Skip to main content

Full text of "The history of a banking house, (Smith, Payne and Smiths.)"

See other formats

















i/lsiociate Institute of 'Banhers. •. 






Fret.^mi S 





Introduction ... ... ... ... xiii 

Family History ... ... ... ... i 

Nottingham ... ... ... ... 35 

Lincoln ... ... ... ... 51 

Hull and Derby ... ... ... ... 55 

Messrs. Smith, Payne & Smiths ... ... 61 

London Premises ... ... ... ... 79 

Government Loans ... ... ... 91 

Note Issues ... ... ... ... loi 

London Clearing House ... ... ... 109 

Conclusion ... ... ... ... ... 115 

Genealogical Tree ... ... ... 121 

Index ... ... ... ... ... 123 

List of Subscribers ... ... ... 12c 

-^1 rrr- '>«» 









































. 10 



























































,HE purpose of this volume is not only to write 
the history of an eminent banking house, but 
also to give some particulars respecting the 
early history of banking in this country. 

The Smith family have an unique ex- 
perience; their banking career began more than two centuries 
ago, and during that period successfully passed through great 
commercial crises. As an outcome of their success as bankers, 
they obtained a well-known reputation in the financial world. 

They appear to have been keen men of business, imbued 
with sound common sense rather than brilliant ability, a 
quality which possibly is of more importance. We might 
attribute their great success to a marvellous insight into the 
methods of business ; a bank which has subscribed for the 
whole of a Government loan must in itself be possessed of 
great resources. 

The recent amalgamation of private banks with joint 
stock institutions tends to remove the identity of banking 

X Preface. 

houses which have contributed in some degree towards 
building up the nation's prosperity ; the author thinks that 
some permanent record should be made of private firms which 
have in many ways been associated with the commercial 
success of this country. 

The Smith family were not only successful bankers, but 
also took their part in the affairs of the nation ; in one House 
of Commons they held no less than five seats. They were 
connected by marriage with some well-known families, and we 
have typical examples in Lord Carrington, Lord Rosebery, 
William Wilberforce, the great philanthropist, and Lord 
Pauncefote, the late Ambassador to the United States. 

It was thought that the paper read by the author before 
the Institute of Bankers might be enlarged so as to give more 
details respecting the family history. This, however, could 
not have been accomplished without the cordial co-operation 
on the part of various members of the family who have kindly 
assisted him with various details. Amongst them he wishes 
especially to thank Mr. Frederic Chatfield Smith, of 
Nottingham, for many valuable notes on the early history of 
the Nottingham bank; Mr. Lindsay Eric Smith, of i, Lom- 
bard Street, has kindly supplied many particulars respecting 
Messrs. Smith, Payne & Smiths. 

With regard to the Lincoln bank, Mr. Eustace Abel 
Smith has practically furnished all the information respecting 
that institution. 

Preface. xi 

Some interesting particulars respecting the connection of 
the Smith family with the great philanthropist, William 
Wilberforce, and his association with the Hull bank, have been 
furnished by Mr. Alwyn Dudley Smith, and incidents of the 
political career of some members of the firm are due to 
Mr. Gerald Dudley Smith. 

The author has been able to reproduce portraits of Abel 
Smith, the founder of the London bank, and other part- 
ners, through the kindness of Lord Carrington, who has 
also furnished interesting details as to the Parliamentary 
career of the family. 

Mr. Maberly Phillips, of the Bank of England, has allowed 
the author to reproduce specimens of bank notes which 
appeared in his paper on "Note Collecting" in the Connoisseur, 
the editor of that magazine having kindly given permission 
for their publication. 

The early history of the family was written by Mr. 
Augustus Smith, of Tresco Abbey, in the Isles of Scilly, 
M.P. for Truro, 1857-1865, a descendant of the eldest son 
of the founder of the bank. 

His work, " Stemmata Smithiana Ferraria," has been of 
great assistance ; in fact, most of the particulars respecting the 
family from 1631 to i860 are taken from this book. 

Mr. Leopold de Rothschild has kindly allowed the author 
to reproduce a copy of the painting of the House of Commons, 



on the occasion when Baron Rothschild was introduced by 
Mr. John Abel Smith as the first Jewish Member of the 

The author hopes that the account of this banking house 
is worthy of record ; it has been a source of great pleasure to 
write its history, and he trusts that banking in the future may 
be conducted on the same high principles which, no doubt, has 
contributed in some degree towards making our country the 
financial centre of the world. 


^/?-(r f^j^£j^£ g^g j^Q reasons for a record of the 
banking house : in the first place it was the 

oldest provincial firm in the United Kingdom 
M'^^ ^^^ in existence, and the business had practically 
^^^'^^^^^^^"^ been carried on by the Smith family for over 
200 years, their influence, not only in the Midlands, but also 
in the Metropolis, has always been of a powerful character. 

The London firm of Messrs. Smith, Payne & Smiths, 
however, was founded in 1758, but there are several private 
banks now in existence of an earlier date. 

Messrs. Child & Co., of Temple Bar, have the great 
distinction of being the oldest London bankers ; the business 
of that firm has been carried on in Fleet Street prior to the 
year 1600, and they have occupied the same premises since 

Again, it will be shown that early in the last century the 
firm occupied a leading position as the principal lender to the 
Government ; practically identical with the great financial 

xiv Introdtiction. 

houses such as the Rothschilds and Barings, with the former 
of whom it has been intimately associated. It must not be 
forgotten that banking in this country was entirely in the 
hands of the private banks prior to the foundation of the 
Bank of England in 1693, fi^'^ years after Thomas Smith had 
commenced business as a banker, the first joint stock 
institution not being formed until 1826. 

The private bankers had to study the needs of the 
community, and to learn from practical experience the best 
methods to meet the requirements of the country. In fact, 
the present system of banking by means of deposits, notes, 
and bills of exchange is due to those early bankers, and we 
find that our Colonies, America, and other countries, have 
practically adopted the methods which for a great number of 
years were prevalent in this country. 

The business of banking, however, arose from the 
necessities of trade or other external circumstances. Although 
the private bankers have been the pioneers, it seems that joint 
stock banking is gradually superseding the old system ; if we 
take the last ten years as an illustration, we find that six joint 
stock banks have absorbed eighty-five private institutions, 
and there are now only forty-two left out of a total of 104 that 
were in existence at that date. 

When we realise the great changes that have taken place 
during the last century, one cannot be surprised that our 
banking system required some revision in order to meet 

Introduction. xv 

modern requirements. This has been effected by means of 
branch estabhshments throughout the country ; a joint 
stock bank is better equipped for this modern system of 

There are two causes why the old system of banking 
has been superseded. In the first place the opening of 
branches has enabled banking establishments to be carried 
on at a less cost, and the concentration of capital under the 
management and control of large banks has considerably 
reduced the cost of banking facilities. Again, we must not 
forget that the establishment of branches has been the cause 
of a large accumulation of capital in banks. This is shown 
by the fact that in 1873 the capital and deposits of our banks 
amounted to ;^ 5 00, 000, 000, whereas in 1898 the total was 
;^ 1, 000,000,000. From this we observe that the banking 
resources of the country have doubled in a quarter of a 
century. This accumulation has been obtained principally 
through the multiplication of branch establishments by joint 
stock banks, which has extended banking facilities to our very 

During the last twenty years nine hundred new branch 
banks have been established, consequently a material 
increase in banking resources has naturally followed. In 
order to carry on this increase of business a larger amount of 
capital was required, and as the private bankers were unable 
to obtain the same, the new business naturally was taken by 
their rivals. It is not difficult to obtain additional capital 



from a large body of shareholders when substantial dividends 
are paid. No doubt this was the principal reason why a great 
change in our system of banking has taken place. 


^^(,Q=/f J- has been thought desirable to give an 
account of the Smith family in their private 

capacity, as distinct from their connection 
with the banks with which their names will 
always be associated. 

A former writer whose book has been of great assistance 
in the compilation of this work has stated that there was 
nothing especially worthy of record in the history of the 
Smith family. This statement, however, was written forty 
years ago, but possibly subsequent events would have some- 
what modified his remarks. 

The author, however, disputes this statement principally 
because of the fact that to found a banking house which 
should be known throughout the world would, in itself be an 
eminent achievement, especially when we bear in mind the 
great number of private bankers who failed during the panics 
of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. 


2 The History of a Banking House. 

Possibly the members of the family were not brilliant, but 
they possessed great business capacity, which even in the 
present day is of considerable importance. 

Their political career is also worthy of mention, because 
in one House of Commons they held no less than five seats ; 
reference will be subsequently made to Lord Carrington, 
who has distinguished himself in the political world, and also 
to Lord Pauncefote, who, as Ambassador at Washington, 
performed a great service in strengthening the bonds which 
unite us to the New World. 

The orenealosfical table which will be found at the end 
of the present book has been prepared mainly for the 
purpose of showing what members of the family became 
bankers, or in some other manner are worthy of mention, but 
reference will be made in this volume to several daughters 
who have by marriage become connected with several well- 
known families in this country. 

John Smith, who died in 1642, is the first member of 
the family mentioned, and Nottinghamshire may justly be 
considered as the native county of the Smiths ; the parish 
of Titheby, with its adjuncts of Wiverton and the village 
hamlet of Cropwell Boteler, being the district where records 
of the family exist. It is situated about nine miles to the 
east of Nottingham and two miles to the south of the small 
market town of Bingham, in an undulating country of no 
particular importance. 

The History of a Banking House. 3 

By the Subsidy Rolls of the 14th and 15th Henry VIII, 
the name of one Jeffrey Smith is recorded as being taxed in 
goods at Cropwell, and in the following year, the i6th of 
Henry VIII, 1525, the name of Godfrey Smith appears in 
like manner. His will was proved at York, 1543, the 
executors being his widow Alice and his son William. 

The spelling of the name is sometimes Smyth, Smithes, 
or Smith, but this is noticeable in the history of other families, 
partly due to the fact of there being no printing presses in 
those days. The family appear to have occupied a leading 
and substantial position amongst the inhabitants of that 
village community and neighbourhood. 

There are numerous references to the Smith family in the 
parish of Titheby and Plumptre, dating from the year 1561. 
We might describe them as substantial yeomen, a race 
which has produced some of the best specimens of Englishmen 
in this country. 

John Smith, the father of the founder of the bank, was 
baptised on 2nd October, 1593, and was only nine years of 
age when his father died ; a settlement, dated 1 630, shows 
that he then married Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Garton. 
Previous to this he had purchased a farm of 62 acres for 
.1^185 from Sir Thomas Hutchinson in 1622, and this place 
was settled upon his wife by the above-mentioned deed. 
She died in childbirth, 1633, and was buried at Titheby. 
His second wife was Frances, daughter of — Wilcocke, of 
Cropwell, who died in 1643. 

4 The History of a Banking House. 

John Smith died in 1642, and was buried at Titheby ; an 
inquisition of his property was held ist September, 1643, the 
valuation being ^543 19s. lod. and also ^300 due on bonds, 
besides being the owner of a lease ; he appears to have been 
the first member of the family who became an owner of landed 
estate beyond a mere messuage or tenement. 

The second wife of John Smith appointed her brother, 
William Wilcocke, as her executor. Legal proceedings were 
instituted for the recovery of at least some of the legacies to 
which her children were entitled. 

The eldest son, Thomas, must have secured payment of the 
legacy left him by his father, most likely soon after he came of 
age, and it was probably with this money he purchased, in 
1658, a house in Peck Lane, Nottingham, for a sum of ^210, 
being the first property held by the family in the town, and from 
this place the great banking house owed its origin. This was 
ultimately sold by Lord Carrington, in 1S22, for ^1,155. 

Possibly Thomas Smith left his native place at Cropwell 
in consequence of difficulties which arose with regard to the 
management of the property. 

He seems to have been from the first connected with 
Laurence Collin, master gunner at Nottingham Castle, while 
held by the Republican Forces during the Civil War, as 
Collin's signature was attached to the deed as a witness to the 
purchase of the Peck Lane property. 

