of
instances only by the sale under a bailiff's writ of the household goods of the
debtors. In fact, it was the operation of the demand for this extra call that
constituted the greatest hardship of the sufferers."

The Whitby premises were purchased by the York City and County Bank.


l!?orR9bire Ban?^ing Company. ubtrsft, «xc.

Established 1843.

'T^HE origin and foundation of this bank is best explained by a copy of the
prospectus that was issued July 6th, 1843: — •


Capital £500,000, in 20,000 Shares of £25 each, on which £10 10s. per Share will be Paid.








This Company is formed for the purpose of taking up that portion of the Business of the
Yorkshire District Bank which is good and profitable, and for purchasing of that Company all the
property necessary for the conducting of such business.

It is intended to confine the offer of Shares in the Bank to the present Shareholders of the
Yorkshire District Bank until the 15th day of August next, after which time the Shares refused or not
appropriated will be offered to such old Shareholders as shall, by that time, have become Shareholders
in the Yorkshire Banking Company, and if not wholly taken up by them, the remainder will be at the
disposal of the Directors for the benefit of the Bank.

The advantages to be derived by the Shareholders of the Yorkshire District Bank in this
Establishment have been fully explained by the Committee of Investigation appointed by the
Shareholders of that Establishment to a Special General Meeting held at Leeds, on the 5th instant,
and were such as to meet with the unanimous approbation of the very great number of Shareholders
then assembled.

For the purpose of guarding against imprudence and negligence in the management of the Bank,
it is intended that the Directorate shall consist of Gentlemen of ability and business-like talent, selected
from places as near to the Head Office as possible, and that two of such Directors shall be paid for
their attention— one of whom shall devote the whole of his time and services to the Bank, and shall
reside at or near the Head Office.

It is also intended that the Auditor shall be a paid Officer, and that, as his duties shall be to
investigate most fully the state of the Establishment every half-year, to ensure proper attention he
will be required by the Deed of Settlement to devote at least ten days, and not less than six hours on
each day, previous to each half-yearly General Meeting, in examining into every matter and thing
relating to the Co-partnership. To put the Shareholders in possession of as much information as
possible to enable them to form their own conclusions as to the state of the Establishment each half-
year, it is intended to report the Assets and Liabilities of the Company, to describe the nature of the
Securities held by the Bank, and the amount of expenses, distinguishing the sums paid for Salaries
from other charges.

Under such regulations it is believed that a good and profitable business may be ensured, and
may be safely conducted ; that it will yield a profit satisfactory in its amount, and derived from sound
Banking principles.

[ 415]

The bank was duly constituted, the head office being at Leeds. Thirsk was
at that time the only branch in the district under consideration. Messrs.
Bamett & Co. were the London Agents.

In 1844 their authorised issue was fixed at ^122,532. Their notes are still
freely accepted aud largely distributed ; their average issue for 1893 was upwards
of ;^ 1 00,000, the largest circulation of any bank in the district, and only second in
the kingdom to Messrs. Stuckey's Banking Company, who took the first place.

The business has been greatly extended and many branches added. Thirsk,
Middlesbrough, and Northallerton are the towns in North Yorkshire where they
are now represented.

In August, 1 89 1, the capital was considerably increased by the issue of 5,000
shares at a premium of £21 los. per share, £12 los. per share being called up.
The reserve fund is now upwards of ^200,000 including /" 107,500 premium on
shares issued. The dividends for the last fifteen years have ranged from 10 to 14
per cent.

13oiFi0bire d (Tlcvelanb Banft. stocftton.

Founded 1884. Proprietor. Extinct by 1888.

W. R. Graham.

THE Bankers Almanac of 1884 announces a bank at Stockton under the
above title — W. R. Graham, manager. The bank is subsequently stated
to have been opened in 1880. It is afterwards named as having a branch
at Swainby, by Northallerton. I am informed that Mr. Graham was the only
proprietor, and that the business done is unknown. It ceased to exist in 1887.

13orh9bire S)i9tnct BanJ^ing do. xrbirsft, (Xc

Established 1834. Purchased by Yorkshire Banking Co. 1843.

A PROSPECTUS announcing the formation of this company was issued in
May, 1834. The proposed capital was ;^500,ooo in 50,000 shares of £10
each. The preamble so often met with in prospectuses of that date, drew
attention to the difference between the Scotch and English systems of banking ;
and the numerous panics that occurred from 1793 to 1826 were dwelt upon. One


shilling per share was to be paid on application, £2 ids. per share 30 days after
the election of the board of directors, £2 los. in 90 days, and the remaining £^
to be called for in one sum or by instalments at such times as the directors might
deem desirable. Apphcations to be made to J. H. Ridsdale, Share Broker, or
Messrs. Hemingway and Nelson, Solicitors, Leeds ; and Mr. George Bulmer,
Solicitor, York. " All letters to be post paid."

In the next announcement the following names were added to those who
issued the prospectus : — Mr. Tolson, Sohcitor, Bradford ; Mr. Norris, Solicitor,
Halifax ; Mr. Taylor, Solicitor, Wakefield ; Mr. Shepherd, Solicitor, Barnsley ;
Mr. Dixon, Sheffield ; and Mr. Thomas Wheeler, Solicitor, Manchester.