The History of a Banking House. 5 

William Wilcocke, his mother's executor, became insol- 
vent, and the claims against his estate were settled by an 
agreement, and a marriage which took place in the family 
helped to solve the difficulty. 

By a bond from William Wilcocke, R. Burrows, of Not- 
tingham, and William Day, of Cropwell, the said Wilcocke 
made over his farm at Cropwell to his son Daniel on his 
marriage with Marie, the daughter of John Smith, as an 
equivalent for the ;^ioo left her by her father's will, he 
receiving £2^ ^s the balance due on the full value of the said 
sum, and for the payment of which ^30, Thomas Smith, now 
of Nottingham, joins his brother-in-law, Daniel Wilcocke, in 
a bond to the three parties above named. 

The founder of the bank was only ten years of age when 
his father died, and naturally was taken charge of by his own 
mother's family, the Gartons, and possibly also by Mr. Robert 
Burrows, who married a Collin ; his father intreats Mr. 
Burrows to become his guardian. 

Mr. Burrows was a resident at Nottingham, and no 
doubt young Smith was educated at the Free School 
founded by Agnes Mellors, under Mr. Balston, the 
master of which was required to be of "good and honest 
conversation." Young Smith must have seen some of 
the striking events connected with the Revolution, such as 
the setting up of the Royal Standard at the Castle on 
22nd August, 1642. 

6 The History of a Banking House. 

In consequence of Mr. Burrows being connected by 
marriage with the ColHn family, Thomas Smith, from 
an early date, as before stated, became intimate with 
Laurence Collin, who no doubt was a supporter of the 

After the garrison was disbanded, Laurence Collin remained 
at Nottingham, in order to follow his former occupation of a 
wool comber. It appears, however, that the Corporation 
objected to this, and he petitioned Cromwell, with the result 
that the following letter was sent to the Governor, Captain 
Poulton, a kinsman of Colonel Hutchinson, and who had 
succeeded to that office : 

"Sir, — His Highness the Lord Protector having heard 
the petition of Laurence Collin, which is here enclosed, is 
pleased to recommend it unto you to speak to the Mayor and 
other Magistrates of Nottingham, to know the reason why 
they will not suffer the petitioner to set up his trade in the 
town. And if there be no other cause of e.xception but that 
he is not a freeman, in regard he has faithfully served the 
Commonwealth his Highness does think it fit that he 
should continue in the town and be admitted to follow his 
calling for the maintenance of himself and family, which of all 
I am commanded to communicate to you from his Highness 
by the hands of, ' ,, q, 

" Your very humble and faithful Servant, 

" Lisle Long. 
"Whitehall, this 17th July." 

The History of a Banking House. 7 

In consequence of this, the Corporation held a meeting on 
the 9th August, 1654, and Collin was allowed "to have free 
liberty to use his trade of a wool-buyer and jersey comber 
in the town of Nottingham." After this event he experienced 
no further difficulty in carrying on his business. He died 
9th August, 1704, aged ninety-one. 

Thomas Smith purchased some business premises at the 
north-west corner of Peck Lane, a narrow thoroughfare 
leading out of Cook Street Row with Peter's Gate, near 
the Market Place, and in the immediate vicinity of Smithy 
Row, as well as both Bridle-Smith and Gridle-Smith 
Gates ; he was then twenty-seven years of age, and had 
married his first wife, Mary Hooper. Probably her father 
was the Mr. Hooper described by Colonel Hutchinson 
"as his engineer and one that understood all kinds of opera- 
tions in almost all things imaginable." There was one child 
of this marriage, Mary, who married John Egleton, of 
London, and both husband and wife lie buried in the church 
of the united parishes of St. Mary Staining and St. Michael 
Wood Street, where there is a monument exhibiting the 
Egleton arms impaled with those of Smith. Their grandson 
became a Baronet, and assumed the name of Kent. 

His second wife was Fortune, daughter of Laurence 
Collin, whom he married in 1681. 

Thomas Smith, in 1688, evidently had taken part in 
municipal affairs, because he was then an Alderman, and 

8 The History of a Banking Honse. 

objected, with the Mayor and others, to the New Charter 
proposed to be granted by James II on the surrender, or 
rather forfeiture, of the more ancient foundation of their 
municipal liberties. 

His connection with the Parliamentary party showed that 
he had strong objections to the influence of the King. 

He was in possession of several estates, and left to his 
eldest son, Thomas, his land at Gaddesby. This place is nine 
miles from Leicester and six from Melton Mowbray. The 
lordship of Gaddesby consisted of about 1,400 acres of 
good land. These lands were purchased jointly with his 
father-in-law, Mr. Laurence Collin, of Mr. Banbrough, three 
parts belonging to him. With reference to this property it 
might be mentioned that a George Smith, Esquire, in 1650, 
was a part proprietor, and although it is somewhat difficult to 
trace the connection between the two families, yet the fact 
remains that Thomas Smith bought the property which had 
with other lands been sequestrated from the Smiths of Ashby 
Folvile on account of their being Papists and delinquents. 

This family was descended from Sir Mychell de Carynton, 
whose son. Sir Thomas, was knighted by the Black Prince. 
His descendants lived at Cresing Temple, in Essex, and 
subsequently held property at Wotten, in Warwickshire, also 
at Ashby Folvile and Gaddesby, Leicestershire. 

Thomas Smith died in 1699, and was buried in the south 
transept of St. Mary's Church, Nottingham. The stone 
covering his grave has the following inscription : 

The History of a Banking House. 9 

" Here lyeth the body of Mr. Thomas Smith, Mercer, of 
this town, who departed this life the 14th day of July, 1699, 
in the 67th year of his age." 

To his second son, John, was left his lands and tenements 
at Cropwell Butler, in the County of Nottingham. To his third 
son, Samuel, lands, etc., at Key worth, and to the youngest, 
Abel, who was the father of the founder of the London bank, 
his land at Boblers Mills, in the County of Nottingham. The 
eldest son, Thomas, extended the business, although he was 
only eighteen years of age when his father died. 

As an executor of his uncle, Mr. Abel Collin, by will 
dated 4th February, 1704, left the residue of his personal 
estate for the building of some houses which are known as 
Collin's Hospital. In 1709 a commodious structure was 
erected by him in the Moothall Gate, and has the following 
inscription on the north front of the building : 

" This Hospital, by the appointment of Abel Collin, late 
of Nottingham, Mercer, deceased, who in his life was of an 
extensive charity to the Poor of all Societies, and at his death 
by his last will and testament left a competent estate for 
erecting and endowing the same, was, by his nephew and 
executor, Thomas Smith, begun and finished in the year 

The son of the founder of the bank, Thomas, died in 1727, 
and from his will we have some particulars respecting the 
family. He appoints his wife Mary, and his brothers Samuel 
and Abel to be his executors. He desires to be buried in the 

lo The History of a Banking House. 

Parish Church of St. Mary, Nottingham. To his wife he 
leaves an annuity of ^140 per annum. To his brother 
Samuel, all his estate and lands in Little Cropwell, alias 
Cropwell Butler, in the County of Nottingham. These estates 
remained in the family until there was only a daughter to 
succeed, and who married Sir Philip Hales. His child, who 
died unmarried, inherited his place, Brymore, in Somersetshire, 
and this estate passed to her relative, the Honourable Philip 
Bouverie, brother of the Earl of Radnor. In the muniment 
room at Brymore numerous documents were discovered re- 
lating to the family, beginning with John Smith, yeoman, of 
Cropwell. Thomas Smith left to his brother Abel, who carried 
on the business of a banker, the messuage or tenement and 
dwelling house in Nottingham where the bank was first 
established. There were also legacies to his daughters, and 
the remainder of his estate was left in trust for his children. 

There is a fine marble monument in the wall of St. Mary's 
Church at Nottingham to his memory. 

" Near this place lyeth the Body of Thomas Smith, Esq., 
who died Jan. S, 1727, a;tat 45. 

■' He was a Man of exact integrity and Skill in his exten- 
sive Business, by which he acquired a handsome Fortune and 
Reputation of Universal Humanity and Benevolence. The 
Charity intrusted with him by others received an increase 
from his Prudence and Generosity, qualities that he readily 
and heartily exerted in the Service of Manhood, and which 


ov Nottingham and East Stoke, 

To face p. 10. 

The History of a Banking House. \ i 

were returned to him by a general and most sincere Love 
and Esteem. " 

His wife Mary, the daughter of Thomas Manley, Esq., 
had five daughters, to whom were bequeathed the chief 
estates at Gaddesby, which were sold by an order of 
Chancery in 1737, to pay the respective shares left to them. 
The annual rent of his estates was ^909 per annum, which 
was a considerable sum at that period. 

His brother Samuel seemed to have carried on an exten- 
sive business in London, and is described in a deed dated 
1 7 16, relating to his marriage settlement, as a citizen and 
goldsmith of London. He died in 1751 intestate, when his 
very large personal property was consequently divided 
amongst his six surviving children, each receiving as their 
share as much as ^40,000. 

From Samuel Smith are descended the Hely Hutchinson 
Smiths, and the Smith Dorriens. The present representative 
of the latter family is the resident proprietor of the Scilly Isles. 

The youngest son, Abel, was destined to be the banker, 
and from him the present members of the eminent banking 
house are descended. He married Jane, daughter of George 
Beaumont, of Chapelthorpe, Co. York, and inherited East 
Stoke and Elston, Co. Notts., from Mr. James Banks, a 
relation of his mother. From his portrait, which is repro- 
duced, he appears more like a successful merchant than 
a banker. He died in 1757, and was buried at St. Peter's 
Church, Nottingham. 

1-2 The History of a Banking House. 

The eldest son, George, married, in 1747, Mary, daughter 
and heiress of Major William Howe, and grand-daughter of 
Prince Rupert ; Major Howe's mother, Ruperta, was an ille- 
gitimate daughter of that well-known personage ; his father, 
Emanuel Scrope Howe, was a Lieutenant-General, and the 
Envoy at Hanover. 

The Articles of Agreement of this marriage were as 
follows : — " Between Abell Smith the elder, of the town and 
county of the town of Nottingham, Banker, of the first part ; 
George Smith, of the same town and county, Banker, eldest 
son and heir apparent of the said Abell Smith the elder, of 
the second part ; Mary Howe, Spinster, daughter and heir of 
William Howe, late of the parish of St. Neots, in the county 
of Huntingdon, Esquire, and Elizabeth his wife, deceased, 
and also grand-daughter of Emanuel Scrope Howe, Esquire, 
deceased, of the third part ; and the Right Honourable 
George Augustus Lord Viscount Howe, of the Kingdom of 
Ireland, Thomas Levett, of the parish of St. James', West- 
minster, Esquire, Thomas Beaumont, of Chapplethorp, in 
the county of York, Clerk, and Abell Smith the younger, of 
of the said town and county of Nottingham, Banker, of the 
fourth part." 

It will be noticed that the father and his two sons are 
described as bankers of Nottingham, which shows that the 
business of banking was then in active operation. The 
estate of East Stoke, near Newark, was given to him, and 
after his father's death, having been made a Baronet, he 

The History of a Banking House. 15 

retired from the bank and lived at the above-mentioned place. 
His son, George, the second Baronet, assumed the name of 
Bromley, by sign manual, 177S, and married Hon. Hester, 
daughter of Viscount Curzon. His son, Sir Robert Howe 
Bromley, was an Admiral in the Navy. The second son of 
Abel Smith, John, born in 17 16, became a merchant in 
London. He must have been successful, because, in 1775, 
we find him a Director of the South Sea Company, His 
Majesty the King was the Governor of this Company ; 
John Smith was also a Director of the East India Company 
and carried on business at 9, Great St. Helen's, in the City 
of London. 