A General Meeting of the shareholders was held at Crossland's Hotel, Leeds,
on June i8th, 1834 > Isaac Spencer of York, Esq., being in the chair, when the
provisional committee reported upon " the highly auspicious circumstances under
which the bank was advancing to maturity," and the sound principles on
which it was being estabhshed. One of the " new and important features "
mentioned was, it being " the first full application of the District Plan of banking
to this affluent and populous county, making it different from other private and
joint stock banking companies." It was also stated that "the aggregate amount
of capital, and the wealth and affluence of the shareholders," afforded to the
pubhc a basis of unquestionable security, which was not confined to the head
office but also extended to the branches.

In fourteen days sufficient shares were applied for to found the bank. By
the date of the meeting the apphcations had reached 29,989, and it was proposed
to increase the amount of the shares from ;^io to £20. Negotiations were
pending with the Manchester and Liverpool District Bank^

" by which the extensive connections and numerous branches of that and the present establishment
may be made mutually subservient to the monied arrangements of the two great counties of Yorkshire
and Lancashire."

A similar arrangement was in progress with the leading banks of Ireland and
Scotland. The provisional committee then formally resigned their trust. The
report was adopted, and the following general board of directors appointed : —
" Francis Marris of Roundhay, Leeds ; Isaac Spencer of Plantation, York ;
Thomas Smith of Huntingdon Hall, York ; William Vickers of Firs Hill,
Sheffield ; John Milner of Halifax ; James Gadsden of Hull ; William Rand of
Horton, Bradford ; Esquires." Mr. F. Marris was elected chairman. It was
announced that the directors hoped to be able to open the head office at Leeds
on July ist, 1834. Mr. Matthew Edwards was appointed general manager.


The establishment of branches was very soon commenced, one of the earhest
being at Thirsk. The York Herald for February 28th, 1835, announces : —

" We understand that the highly respectable banking firm of Messrs, Joseph Dresser & Co. of Thirsk,
relinquished their business on the 17th instant, in favour of the Yorkshire District Bank, and that
Mr. Henry Dresser, the managing partner of the firm, has been appointed manager of the bank."

It was anticipated that a bank started under such " highly auspicious
circumstances " should have a long and prosperous career before it, but in less
than ten years it was in difficulties, and the " good and profitable portion " of the
business was bought by the Yorkshire Banking Company. (See page 41^.)

l^ort^sbire penni? Bank. Mbitbp, scarborouab, ^c, Sic.

Established 1856.

THIS institution has branches in so many towns and villages situated in the
district under review, and is such a marvellous illustration of the utility and
power of " the penny of the many," that it is well entitled to a place
amongst banks of greater age and ambition. An account of it appeared in " Leeds :
Its Art, Trade, and Commerce," from which I gather the following particulars.

Suggested in 1856, chiefly owing to the exertions of the late Colonel Akroyd,
it was opened in May, 1859. The first report, given in April, i860, stated that 58
branches had been inaugurated, and the accumulated deposits amounted to £9,777.
Satisfactory as this result was, the bank has advanced with extraordinary
rapidity, till, from the report of 1893, we obtain the following figures, which
show the magnitude of the present business.

During the year the number of depositors was 1,871,602, and the amount
deposited was /4,7i9,i04 17s. The number of withdrawals was 494,556, and the
amount withdrawn was ^4,1 76,457 14s. 9d. The number of Open Accounts at the
end of the year was 324,183, and the amount standing to the credit of depositors
was ^"7,317,699 15s. 7d. The interest paid to depositors or added to their accounts
was;^i96,4i4 6s. lod.

Established for the encouragement of thrift, it is worked with the greatest
economy, and every effort made to obtain safe and profitable investments. An
additional feature not contemplated in the original scheme has been added,
especially for the benefit of children, and is known as the School Transfer Fund.
This has also been very successful, the number of depositors exceeding 5,000.
The bank issues cheque-books to depositors having balances of ^50 and upwards,


which is a great advantage ; any sum under £20 can be withdrawn without
notice, while larger sums only require one day. The branches now number
1,000 ; some of them are open during ordinary banking hours. The reserve fund
has reached /'i9i,ooo.

The Rt. Hon. the Earl of Harewood is the President of the Bank, and is
supported by a numerous and influential body of Vice-Presidents and Directors.
The present General Manager is Mr. H. B. Sellars. He succeeded the late
Mr. Bent, who had been associated with the scheme from its outset, and to whose
untiring energy and perseverance the success of the Institution is mainly due.

Ver)^ recently extensive premises have been opened adjoining the new post
office at Leeds. The opening ceremony was conducted on August 17th, 1894, by
the Duke of Devonshire. In his address he said that the series of figures
showing the working of the bank —

"increased year by year in a ratio which reminded him more of a geometrical than an arithmetical
progression. It showed the enormous increase year by year in the number of depositors and the
amount of the deposits, and, generally speaking, in the amount of business done, which was a clear
evidence of its increasing usefulness and prosperity. In the year 1859 the amount deposited was
£3,252, and last year it was £4,717,104. In the year 1862 the number of accounts was 17,800, and in
the last year the depositors numbered 324,183 and the amount to their credit was little short of 7^
millions. This great success could only have been due to the patient determination with which the
directors had kept in mind the desire and objects which influenced the founder, and had refused to be
led away from those objects. The institution op banking had undoubtedly contributed



T^HE following is the list of signatures attached to the note guarantee given at North Shields,
July 25th, 1816, which, from anticipated want of space, was omitted in the account of Messrs.
Batson, Wakefield, and Scott, at page IGl.

William Linskill.
John Walker & Co.
Wm. Chapman.
Robert Laing.
Thomas Wright.
John Scott.
Thomas Curry.
John Tinley.

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 47 of 57)