From him are descended the Pauncefotes, of Preston 
Court, Gloucester; and a great grand-daughter, Charlotte, was 
the mother of Sir Thomas G. A. Parkyns, Bart., of Bunny, 
Nottinghamshire. We may refer to one member of this 
family who distinguished himself, viz.. Lord Pauncefote, Her 
Majesty's late Ambassador at Washington. A grandson of 
John Smith, viz., Robert, of Gray's Inn and Preston Court, 
Gloucestershire, assumed the name of Pauncefote, and it was 
his son Julian, born in 1828, who was called to the Bar in 
1852, and subsequently became Permanent Under Secretary 
for Foreign Affairs in 1882. 

He was appointed Minister Plenipotentiary to the United 
States in 1889, and Ambassador Extraordinary to that 
country in 1893. ^ri consequence of his knowledge of inter- 
national law he was the first British delegate to the Suez Canal 

14 The History of a Banking House. 

Conference at Paris, 1899, and in that year raised to the 
Peerage. As the representative of this country in America he 
was eminently successful, and held in great esteem by the 
American people. This was shown in a remarkable manner 
when his death occurred in that country ; the late Queen 
showed her esteem by sending a war-ship in order to convey 
his remains to Engfland. 

The youngest son, possibly more ambitious than other 
members of the family, determined to increase the banking 
business, and as stated by him in 1760, to found " a house 
which should be equal in credit to the best houses in England ;" 
his banking career will be considered in a subsequent chapter. 

He married Mary, daughter of Thomas Bird, of Barton, 
Co. Warwick. With regard to this lady it may be mentioned 
that one sister married the father of William Wilberforce, the 
great philanthropist, and the other the father of Archbishop 

Abel Smith was much esteemed at Nottingham, and as 
a prominent banker of that time, entered the House of 
Commons in 1774 as Member for Aldborough ; subsequently 
he represented St. Ives in 1780, and at the time of his death 
in 178S was Member for St. Germains. He was buried at 
St. Peter's Church, Nottingham. 

We do not know that he distinguished himself in the 
House of Commons, but as a banker he must be considered 
as one who possessed those great qualities which are to some 


The Founder of Messrs. Smith, I'avxe iS: S>nTHs, also en- the 
Hull and Lincoln Banks. 

To face p. 14. 

The History of a Banking House. 15 

extent rare, viz., an intimate knowledge of commercial pur- 
suits, and the methods of business. 

The late Walter Bagehot, in his well-known treatise en- 
titled, " Lombard Street," states that a successful banker must 
be "a man not only of known wealth, but also of integrity and 
ability." These qualities were certainly the qualifications by 
which the Smith family attained great financial success. 

In the history of banking in this country there is not, to 
the author's knowledge, any banker who has founded three 
banks, yet Abel Smith actually accomplished this by estab- 
lishing banking establishments at Hull, Lincoln, and the great 
Metropolis. He lived at a period when business was carried 
on under considerable difficulty, caused by disturbances in the 
political and commercial world. He, however, achieved great 
success, and five of his sons subsequently became Members of 
Parliament. Several of his descendants represented west 
country constituencies at a later period, so that his name was 
well known in the county of Cornwall. 

Abel Smith, junior, was in 1778 declared duly elected in 
the Liberal interest as Member for Nottingham, his opponent 
being the Hon. Charles Medow, nephew and heir of the 
Duke of Kingston. Mr. Smith was carried through the town 
in a chair decorated with white lace, followed by the whole 
body of frame-work knitters, preceded by a flag having painted 
on it a stocking-frame with the words " Strength, fortitude and 
unity surmount the greatest difficulties." This motto seems 

1 6 The History of a Banking Hojise. 

particularly suitable for the occasion, because his father could 
not have undertaken the task of establishing three banks 
without a character sufficiently strong to overcome all 

Abel Smith, junr., first married Elizabeth, daughter of 
John Appleby, of Lincolnshire, by whom he had one daughter, 
Mary, who married Rev. John Sargent, of Lavington. 
There were four daughters of this marriage, and three 
became the wives of notable men, viz., Emily, the eldest, 
married Samuel Wilberforce, D.D., Bishop of Oxford, and 
subsequently Bishop of Winchester. The second daughter, 
Mary, married Rev. Henry Wilberforce, and the third, 
Caroline, Rev. Henry Manning, who seceded to the Church 
of Rome and died a Cardinal of that Church. The youngest, 
Sophia Lucy, married Rev. George D. Ryder. 

Abel Smith's third son, Robert, was an active member of 
the London banking house, in fact, to a great extent, its 
founder ; some reference will be made to this fact in a 
subsequent chapter. He was elected Member for Nottingham 
in 1780, and subsequently in 1790, after an election which 
lasted seven days, attended by a riot. On five successive 
occasions he was at the head of the poll. 

His position as one of the leading bankers of the day, and 
wielding considerable power in the money market, led to his 
elevation to the peerage, in 1796, as Lord Carrington. In 
consequence of this he retired from the banking firm of 



To fiicc p. i6. 

The History of a Banking House. 17 

which he was the guiding spirit. His promotion was partly 
due to the fact that he was Pitt's chief financial adviser and 
agent in the money market. 

Again, he was an intimate friend of the great statesman, 
who presented him with his portrait, which is considered the 
finest in existence. 

We shall refer in a subsequent chapter to William 
Wilberforce, who was connected by marriage with Lord 
Carrington, and who was also associated with Pitt in his 
great work for the abolition of slavery. Pitt and Wilberforce 
have been described as brothers, as they were so devotedly 
attached to each other. Lord Carrington was possessed of 
great wealth, one of the necessary qualifications for the pur- 
pose of maintaining the dignity of a peerage. 

At that period there were several objections to his eleva- 
tion, principally on account of his being a banker, which to 
the present generation seems rather an anomaly. One of the 
squibs of the period thus describes the appointment : 

My first leads to triumph and fame, 

My second joy brings or vexation, 
My third — though it is but a name — 

\V'in govern the whole of the nation. 

My whole is a title, but hush ! 

This charade will else be too clear, 
For it put the whole Court to the blush 

AVhen his Majesty made it appear {a peer). 

The choice of Carrington as a title may have suggested 
itself by reason that the ancient family of Smith alias 

I S The History of a Banking House. 

Carrington, of Ashby Folville, Leicestershire, albeit no- 
wise connected with the family, had been ennobled as 
Carrington in 1643. 

The griffin which appears in the coat of arms was derived 
from Collin, of Nottingham, whose daughter Fortune, aptly 
named, had conveyed it to the great grandfather of the first 

He seems to have been a particularly handsome man, and 
a copy of his portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds has been 

The London residence of Lord Carrington was situated 
in Whitehall, and has recently been demolished ; the new 
buildings for the War Office now partly stand upon the site. 
This was a well known house where the leaders of fashion, 
about the year 1830, used to meet, amongst them being the 
celebrated Count D'Orsay. 

At Queen Victoria's Coronation in 1837, a large company 
assembled at Whitehall in order to witness the procession to 
Westminster Abbey. As the possessor of large estates. Lord 
Carrington had considerable political influence, being Lord 
of the Manor of Midhurst, and at High Wycombe was able 
to nominate Members of Parliament in consequence of his 
being the largest landowner in the district. These seats were 
known as pocket boroughs, and owners of large estates could 
nominate whom they chose. 

In 1832, Sir Francis Burdett, writing to Lord Carrington, 
expressed his regret that he had supported Mr. Disraeli as 

The History of a Banking House. 19 

the Radical candidate for High Wycombe, whom he only 
knew as an author, and would have preferred supporting 
Mr. John Smith. 

There are several references to Lord Carrington in 
Disraeli's correspondence with his sister, 1832-5. 

A letter dated November 28th, 1834, states that : "The 
Duke and the Chancellor are besetting old Carrington in my 
favour, that they say he must yield. I am not sanguine, but 
was recommended to issue the address. D'Orsay is working 
Bob Smith very hard." 

The Duke wrote a strong letter to the Chairman of 
Election Committees, saying that if Wycombe were not 
insured, something else must be done for Disraeli as "a 
man of his acquirements and reputation must not be thrown 
away ... I had a long conversation to-day with Charles 
Grey. He is bitter against the Smiths, but says they can 
only command ten or twelve votes." 

The " Bob Smith " was subsequently the second Lord 

A letter dated February 26th, 1835, says: "Bob Smith 
met D'Orsay, who took his portrait at Willy Park and failed, 
and thus addressed him : ' So you have been making a fine 
portrait of Disraeli, I see you can make likenesses of those 
you like.' Very huffy indeed and horribly jealous." 

In 1836, reference is made to the first Lord Carrington's 
proposed marriage to the Countess of Bradford as follows : 

20 The History of a Banking House. 

" Lord Carrington's marriage much talked of. Lady 
Stanhope was sent down to break it off, and he so humbugged 
her that she thought she had succeeded till the fatal morn. 
He has made a great settlement on the widow, who has nine 

children, all of whom Lady B says in time she will 

persuade him are his." 

The first Lord Carrington died in 1838, and appointed 
as his executors his friend Henry, Lord Bishop of Kxeter, 
Francis Turner, of Lincoln's Inn, and John Beadnell, of 
Lombard Street. The last named, to whom he bequeathed 
his gold watch, was the manager at that time of Messrs. 
Smith, Payne & Smiths. 

The Smith family have, with few exceptions, allied them- 
selves to the Whig party, but as will be seen they were 
at times rather conservative in their ideas. 

The following letter illustrates this : 

" February, 1839. 

" Lord Carrington, whom I met the other night at Lady 
B.'s, talked to me a great deal. He will be at the head of the 
county, not the head of a party in the county. Will make 
no tradesmen magistrates, and no clergymen but from neces- 
sitate rei. Duke of Wellington does the same." 

At Christmas, 1839, there was a party at Wycombe 
Abbey, which is thus described : 

" D'Or.say sent on his horse to Wycombe Abbey, as Bob 
Smith has none 'worth riding,' but he could not get out of the 

First Lord Caerixgton. 

' I'rom a /'ainliHi; t>y Sir yoshiia Hfyjtolds. Piitxil t779.) 

The History of a Banking Ho7ise. 2T 

house the whole time he was there, even to pay you a visit. It 
was so foggy he was obliged to give it up. They had a roaring 
robustious romping party, of which he gave very amusing details. 
Playing hide and seek, they got into the roof, and Albert 
Conyngham fell through the ceiling of one of the rooms. An 
immense long leg dangling out, Carrington came to look at it 
with his eye-glass, but took it very good humouredly." 

In 1840 Disraeli was at the opera, and refers to seeing 

Lord Carrinoton there : .. a .. -^u o 

'^ "August 7th, 1840. 

"I saw Lord Carrington at the opera, but I am not clear the 

lady with him was his bride. She had a gracious appearance. 

He was married to-day, the lady in dress of Bucks, lace. 

All Foresters asked, but no Smiths except Gardner." 

This refers to the marriage of the second Lord Carrington 
with Elizabeth Katharine, daughter of the First Lord Forester. 
Admiral Lord Gardner, who was present at the ceremony, 
was his brother-in-law. 

The first Lord Carrington was the owner of a lar^e box 
at Drury Lane ; Lord Chesterfield holding one immediately 
opposite ; the Sedan chair which was kept at Drury Lane 
to carry Lady Carrington to her box is still preserved at 
High Wycombe. 

In 1 85 1, Disraeli refers to his being a magistrate : 

"January ist, 185 1. 
" I went on Monday to Quarter Sessions. A great 
meeting. All the magnates there, the three Lieutenants, 

2 2 The History of a Banking House. 

three County M.P.'s, Chanclos Verney, and Calvert. The 
dinner very crowded, even the Carringtons remained to do 
honour to Sir Thomas Aubrey, who resigns the chair." 

The second Lord Carrington, who died in 1868, assumed 
the name of Carrington in 1839, in lieu of Smith. 

The present representative of the family, viz., Charles 
Robert, may be described as a distinguished member of the 
House of Peers, and in every way justifies the action of 
George III in making Robert Smith, his grandfather, a peer. 
We might say that his public career really began on his 
appointment as Governor of New South Wales in 1885, 
although he had previously been in the House of Commons 
as Member for Wycombe. This was in every way a wise 
choice, because Lord Carrington became at once an ideal 
Governor, his liberal ideas naturally appealed to the colonists, 
and a charming personality added to his success. After 
serving five years as Governor, his departure, in 1890, was 
the occasion of a remarkable outburst of enthusiasm by the 
Australian people. The mallet and trowel with which he 
laid the foundation stone of the Houses of Parliament in 
Sydney, January 30th, 1888, was, by his desire, placed under 
the portrait of his grandfather, in the partners' room at 
I, Lombard Street. 

His subsequent career on the London County Council is 
well known, and the interest he has taken in the welfare of 
the working classes is worthy of notice. 

WooDHALL Park, Herts. 

I a Paiutiti^ by y. yartsoti. R.A.) 

To face p. 23. 

The History of a Banking House. 23 

In 1895 he was created an Earl by the late Queen, and 
recently has been elected President of the National Liberal 
Club in the place of Mr. Gladstone, which may fitly be 
described as an example of what natural abilities, combined 
with high principles and the wise use of wealth, may do for a 

He is Joint Hereditary Lord Great Chamberlain in right 
of his mother, Augusta Annabella, co-heiress of Lord 
Willoughby D'Eresby. 

Lord Rosebery stated on one occasion when addressing 
a meeting in the City that he was proud of his connection 
with the Smith family ; this was in consequence of the fourth 
Earl Stanhope having married Caroline Lucy, daughter of 
Robert, Lord Carrington, whose daughter married, in 1843, 
Lord Dalmeny, the father of the present peer. 

From Abel Smith's fourth son, Samuel, are descended 
some of the present representatives of the banks at London, 
Nottingham, Derby, and Lincoln. 

He lived at Woodhall Park, Herts, and this estate has 
remained in the family until the present time. He represented 
Leicester in several Parliaments, and at his death, in 1834, 
was buried at Watton, Herts. 

Abel Smith's fifth son, George, resided at Selsdon, 
Surrey, being Member for Wendover, 1806-30, and sub- 
sequently for Midhurst. He married Frances Maria, daughter 
of Sir John Moseley, Bart. It appears that he was offered 

24 The History of a Banking House. 

a baronetcy, but in consequence of having a large family of 
fifteen children did not consider himself justified in accepting 
that honour. 

The youngest son, John, had the privilege of laying the 
foundation stone of the new London banking house. He 
married Elizabeth, daughter of Lieut.-Col. Tucker, and repre- 
sented Wendover in Parliament, 1802-6, and Bucks in 1833-4. 
His death was somewhat tragic, being accidentally poisoned. 

The Smith family has represented Buckinghamshire in 
Parliament for nearly a century, although not continuously, 
and Lord Carrington still takes an active interest in the 
welfare of the county. 

In the ne.xt o-eneration we find several members of the 
family as Members of Parliament. 

Abel Smith represented Hertfordshire, and as an extensive 
landowner in that county had naturally a great influence. 
He lived at Woodhall Park, which he inherited from his father, 
Samuel, and this property is now held by Mr. Abel Henry 
Smith, who is Member for the County. It is stated that Abel 
Smith used to ride into Hertford, attended by two hundred 
of his tenants on horseback, in order to record their votes. 
The free and independent electors were somewhat of an 
anomaly in those days ; the family, however, with few 
exceptions, espoused the Liberal cause. 

Recently, at a meeting held at St. James' Hall to protest 
against Mr. Chamberlain's fiscal policy, the banners of Lord 



n a Paittiiu.i; h' F- A'. Say.^ra-ei by Samuel Ccusiits, R. yf.J 

To face p. 24. 

The History of a Banking House. 25 

Carrington's great uncle were exhibited ; on them were 
inscribed "Smith and Free Trade," "Smith and Inde- 

Mr. George Robert Smith's address to the electors of 
Buckinghamshire, in 1837, states that "his supporters were 
consistent in their advocacy of the Liberal cause, and when 
in Parliament I adhered strictly to those principles which have 
never been deserted by those of my family who have already 
had the honour of representing you. To those same principles 
I am still strongly and sincerely attached." In 1832 he had to 
decline the honour of representing the eastern division of the 
county of Surrey in consequence of the state of his health. 

Members of Parliament had then the privilege of franking 
letters, and there are several in existence addressed to Mrs. 
George Smith, in 1833, which had been delivered, free, 
through the Post Office. This privilege was abolished in 
1839, and it was estimated that out of 83,000,000 letters 
delivered in the United Kingdom, there were over 6,000,000 
passed through the Post Office free. When we realise that 
it cost IS. 3d. to send a letter of one page to Scotland or 
Ireland, we can imagine how eagerly the people endeavoured 
to get letters franked. 

As before stated, the landowners exercised a great influence, 
and were able to obtain seats in the House of Commons 
without much difficulty ; the property qualification enabled 
them to command a great number of votes, and they could 
nominate persons to vote on their behalf. 

26 The History of a Banking House. 

When a member of the Smith family represented Midhurst, 
it was customary for several of the clerks from the London 
banking house to go down to that place in order to record 
their votes in his favour. After doing so they were entertained 
at dinner, and no doubt enjoyed the change from their 
monotonous work in Lombard Street. Mr. Gerald Dudley 
Smith, a descendant of the family, is now Lord of the 
Manor, and has the right of nominating eight burgesses. 
Those who were elected had stones placed against the 
outside walls of their houses, recording the fact of their 
being burgesses of Midhurst. 

No doubt it will be remembered that Mr. W. E. Gladstone 
obtained his first seat in Parliament through being nominated 
by the Duke of Newcastle as Member for Newark. Pitt also, 
when only twenty-two years of age, became a Member, being 
the nominee of the Duke of Rutland, who was the possessor 
of nine boroughs. 

By the Reform Act of 1832 the franchise gave a large 
share of influence to the middle classes in the towns, although 
the aristocracy still retained their position by adapting them- 
selves to the new order of things. 

Mr. John Abel Smith, the grandson of Abel Smith, of 
Nottingham, will always be remembered as an advocate for 
the admission of Jews into Parliament. 

The question became an important one by the election of 
Baron Lionel de Rothschild, in 1849, as Member for the 


CFrom a /'auifin-; liy F. K. Sny.) 

To face p. 

The History of a Banking House. 27 

City of London, and in 1851 Alderman Salomons, another 
member of that persuasion, was elected for Greenwich. 
Mr. John Abel Smith warmly espoused the cause of his 
friend Baron Rothschild, but the opposition was great ; 
Mr. Warren, who was elected for Midhurst in 1857, stated 
that rather than unchristianise the legislature he would 
resign his seat. 

When elected in 1852 as the Liberal Member for 
Chichester, he stated that he was strongly in favour of 
religious freedom, and with reference to protection, stated 
that " the question was irrevocably settled, and that it is as 
impossible to re-impose protection as it is to turn the sun 
from its course." 

On his re-election, in 1857, he referred to his action with 
reference to the admission of Jews into Parliament. In 
the course of his speech he said " that Baron Lionel de 
Rothschild is a personal friend of mine, but I can most faith- 
fully assure you that personal feelings to him or anyone else 
has nothing to do with my advocacy of that question. I 
advocate it on the short and simple ground that it appears to 
me to be a flagrant wrong that religious opinion, be it what 
it may, is to have any influence upon the social position or 
the civil rights of any man." 

It was not, however, until 1858 that Baron Rothschild 
was allowed to take his seat; the Times of July 26th, 1858, 
gives the following account of this historic event : 

28 The History of a Banking House. 

" A few minutes after twelve o'clock, and before the com- 
mencement of public business, Baron Rothschild entered the 
House and took a seat on one of the benches below the 
Speaker's Gallery. 

" On the Speaker asking new Members who desire to 
take their seats, Baron Rothschild immediately presented 
himself at the bar, where he was met by Lord John Russell 
and Mr. Abel Smith, who, amid considerable cheering from 
the opposition benches, led him to the table. 

" Lord John Russell moved that Baron Lionel de 
Rothschild be allowed to take his seat in accordance with 
the Act recently passed, which allowed Jews to omit the 
words ' I make this declaration upon the true faith of a 

"Mr. J. A. Smith seconded the resolution, which was 
carried by a majority of thirty-two. 

"He took his seat on the front opposition bench below 
the gangway, between Lord Harry Vane and Mr. Craufurd. 

" Those who opposed the motion spoke highly of Baron 
Rothschild's reputation for purity and spodessness of character 
and conduct which he enjoyed." 

Mr. John Abel Smith may be described as a man full of 
ambitious schemes, but at that period there were many diffi- 
culties in carrying out great undertakings ; he was largely 
interested in the construction of railways and the development 

o s 

3 2, 

X < 

ri K 

— ir. 

;=! ^ 

2 z 

Z C 

■-2 Q 

z ^ 


The History of a Banking House. 29 

of our Colonial possessions ; subsequently he became 

associated with the well-known Eastern House of Jardine, 
Skinner & Co. 

The following letter from Lord Palmerston shows that 
his knowledgfe of Eastern affairs was of great service to the 
Government : 

" Brochet, 28th Nov., 1842. 
" My dear Smith, 

" I am very much obliged to you for your letter of the 
22nd, which I received as I was leaving Broadlands for this 
place. The complete triumph of the policy pursued by the 
late Government in regard to China is indeed a source of the 
highest gratification to all who had anything to do with the 
planning and the extension of the measures which we decided 
to adopt, and I must therefore return to a portion of the con- 
gratulations which you so kindly send me; for to the assistance 
and information which you and Mr. Jardine so handsomely 
afforded to us, it was mainly owing that we were able to give 
to our affairs, Naval, Military and Diplomatic, in China, those 
detailed instructions which have led to these satisfactory 
results. It is indeed remarkable that the information which 
we procured from yourself and various other persons whom 
we consulted in the Autumn of 1839, which was embodied in 
instructions which we gave in February, 1840, was so accurate 
and complete that it appears that our successors have not 
found reason to make any alterations in them, and it has 
turned out that the decisive operations has been that in the 

30 The History of a Banking House. 

Yang tsi Kiang- which we suggested to our Naval Com- 
mander as far back in our instruction of February, 1840, and 
that the Conditions of Peace imposed upon the Emperor are 
precisely those which we had instructed our Plenipotentiaries 
Elliot and Pollinger to obtain. There is no doubt that this 
event, which will form an epoch in the progress of the civili- 
zation of the human races, must be attended with most 
important advantages to the commercial interests of England. 

" My dear Smith, 

" Yours sincerely, 
"John Abel Smith, Esq." " Palmerston. 

He married Anne, daughter of Sir S. C. Jervoise, Bart. ; 
she has been described as particularly fascinating, and 
was supposed to be the last to hold a salon, the distinguishing 
feature of society fifty years ago. 

Although a low churchman, he was a great friend of 
Pius IX, and on his death-bed received the papal blessing, 
which is still preserved as an heirloom by his family. 

The youngest son of Mr. John Smith was the late 
Mr. Martin Tucker Smith, for many years the senior partner 
of Messrs. Smith, Payne & Smiths. The influence of Lord 
Carrington was sufficient to ensure him to be returned as the 
Member for Wycombe in 1847. He was a director of the 
old East India Company, and devoted a considerable amount 
of his time to the management of its affairs. It might be 
noted that he was the youngest member of the fourth genera- 
tion who became a partner in the London banking house. 

M.P. FOR High Wycombe. 

>oma\riiolp. hy Mayatl, of Krishlon.) To fai-C p. 30. 

The History of a Banking House. 3 1 

We will now refer to the next generation of the family 
who were recent partners in the bank, and contributed in 
some degree towards maintaining" the high reputation of 
the firm. 

The late Mr. Robert Smith, of Goldings, Herts., took an 
active part in the management of the bank for many years ; 
his kindness of disposition gained for him the respect of 
many, not only in Hertford, but also in the City. 

The senior partner, however, was the late Mr. Samuel 
George Smith, for some years Member for Aylesbury, 
being a descendant of Samuel Smith, of Woodhall Park, 
Herts. He was possessed of sound common sense, one of 
the characteristics of the Smith family, and also had a quaint 
humour. The writer recollects a stranger calling at Lombard 
Street and asking to see Mr. Payne ; he at once replied that 
he had not seen him for some time ; this was evidently true, 
since the last representative of this family died in 1799. 

The late Mr. Oswald Augustus Smith was beloved by all 
who knew him. Mr. William Fowler, in writing to the Times 
of August 26th last, stated that "he was not only a fine 
classical scholar, but possessed a rare combination of powers, 
and he was at the same time a man of most agreeable man- 
ners and great modesty of demeanour. He will not soon be 
forgotten by those who had the privilege of knowing him, 
and I have an idea that not many such men are left in the 
City where so much of his life was spent." 

32 The History of a Banking House. 

It might be mentioned that he translated into Latin 
Tennyson's "In Memoriam," and some of Browning's works, 
which were favourably mentioned in the Quarterly Review. 
At East Grinstead, where he resided, his loss was much 
deplored, being a true friend to those who sought his assist- 
ance or advice. 

I think his farewell address to the clerks, a few days 
before his death, is worthy of some record. He says : " My 
connection with the bank commenced in 1848, but practically 
ceased in 1891, and I have always recognised that the pros- 
perity which has attended our firm for over 130 years has 
been largely due to the efficient and cheerful help of those 
who have worked under us, and I should wish each one 
kindly to accept a small present to remind him of his very 
sincere friend." 

The late Mr. Reginald Abel Smith was another instance 
of a private banker, thoroughly devoted to his profession ; 
there is no doubt that he would have been President of the 
Institute of Bankers if his health had allowed him to accept 
that position. At Hertford, where he resided, his influence was 
always for the public good ; as chairman of the local hospital, 
and other similar institutions, he was desirous of promoting 
the well-being of the inhabitants. 

Mr. Eric Carrington Smith, the present senior represent- 
ative of the old London firm, was a partner in the Hull bank, 
as well as of the London establishment. He was also a 
partner in the firm of Smith, Marten & Co., of St. Albans, 


"IF tlAMMKRWiHil) I.dlKiK, V.\ST ( '. Kl .\ STKAl). 

It: n rholo. by La/ayeite.) 

To fiitc p. 32. 

The History of a Baiiking House. 


from 1865 to 1897. This bank was established at 148, Bond 
Street, by Mr. George Marten, who had a branch at St. 
Albans. The London business was taken over by Herries, 
Farquhar & Co., of St. James' Street, and then the St. Albans 
branch became a separate bank until recently, when it was 
amalgamated with Barclay & Co., Limited. 

The eldest son of Mr. John Abel Smith was the late 
Mr. Jervoise Smith, another typical example of a private 
banker. He entered the London bank on 6th April, 1853. 
The author well recollects the keen interest which Mr. Jervoise 
Smith had for banking literature, and how he sat up until a late 
hour, in order to read some notes which had been written by 
him. He was Chairman of the Public Works Loan Com- • 
mission, Deputy Chairman of the Clearing House, Major in 
the 2nd Regiment of Middlese.x Militia, and during the short 
Parliament of 1866 represented the Borough of Falmouth. 
He accompanied the Hon. A. Egerton, St. Leger Glyn, and 
Mr, Tower to the Crimea in 1855, to administer the Crimean 
Army Fund. 

Sir Algernon West in his Recollections refers to meeting 
him at Balaclava, and how they had to wade through the 
snow in order to reach the camp of the First Division. His 
benevolence and kindness of heart were supplemented by 
practical knowledge and administrative ability. 

His second son, Mr. Dudley Robert Smith, whilst on a 
tour in Italy during the Austro- Italian war, was arrested as 
a .spy and condemned to be shot, but was rescued from his 


34 The History of a Banking House. 

perilous situation by the English Consul. Subsequently, he 
was for many years in India, being a partner in a firm of East 
India merchants; during this period of his career, on the 
outbreak of the Indian Mutiny, he served as a volunteer. On 
his return to England, he became a partner in the Hull bank, 
and also a Director of the National Bank of New Zealand. 

Mr. Hugh Colin Smith, the youngest son, although not a 
member of the London house, was Governor of the Bank of 
England in 1897 and 1898. 

Mr. Martin Ridley Smith, one of the recent partners of 
Messrs. Smith, Payne & Smiths, has been a member of the 
Council of the Institute of Bankers from its foundation. 

He entered the bank April 5th, 1853, so that for fifty 
years he has devoted himself to banking affairs. On his 
retirement as chairman of the San Paulo Railway, the share- 
holders presented him with his portrait, painted by Herkomer. 
He has taken a keen interest in philanthropic work, and 
special reference should be made to his efforts on behalf of 
the Victoria Hospital for Children at Chelsea. 


To face p. 34. 


.HOMAS SMITH, the founder of the house, 
was not originally a banker. He was born 
in 1 63 1, being the son of John Smith, a 
substantial yeoman, of Cropwell Butler, 
Nottinghamshire, who purchased a portion of 
that lordship when sold in 1623, by Sir Thomas Hutchinson, 
the father of Colonel John Hutchinson, so well known in the 
history of the Civil War. John Smith died in 1641, when 
his children were yet minors, and appoined his two brothers- 
in-law guardians and trustees for them ; their neglect of this 
trust was the cause of young Smith being apprenticed to a 
mercer at Nottingham. 

The old Bank House was bought by him in 1653 from 
William Littlefear, a Puritan, as his name would imply, but 
he could not establish a title to the cellar until 1658, when the 
purchase was completed. The old premises were at the 
corner of Peck Lane, a narrow passage leading from the 
INlarket Place to St. Peter's Square. Many years afterwards 

36 The History of a Banking House. 

it was sold, by the second Lord Carrington, with sixty years 
title. It is believed to have been a three-storied gable-ended 
house, of which the second floor projected over the pavement. 
All the old houses, including the bank, have practically 

The next banking premises stood on a site further west, 
commanding a fine view of the market place, which is the 
largest in England. This structure stood for over a century, 
when the present substantial stone building was built on the 
same spot, and some adjoining property added to it. One of 
the features of the old bank was a bow window on the first 
floor, and when the nomination of members for Parliament took 
place, a good view from it could be obtained of the ceremony. 

Thomas Smith, by his prudence and good business qualities 
as a mercer, soon became known, and his customers found 
that they could safely and profitably leave their spare capital 
with him to such an extent, that before 1688 a considerable 
banking business was developed. There is no record of when 
the business of banking actually commenced, but we may 
assume that 1688 may be taken as the date of the origin of 
the bank. His eldest son, who was High Sheriff of Leicester, 
17 17- 1 8, was a banker in the modern .sense of the word. 

Some reference might be made in order to show the 
difficulties of carrying on business at that time ; no doubt 
the feeling of insecurity during the Civil War was a 
reason why the people left their capital with the private 
bankers. Money was hoarded by the nobility in iron chests, 

nottin(;ha.m haxk-oi.d isaxk 1'ki;misks. 

To fiicc |). 36. 

The History of a Banking House. 37 

but the people who had not the protection afforded by 
retainers, came to the towns with their spare capital, and 
left it for safe custody. 

When Thomas Smith bought the premises, in 1653, 
England was about to witness the fall of Puritanism. There 
was a great reaction from the tyranny of Cromwell's rule, 
which led to the restoration of Charles II in 1660. Cromwell 
announced that no Member of Parliament would be suffered 
to enter the House of Commons without signing an agreement 
not to alter the Government as it is settled in a single person 
and a Parliament. No act of the Stuarts had been a bolder 
defiance of constitutional law. 

The year 1660 may be taken as the beginning of modern 
England, when the chief forces, viz., industry and science, 
became of great importance, and necessarily that period 
witnessed the foundation of banking. Our commerce could 
not have attained its present high position without the aid of 
capital, and this was obtained through the medium of the 
banks of this country. 

Macleod says that banking in the modern sense did not 
exist before the year 1640, and therefore Thomas Smith 
must have been one of the first bankers of this country. 
During the reign of Charles I, the merchants in London had 
been in the habit of depositing their bullion and cash in the 
Tower for convenience and security under the guardianship 
of the Crown, but the King, in order to meet his debts, seized 

38 The History of a Banking House. 

their property to the amount of ^30,000. This act caused 
great consternation, and the merchants decided in future to 
keep their capital under their own control. 

The goldsmiths soon began to lend the money at interest, 
and this in the course of time attracted deposits ; when this 
occurred the real business of banking came into existence. 

Clarendon said that the goldsmiths were men known to be 
rich, and of good reputation, consequently the money of 
the kingdom could be trusted or deposited in their hands. 

A similar course of events was beinfj: enacted at 
Nottingham, because Thomas Smith must have possessed 
considerable ability in order to gain the confidence of the 
merchants and gentry in that town and neighbourhood. 

Nottingham was a good centre for banking purposes, 
having been a manufacturing town for more than 600 
years. It was here that Richard Arkwright, in 1769, erected 
his spinning frame, and here also Hargreaves had the year 
previously removed his spinning jenny, after his machine had 
been destroyed by a mob at Blackburn. The connection of 
the Smiths with the Arkwright family has continued until the 
present day. 

Whilst Leicester became the centre of the woollen industry, 
Nottingham had devoted itself chiefly to cotton, silk, and 
merino hosiery. 

In order to carry on business, it was necessary to have 
some circulating medium, and as the coins were not only 


To face p. 38. 

The History of a Banking House. 39 

scarce, but also deficient in weight, we find that bank-notes 
became a popular method for the liquidation of debts, although 
in consequence of being payable on demand these were at 
times a source of danger to many banking firms. 

For many years, owing to the want of banking accom- 
modation in the North Midland District, merchants and 
manufacturers were obliged to conduct their business at 
Nottingham, there being no bank at Leeds or Sheffield, 
which is 70 to 100 miles away. For example, a Leeds 
merchant, having a remittance of foreign bills of exchange, 
would mount his horse and carry them to Smith's at Notting- 
ham, to be discounted, and take away gold or notes in exchange. 

Soon after the death of Thomas Smith, in 1699, his eldest 
son, Thomas, separated the banking business and carried it 
on alone until his death, in 1727. 

Thomas Smith, the father, with the first surplus capital he 
was able to withdraw from the business, re-purchased a large 
part of the supposed family estate at Gaddesby, which had been 
sequestrated by the Parliamentarians, and to which he and 
his son afterwards added as opportunities occurred. 

He married Fortune Collin, who was a sister of Abel 
Collin, described as a banker of Nottingham, and had three 
sons — Thomas, Samuel, and Abel. 

Abel Collin, by his will dated February 4th, 1 704, left the 
remainder of his estate to his nephew, Thomas Smith, for 
building and endowing Collin's Hospital ; he was also trustee 
of Labray's Hospital, another Nottingham charity. 

40 The History of a Banking House. 

The eldest son, Thomas, in 171 1, had to appear before a 
Commission of Inquiry made as to the ownership of monies 
deposited in his hands by a person named Kinsman, and from 
the answers given by him, we have an interesting account of 
banking business at that time. 

Interrogatories to be administered to Thomas Smith to 
be examined in a cause between Richard Kinsman, Esquire, 
and other Plaintiffs, and Richard Hacker, Defendant. Pur- 
suant to an order made in the said cause the eighth day of 
December, 17 10. 

1. Imprimus doe you know the parties &c. and how long 
have you known them. 

2. Item. Did the said Defendant Hacker or any other 
person or persons and who by name, by his order, for his use, 
or in Trust for him at any time, &c., and when and upon 
what account, advance, lend or pay unto or deposit or have 
in the hands power or custody of you or any other person or 
for your use any and what sums of money Jewellery, Rings, 
Plate, Mortgage or Mortgage Deeds, Bond or Bonds, Bill or 
Bills, or any other security, goods, chattels or effects to be 
kept for his the said Defendant Hacker's use or for any and 
what other end interest or purpose, and what interest, premium 
or reward did you or any other person and who by name, by 
your order or on your behalfe agree to pay or allow, or what 
other agreement then or at any other times made touching or 
concerning the matter aforesaid. 

The History of a Banking House. 41 

3. Item. What doe you now and what did you at the 
time you was served with the Commission for Sequestration 
issuing out of this Court in this cause really and bona fide 
owe and were justly indebted unto the said Defendant upon 
a fair and just account sett forth the severall items and 
declare the whole truth of your knowledge and belief herein 
at large. — John Morgan. 

Depositions of Thomas Smyth taken at the House of 
F. Salmon Junr. in Nottingham by virtue of a Commission 
out of the High Court of Chancery to us William Thorpe 
and William Wells Gent, and others directed for the examin- 
ing the said Thomas Smyth upon interrogatories embodied 
in a cause between Richard Kinsman, Esq. and others 
Plaintiffs and Richard Hacker Defendant on Thursday the 
20th day of September anno domini one thousand seven 
hundred and eleven as follow : 

Thomas Smyth of the Town and County of the Town of 
Nottingham Gent., aged twenty-eight years and upwards, 
sworne and examined deposeth as follows : ■ 

I. To the first Interrogatory this Deponent sayth that he 
doth not know Richard Kinsman Esq. named as Plaintiff in 
the tytle of the Interrogatory but sayeth he knowes Richard 
Hacker named as Defendant in the cause and hath known 
him for about four years last past. 

To the second Interrogatory this Deponent sayeth that 
the said Defendant Rich. Hacker in person paid unto and 
did leave in the hands of this Deponent some time about the 

42 The History of a Banking House. 

tvveiity-third day of February in the year of our Lord 1707, die 
sum of Twelve hundred and eighty-seven pounds and fifteen 
shillinirs and three pence for the use of the said Richard 
Hacker for the repayment whereof upon demand this Depo- 
nent gave a note under his hand to the said Hacker which said 
note bearing date the same day as the said money was paid, 
but this Deponent did give no other security for the same 
save the said note and further this Deponent sayth that he 
this Deponent gave to Hacker in the said year 1707, a Bill of 
Exchange for fifty pounds payable to the said Hacker on 
demand. And this Deponent further sayth that he paid at 
different times on the 27th February, 1707, the several sums 
of twenty-one pounds and ten shillings and twenty-one pounds 
and ten shillings and twenty pounds and also the same 
day for the use of the said Hacker this Deponent paid to 
Mr. Hobman of Newark the sum of one hundred and fifty 
pounds and afterwards the 7th day of May, 1708, this De- 
ponent paid to the said Richard Brough for the use of the 
said R. Hacker the sum of thirteen pounds and this Deponent 
hath also paid upon the account and for the use of the said 
Hacker to several persons at several times several small sums 
of money in the whole amounting to i is. 4d. and further this 
Deponent remembers that the said Defendant did deposit in 
the Deponent's hands the 23rd day of February, 1707, the 
sum of thirty pounds but the 27th day of the said month of 
February the said Hacker rcnezvcd the same sum of ^30 
again returned. And this Deponent further sayeth that 

The History of a Banking Hoiise. 43 

neither the said Richard Hacker or any other person or 
persons by his order or for his use or in trust for him at any 
time upon any account whatsoever did advance lend or pay 
unto or deposit or leave in the hands custody, etc., any sums 
of money, plate, etc., etc., to be kept for the said Hacker's 
use and that he this Deponent did not agree to pay or 
allow any interest premium or reward for the use of the said 
money — further this Deponent sayeth that he hath not paid 
any part of the said sum lodged in this Deponent's hands by 
the said Defendant to any other person or persons use or 
uses than is hereinbefore sett forth and as near as this 
Deponent can compute there remains only in the hands 
and custody or possession of this Defendant the sum of 
^1,094 IIS. id. 

" And this Deponent humbly offers that this Deponent 
actes in the nature of a Banker, and returnes ereat 
sums of money to London, and from thence and diverse 
other places in this Kingdom, and also for several years 
past, and his father many years before him, hath used to 
take in and receive great sums of money of diverse persons 
and upon receipt thereof to give notes under his hand for 
the same, thereby promising to pay the said sums so 
received to the person authorized in the money, or the 
Bearer of the note upon demand ; and in case any Note so 
given by this Deponent be produced and endorsed only with 
the name of the person to whom it is payable upon deliverino- 
the said Note this Deponent pays the same to the Bearer, 

44 The History of a Banking House. 

so that sometimes this Deponent's Notes are paid by endorse- 
ment as money to several persons before the same is 
demanded of this Deponent, and this Deponent is advised 
that he is obliged in law to pay such Notes when endorsed to 
the person demanding the same, and this Deponent's credit 
so much depends upon his punctual payment of the Notes 
to the Bearer, that in case of refusal it might be of ill 
consequence to this Deponent in his Employment; and as 
this Deponent does not know but that the said Hacker 
has made some transfers of the Notes so given by this 
Deponent, he having not produced them to this Deponent 
nor acquainted him whether he has them or not, wherefore, 
as this Deponent is willing in all things to conform 
himself according- to the direction of this Honorable Court 
and to pay what remains in this Deponent's hands in such 
manner as this Court shall order, so he humbly relies on the 
justice of this Honorable Court to compel the said Hacker to 
deliver up the notes." 

To the third Interrogatory this Deponent sayth that the 
time this Deponent was served with the Commission of 
Sequestration in the Interrogatory mentioned, this Deponent 
did really and bona fide owe and was justly indebted to 
this Deponent in the sum of ^^ 1,094 'i^- ^^• 

(Signed) Thos. Smith. 

This is an important account of the early issue of bank- 
notes by the country bankers, and shows that they were an 
important medium for the purpose of circulating capital. 

The History of a Banking House. 45 

Such notes preceded the system of deposits, because 
customers left gold or other valuable securities for security, 
and received in exchange bank-notes. This was the outcome 
of the confidence which the customers had in their banker. 

The balance-sheet made out on the death of Thomas 
Smith, in 1728, showed deposits of about ^45,000. The 
ledger contained the names of most of the landed gentry, the 
balances of some being somewhat large. There are also 
entries of money received for tithes and taxes. 

H is balance-sheet, drawn up by his executors, was as follows : 
Debtor accounts ... ... .^39,399 19 3 

Creditor accounts ... ... 44,728 5 11 

Due to Thomas Smith ... ;^5,328 6 8 

Mr. Thomas Smith, in right of his Gaddesby estates, was 
appointed High Sheriff of Leicestershire in 1717, when the 
coat of arms now used by the family was granted to him and 
his brothers. He died in 1727, and, having no sons, left his 
banking business to his brothers, Samuel and Abel. Samuel 
had been for many years a goldsmith and banker in London, 
and continued to reside there, leaving, at his death, a large 
fortune to his son, who at one time represented Worcester in 
Parliament, and was possessed of a good estate at Asfordby, 
in Leicestershire. Samuel became associated with his younger 
brother, Abel, as a banker in London and Nottingham, and 
the latter subsequently took into partnership his sons, George 
and Abel. 

46 The History of a Banking Honse. 

The business had not only continued without a rival in 
Nottinghamshire, but owing to the want of banking accom- 
modation elsewhere, many firms, as far distant as Leeds, and 
even Manchester, came to the Smiths at Nottingham to have 
their bills discounted. They also collected the taxes and the 
rents of the larger landed estates in the county, and were 
obliged to keep a stud of horses for these purposes until a 
comparatively late period. 

The younger brother, Abel, greatly extended the family 
business, and in 1758, having need of a fresh London agency, 
he formed a partnership with Mr. John Payne, under the 
name of Smith and Payne, in London and Nottingham. He 
also established a bank at Lincoln, and in connection with 
William Wilberforce, of Hull, with whom he was connected 
by marriage, opened a bank at that place. 

The branch at Derby was established at a subsequent 

At the time of the partnership with Mr. Payne, Mr. Smith 
had been elected Member for Aldborough, and his letter to 
Mr. Payne is of some interest. He states that : "He would 
have to be in town for his Parliamentary duties, and could 
therefore take some share in the management of the proposed 
banking business. That he did not think there was any 
occasion at first to introduce much capital, but having ^40,000 
by him, he could employ that if wanted. That the Notting- 
ham bank, which had been established some years before the 
Revolution in 1688, had succeeded by careful management, 

The History of a Banking House. 47 

and he thought there was then a good opening through the 
failure of certain firms in London recently." 

At the dissolution of Parliament, in 1806, Mr. John Smith, 
the youngest brother of Lord Carrington, was elected Member. 

Great riots occurred in Nottingham in 181 2, consequent 
on the introduction of machinery, and Mr. John Smith, in the 
House of Commons, protested against capital punishment 
being inflicted upon persons found guilty of destroying stocking- 
frames. He stated that middlemen and the truck system was 
really the cause of the disturbance. Mr. John Smith was 
re-elected in 181 2, and it was stated that his opponent, 
Mr. Arkwright, spent ^20,000 upon the election ; his agents 
returned the surplus, which was ^40, and he asked them whether 
there was no item that could be made to cover this amount. 

The firm withstood a great panic in 1825, when the bank 
of Sir Peter Pole & Co., and other banks to the number of 
seventy, stopped payment, but it did not have any effect upon 
the bank, every call and demand being duly met. 

Mr. Maberly Phillips, in an interesting paper on bank-note 
collecting, in the January number of the Connoisseur, states 
that he has a cheque drawn upon the Nottingham bank dated 
1705, which he considers to be the earliest known provincial 
cheque. The Nottingham bank is, 1 think, the only instance 
of a provincial bank which has started a London business, 
although several provincial firms were connected with London 

48 The History of a Banking House. 

The following is a list of such banks, taken from 
Mr. Phillips' book on " Banks of Northumberland": — 

rrovincial Bank. London Bank. 

Lambton & Co., Newcastle. Barnett, Hoare & Co. 

Mowbray, Hollingworth & Co., ( Hollingworth & Co. 
Darlington. ( Prescott, Grove & Co. 

Northumberland Bank. Remington & Co. 

Chapman & Co., Newcastle. Fry & Sons. 

Goodchild, Jackson & Co., Sun- / , , r- i 1 -i 1 o /-- 

, I , -^ Jackson, Lioodcniltl & Co. 

Raikes & Co., Malton. Currie & Co. 

The history of the Nottingham bank shows that its success 
was due to the high character and perseverance of various 
members of the family. No better account can be given than 
an old proverb long current in the town that "the little Smith 
of Nottingham does the work that no man can." 

In addition to this attention to the bank's affairs, there was 
the personal influence in the welfare of the inhabitants of 
Nottingham. As an illustration of this the following entry in 
one of the books is worthy of mention. A customer who owed 
the bank some money, came to the partners and pleaded 
poverty, also stating that he had a large family. The debt 
was forgiven on the understanding that he did not have any 
more children. 

It was in consequence of this personal attention to the 
affairs of the bank that the business increased rapidly, and it 
was necessary to establish branches at Ilkeston, Long Eaton, 


The History of a Banking House. 49 

Basford, Bulwell, Cattle Market, Southwell, Hucknall 
Torkard, and Sutton-in-Ashfield, in order to meet the re- 
quirements of the bank's customers. 

The bank at Mansfield was subsequently established with 
branches at Shirebrook, Pinxton, and Hucknall Huthwaite. 

The partners of the bank at the time of the amalgamation 
with the Union Bank of London were Frederic Chatfield 
Smith, Martin Ridley Smith, Herbert Francis Smith, Francis 
Abel Smith, and Henry Edward Thornton — the last named 
is a descendant of the family, his grandmother, Frances Ann, 
a daughter of Samuel Smith, having married Claude George 
Thornton, of Marden, Herts. 

There was a universal feeling of regard throughout the 
district for the old firm when the recent amalgamation took 
place. The Nottingham Daily Guardian stated that "The 
bank has been honourably associated with the history and 
commerce of this city for more than two centuries, and there 
will be an almost universal feeling that Nottingham has 
become poorer and less picturesque now that one of its oldest 
and most respected institutions has lost its local character." 



.HE banking business at Nottingham, from the 
time of its foundation, rapidly increased, not 
only in that town and neighbourhood, but 
also in the adjacent counties of Leicestershire 
and Lincoln. In the latter county, Abel 
Smith, in 1775, established a branch as an offshoot of the 
Nottingham bank. Lincolnshire had always been known as 
an agricultural county, and its chief town is noted for its 
manufactures of agricultural machinery. 

These branch banks were separate institutions, and in this 
respect differed somewhat from our modern system of a 
central institution, controlling a large number of branch 

At Lincoln, Abel Smith entered into partnership with 
Richard Ellison and John Brown, and no change occurred 
until 1808, when the members of the firm were Samuel Smith, 
Henry Ellison and Richard Ellison, the latter being father 
and son. hi 1829 the additional partners were Abel and 

52 The History of a Banking House. 

Henry Smith, and the business was then carried on under the 
title of Smith, Ellison & Co., until the recent amalgamation 
with the Union Bank of London. 

In 1833 the Hon. A. Leslie Melville, who had married 
Charlotte, a daughter of Samuel Smith, became a member of 
the firm, and no change occurred until 1836, when, in 
consequence of the death of Samuel and Henry Smith, the 
business was carried on by Abel Smith, Richard Ellison, 
Henry Smith, and the above-named Hon. A. Leslie Melville. 
The next alteration in the constitution of the firm took 
place in 1859, through the death of Abel Smith and 
Richard Ellison. 

With regard to Mr. Abel Smith, the following record has 
been preserved at Lincoln: "As a man of business, his 
characteristics were sound judgment, great firmness and 
decision, united to a most considerate liberality, and a memory 
so retentive as even to embrace the minutest details. To his 
family and partners his loss is irreparable." 

In 1859 the partners were Henry Smith, Robert Smith, 
A. Leslie Melville, and A. S. Leslie Melville, but in 1876, in 
consequence of the death of Mr. Henry Smith, a new partner 
joined the firm, viz., Mr. Henry Abel Smith. 

Mr. A. Leslie Melville died on 19th November, 1881, 
the following being a record of his character : 

" For fifty years a Resident Partner, he managed the 
bank with great ability and success, and largely extended its 


/'.»« a Pa infills- ^y I'- U. liddis.f 

To face p. 52. 

The History of a Banking House. 53 

business. He was much respected in the county, and his 
advice and counsel were sought by all classes, and his loss 
greatly lamented." 

His portrait, which has been reproduced, was given him 
by the Country Bankers' Association, together with a service 
of gold plate, as a token of their appreciation of his services 
on behalf of the country banks. 

Mr. A. H. Leslie Melville then became a member of the firm. 

The above particulars respecting the Lincoln branch were 
placed in a bottle when the foundation stone of the new 
banking premises was laid. 

There were at that time branches at Brigg, Caistor, 
Gainsborough, Grimsby ; and agencies at Market Rasen and 

In 1890 Mr. Henry Abel Smith died, and his son, 
Mr. Francis Abel Smith, was admitted as a partner, and in 
the same year Mr. Eustace Abel Smith, son of Mr. Robert 
Smith, became a partner. 

In 1894, Mr. Robert Smith, who was also a partner in the 
London, Nottingham, Newark, and Derby houses, died. 

In 1899 Mr. A. B. Leslie Melville, son of Mr. A. S. 
Leslie Melville, became a partner, and in 1901 Mr. J. H. 
Shipley (formerly connected with the Bank of Liverpool) 
joined the firm. 

When the recent amalgamation of the Lincoln bank, 
including its branches at Brigg, Caistor, Gainsborough, 

54 The History of a Banking House. 

Grantham, Grimsby, Grimsby Docks, Scunthorpe, Sleaford, 
Market Rasen, with the Union Bank of London, Ltd., took 
place, the partners were : 

A. S. LesHe Melville, 
A. H. Leslie Melville, 
Eustace Abel Smith, 
Francis Abel Smith, 
A. B. Leslie Melville, and 
G. H. Shipley. 

Mr. C. J. M. Pyni and Mr. M. J. Paget were also associated 
with the firm in the management of the business. 

Reference has been made to the presentation to Mr. A. 
Leslie Melville; his son, Mr. A. S. Leslie Melville, was recently 
presented with his portrait by numerous friends, in order to 
mark their appreciation of his services as a banker who, 
during a long business career of fifty years, has shown himself 
a gentleman with a character full of human sympathy and 

In the first ledger of 1775 there were 125 accounts, but in 
1885 they had increased to 1,250, which shows that the bank 
had largely extended its business operations. It was not 
customary to have new ledgers half-yearly, as at the present 
time, consequently we find that the old ones were strongly 
bound. The first ledger had 203 openings, and lasted eleven 
years, but the business has grown to such an extent that eight 
ledgers of 600 pages are now necessary. 







S already stated, the firm had business relations 
with other large towns, and consequently, 
Mr. Abel Smith, in 1784, determined to 
establish a bank at Hull. This ancient town 
was an important one, being the third port 

in the United Kingdom ; the value of its exports and imports 

was only surpassed by London and Liverpool. 

Much of the early prosperity of the town was due to the 
enterprise of the famous merchants. Amongst them were the 
De La Poles, who were high in favour with successive 
English monarchs. 

In the reign of Edward VI Hull supplied for the arma- 
ment against France 16 ships and 466 seamen, whilst London 
only supplied 25 ships and 662 seamen, which shows its great 
importance even at that early period. 

56 The History of a Banking House. 

Henry VI granted the town additional charters, and made 
it a county in itself, under the designation of the Town and 
County of the Town of Kingston-upon-Hull. 

An interesting map of the town, dated 1640, shows that it 
was strongly fortified in order to resist invasion either from 
the land or sea. 

Hull is one of the principal shipping ports for the manu- 
factures of Yorkshire and Lancashire, and imports large 
quantities of grain from various foreign countries, and timber 
from Norway and Sweden. The import of cattle is very large, 
and the fishing industry an important one : the staple industry 
of Hull is seed-crushing for oil and cake making, and its 
manufactures are of considerable importance. 

The merchants of Hull were determined on extending 
English commerce, which added to the prosperity of the town. 
Among these was William Wilberforce, merchant, having 
business relations with Russia, and in 1732 Abel Smith 
apprenticed his son Abel, the younger, to learn the trade of a 
merchant adventurer, which shows that the father considered 
a commercial training of some importance, especially for his 
son, who was destined for the banking profession. 

Abel Smith was connected by marriage with the great 
statesman, his wife's sister having married the father of 
William Wilberforce. The two families were therefore on 
terms of great friendship, which is shown by the following- 
letter addressed to John Henry .Smith, who subsequently 
became the resident partner : 


(From a Paindu^ by Oeor^e Richmond}. 

To filCL- p. </i. 

The History of a Banking House. 57 

"Alleshed Hall, 
"Sunday Morning, 24th June, 1827. 
" My dear Sir, 

"It was not till yesterday, when on my way back 
from a tour to Matlock, Dovedale, etc., that I heard about 
my old friend and near relative, Geo. Smith, lived at Derby. 
Indeed, I was not aware that you had a bank there, tho' 
that at Nottingham I had known all my life, having spent 
many weeks together with your grandfather and g"*- mother 
many years before you were born, and when yr. Father was a 
mere Boy. It really grieved me to think I had been for a 
week so near you without calling on you, or making any 
attempt to see you. We came home so late, Mr. G. had 
some company to dinner, that I did not write to you yester- 
day, and therefore, tho' contrary to my ordinary practice, 
I take up my pen to-day (Sunday) to say that you will give 
me real pleasure if you will let me see you before we go after 
Bkft. on Tuesday Morn^ next. The longer I live the more I 
value my old family relations and friends, and I hope to 
all yr. family that all mine will for generations continue 
mutually to feel the cordial regard and good wishes with 
which I am, 

"My dear Sir, 

" Ever sincerely and affectionately, 

"W. Wilberforce." 

Lord Carrington has a fine portrait of the celebrated 
statesman, and underneath is the following quotation from 

58 The History of a Banking House. 

Lord Rosebery's "Life of Pitt ":—" There remains at 
Hollwood an ancient memorable oak under which William 
Wilberforce and Pitt resolved on that campaign against the 
slave trade which gave honour to the one and immortality 
to the other." 

It appears that William Wilberforce soon retired from the 
bank, possibly in consequence of his Parliamentary duties. 
The following draft shows that a change in the constitution 
of that firm had occurred : 

£Z ■■ i8 : 8|. Hull, 13 March, 1784. 

On demand pay to R. A. Harrison, Esqre., or order 

Three pounds eighteen shillings and eightpence halfpenny 

value received. 

For Abel Smith, Esq., & Sons, 

Thomas Thompson. 
To Messrs. Smith, Payne & Smiths, 



The great statesman died in 1833, and was buried in 

Westminster Abbey ; Samuel Smith, his partner in the Hull 

bank, also died in the following year. 

According to a draft dated 1788, the firm consisted of the 
following members : — Abel Smith, Robert Smith, Samuel 
Smith, and Thomas Thompson, and bank-notes dated 1801 
give the style of the firm as Smith & Thompson. The latter 
entered the bank as a clerk, and became subsequently a 
partner, which lasted until his death at Paris, in 1728. 



it i^. 

The History of a Banking House. 59 

Wilberforce House was sold in 1830, and according to the 
conveyance, the property is described as follows : — " All 
that capital messuage tenement formerly in the occupation 
of the said Robert Wilberforce afterwards of his widow 
Elizabeth Wilberforce since of Thomas Thompson Esquire 
and now or late of Smith Brothers and Co. Bankers. 

"And also all that warehouse, staith, erections and 
buildings adjoining to the said capital messuage formerly in 
the occupation of the said Robert Wilberforce afterwards 
of Messrs. Wilberforce, Smiths & Co." 

The historic building which was the birthplace of the 
celebrated statesman contains several finely panelled rooms, 
two of them, on the ground floor, having elaborate carved 
mantelpieces. The hall is paved with marble, and the 
staircase is an exceeding fine one. This celebrated house in 
which the Smith family started as bankers has recently been 
acquired by the Hull Corporation as a museum and a 
permanent memorial to the great statesman. It might also 
be mentioned that in this house Charles I was entertained 
by Sir John Lister ; William Penn, before setting out for 
Pennsylvania, also stayed here for .some time. 

In January, 1829, the firm became Samuel Smith, 
Brothers & Co., and the name has not since changed. 

Mr. John Henry Smith, who was resident partner in 1830, 
came from Derby, but subsequently removed to London, and 
became a partner in the London house. 

6o The History of a Banking House. 

Samuel Smith was succeeded by his eldest son, Abel Smith ; 
the last partners of the Hull bank prior to the amalgamation 
were Mr. Eric Carrington Smith and Mr. Martin Ridley Smith. 

The banking business was removed in 1829 from 
Wilberforce House to the present premises in Whitefriargate ; 
the promissory notes already mentioned have an illustration 
of the old Custom House, which is considered an excellent 
picture of the same. 

The bank was always known by the name of the Custom 
House Bank, since the firm were the bankers for the Inland 
Revenue, until the Bank of England opened a branch in the 


The Derby branch was established in 1806, the first entry 
in the ledger being of that date. The bank occupied part of 
the present premises, then called Rotten Row, now Market 

The two banks which appear to have originally transacted 
the banking business of Derby were Crompton, Evans & Co., 
and Messrs. Samuel Smith & Co. 

Mr. John Henry Smith, who was born in 1795, and died 
in 1887, was the resident partner until his removal to Hull; 
the partners of the bank at the time of the amalgamation 
with the Union Bank of London were Mr. Eric Carrington 
Smith and Mr. Martin Ridley Smith. 


(Fyem a Photo, by Richard Keate, Ltd., Derby.) 

To face p. 60. 


=,EFERENCE has been made to the estab- 
lishment of the London House, and it will 
now be necessary to give further details 
with regard to its early and subsequent 

The foundation of the London business was partly due to 
Samuel Smith, who carried on the business of a goldsmith in 
Wood Street, but as the business of his brother Abel at 
Nottingham was increasing rapidly, the latter proposed the 
formation of a London bank, as he no doubt was ambitious 
to establish an agency in the great Metropolis. 

This was a unique experience for a provincial firm, and 
it showed the business capacity of Thomas Smith ; the first 
London partners were therefore Thomas and Samuel Smith. 

At the death of Thomas Smith, in 1727, the balance owing 
from Samuel Smith to him was ^4,000. There is an inte- 
resting bill of exchange drawn from Gibraltar, dated i6th 
September, 1 740, upon Samuel Smith, of Wood Street, which 
is reproduced : 

62 The History of a Banking House. 

Laus Deo, Gibraltar, p. _;^20 sterling. 

1 6 September, 1740. 
At twenty days' sight pay this niy first of exchange 
to Mr. Ezekiel Hall or order Twenty pounds sterling 
value received of Messrs. Hall Ravely and Wombwell 
and place it as p advice. 

From W. Boothby. 
To Mr. Samuel Smith, 

in Wood Street, London. 
Endorsed No. 1009. 

pd. the 26 Nov., 1740, 

Ez. Hall. 
Witness for the Bank 

N. Brabins. 
Thomas Smith was High Sheriff for Leicester 17 17-18, 
and as already stated, on his death the business was carried 
on by the two surviving brothers, viz., Samuel and Abel 
Smith, the former managing the London business. 

\\\ the next generation a dispute arose as to the manage- 
ment of certain charities in Nottingham, which led to a 
dissolution of partnership, and the establishment in London 
of the firm of Smith & Payne, the partners being Abel Smith, 
son of the former Abel, and John Payne, of London. 

This occurred in 1758, and several interesting particulars 
with regard to the family history of John Payne were pub- 
lished in Longmans Magazine for January and April, 1889, 


4 ^^^: 




%■ K^ 




M '^. 


^:5 ^^ -,^. r,.^, -.^1'' 




The History of a Banking House. 63 

under the heading of "A Queen Anne's Pocket Book." It 
appears that a small pocket book was found in the vaults of 
Smith, Payne & Smiths some fifty years ago, and in it was 
written "John Payne, 1699." This book cost is. 4d., and we 
have some interesting particulars as to several articles 
purchased by young Payne during his apprenticeship for seven 
years, to learn the business of a hosier and haberdasher. 

During this period he spent ^64 19s. iid., for which he 
debited his father, and ^19 15s. gd. on his own account. 

He .seems to have been very careful over his expenditure, 
because every item is taken into account. His success in 
life was partly due to saving habits, which is seen from the 
following entry in the pocket book. " Spent less than I had 
saved before and given me after I came to towne in ye 
7 years ;^3 13s, 2d." 

His apprenticeship ended in 1703, and no doubt he had 
won the esteem of his employers, because he seems to have 
received, at once, ^5 weekly as salary. 

Very soon afterwards he fell in love with Mistress Lydia 
Durrant, and a very quaint letter to her is preserved. 

" For Mrs. Lydia Durrant att 

"Mr. Henry Woodgate's in 

" Gouldhurst, Kent, 

" By Stone Crouch Bay. 

" I wish it were any way in my power and I hope 
it will ere long to show ye true affection I have for you, 

64 The History of a Banking House. 

and I value myself upon ye opportunity I promise myself of 
shortly kissing ye hand. If you did believe or could imagine 
how great a refreshment a letter from you would afford me at 
this melancholy distance you would not faile to write by the 
first post." 

This melancholy distance of thirty miles did not seem to 
keep the lovers apart, and their affection ripened so quickly 
that it soon ended in matrimony. 

John Payne's Note Book has the following entry of the 
marriage : 

" Entered into ye holy State of matrimony Sep. 4, 1706." 
His eldest son, John, was born October 13th, 1708. 

In 1709, John Payne went down to manage his estates in 
Huntingdon, where he seems to have been in possession of 
about /^ 1,000 per annum in landed property, chiefly consisting 
of small farms let to tenants at from ;^2o to ^50 per annum. 

We have already stated that he was apprenticed for seven 
years, and the following entry from the Haberdashers' Com- 
pany's Records gives us the necessary particulars : 

"John Payne, son of John Payne, of Cottesbrooke, in the 
County of Northampton, grazier, bound to John Jenkins, 
citizen and Haberdasher, of Fetter Lane, London, for the 
seven years from 20th March, 1695-6." 

His father died in 1706, and on the death of his mother, 
Elizabeth Paine, late of the parish of St. Vedast, alias Foster, 
widow, her executors being her son John, and grandson John 

The History of a Bankrttg House. 65 

Paine, also her daughter Elizabeth Payne, and son Thomas 
Paine, of Oundle in Northamptonshire, with Mary his wife. 
She adds, " I forgive my son John all the money he owes me 
upon his notes, and all the other money I lent him which I 
have not notes for." 

Possibly John Payne had been in the habit of borrowing 
money by means of bills of exchange, as well as lending the 
same, and thus became, in some degree, a banker. 

He died in 1747, and was buried at St. Vedast, ah'as 
Foster, near his late wife. 

His son John subsequently became a partner in the firm 
of Smith & Payne, and was possessed of considerable wealth. 
According to his father's will, John had formerly been given 
;^2,ooo "to bring into stock and partnership with himself and 
their partner in trade, Mr. Thomas Swayne. He devises all 
his lands, tenements, and estates at Sulby and Welford in 
Northamptonshire, as also the lease of the tithes of the last 
named parish, besides estates at Sherrington in Bucking- 
hamshire, and at Husbands Bosworth and North Kilworth in 
Leicestershire, and his houses in Bow Church Yard." He 
also gave his ten grandchildren ^1,000 each. 

We do not know how John Payne became acquainted 
with Abel Smith, but possibly the fact of Thomas Smith, of 
Nottingham, having been a mercer, some business transactions 
might have taken place between the Nottingham bank and 
the successful merchant in London. 


66 The History of a Banking House, 

The following agreement was signed when the new firm 

started in London as bankers : 

"17 April, 1758. 

"Articles of Agreement for Partnership between Abel 
Smith of the Town of Nottingham Esquire of the one part 
and John Payne of the City of London Esquire of the other 

"Abel Smith to have two-thirds and John Payne one- 

" Abel Smith to manage the business at Nottingham and 
John Payne in London. 

" No capital at first to be subscribed." 

Reference has been made to the connection of Abel Smith 
with Mr. Payne, and the following interesting letter from 
Abel Smith to John Payne, two years later, gives more details 
as to extending the banking business : 

"December i6th, 1760. 

"You already know my sentiments in regard to making 
our business in London general, and wish you had thought 
this a proper time to make a beginning, as I could bring a 
capital of ^30,000 or ^40,000 into the business if it should 
be wanted, that I think there would not be much hazard in 
making the experiment. The banking business was begun 
here before the Revolution (1688), which has been carried on 
to this time with the greatest credit, that I am of opinion, 
with care and diligence, we should in a few years be equal in 
credit to the best houses in England." 

The History of a Banking House. 67 

The remarks of Abel Smith as to the position the new 
firm would occupy in the financial world was realised within 
the next fifty years, when the bank became one of the 
principal lenders to the Government. 

His partner, John Payne, of the parish of St. Margarets, 
Lothbury, London, Esquire, married Elizabeth, a daughter of 
Mrs. Louisa de Bonville, and died at Roehampton, August 
26th, 1764, possessed of great wealth, his will, which is a very 
long one, bearing date May 5th of that year. One bequest 
may be noticed, viz., ^100 for the same end and purpose as 
the like sum was given by the will of my honoured father for 
teaching poor children in the parish of Welford. 

We are able to connect John Payne with Abel Smith, 
since they both commenced business at Coleman Street, 
Lothbury, and also in consequence of ledger entries in the 
books of Smith, Payne & Smiths. 

His executors were Mrs. Elizabeth Payne, Widow Rene 
Payne, the eldest son, George Rodney, and Samuel Chapman. 
He left his estate at Dunton Basset, Leicestershire, to his 
wife for life, and then to Rend Payne. To his second son 
John an estate at Holford, Northampton, and ^5,000; the 
youngest son, Edward, received the property at Roehampton, 
and also a like sum. The eldest son. Rend, had the lease of 
the house in Lothbury and the residue of the estate. There 
were also legacies to his three daughters. It appears that 
John Payne had lent his son Rend ^5,000 in order to become 

68 The History of a Banking House. 

a partner with his uncle Edward, and a ledger entry of 1 790 
gives the name of the firm as Edward and Rene Payne & Co. 
The other members of the family who had accounts with the 
bank in that year were Mrs. Elizabeth Payne and the sons 
already mentioned. There is also an entry relating to the 
Dunton Basset property. We are therefore able to identify 
that family with the young apprentice John Payne, 1699, and 
thus solve the mystery of Queen Anne's Pocket Book. 
From an old Directory dated 1 763, Edward Payne is described 
as of King's Arms, Coleman Street, and John, Edward, and 
Rene Payne, of Lothbury, the same place where the banking 
house of Smith & Payne was established. 

In 1775 Edward Payne was a Director of the Bank of 

His son, Rene Payne, became a partner in the London 
banking house on the death of his father. 

The Morning Herald and Daily Advertiser of July 9th, 
1784, states that the subscribers to a Lord Mayor's fund 
were Rene Payne, Robert Smith, and Sam Smith. The firm 
was then described as of George Street, Mansion House, 
where they had been for eight years. Subscriptions for this 
fund were received by Smith, Payne, Smiths & Payne. 

Although the names of father and son were retained in the 
style of the firm, John Payne had died in 1764, as before 

The History of a Banking House. 69 

The partnership with the Payne family lasted until 1799, 
when Rend Payne died. He was, like his father, possessed 
of great wealth, and appointed as his executors and trustees, 
Robert Smith, Samuel Smith of Nottingham, and Vicary 
Gibbs, to each of whom he bequeathed ;^5,ooo. 

Robert Smith, as before stated, subsequently became 
Lord Carrington. 

To his clerks at Lothbury, Lombard Street, and Not- 
tingham, ;^io each. This shows that, although a banker, he 
was still associated with the firm of Edward and Rene Payne 
& Co., in Lothbury. 

To his partners George Smith and John Smith, £,\o 
for mourning. There are several bequests to the poor of 
Cheshunt in Herts., Dunton Basset, Leicester, and Welford, 
Northamptonshire ; it will be remembered that his grand- 
father had property at the last-named place. 

His three sons, John, William, and George, received 
legacies to accumulate until they became of age. 

There is a curious entry in the ledger at Lombard Street, 
which reads as follows : 

" 1799. Fines paid by Mr. John Smith for Mr. Payne at 
the Blue Parlour Club ^8 i8s. 6d." 

This was paid after his death, but we are unable to give 
any particulars respecting this club, or why the fines were 
due from his estate. 

7o The History of a Banking House. 

George Payne, a well known member of the turf, was a 
descendant of this family. 

According to the London Directory, the firm appears to 
have carried on business at Lothbury in 1759, but are des- 
cribed in 1765 as of near Coleman Street. The following 
year their first connection with Lombard Street began, 
although in 1 768 they seem to have gone back to their old 
premises of near Coleman Street. However, in 1770 they 
settled at 18, Lombard Street, now occupied by the Phoenix 
Fire Assurance Co., the old sign of the Phoenix being still 

There is an old ledger in the possession of the firm dated 
1775, which gives some interesting particulars respecting the 
transactions at that period. 

The following are some of the entries : 

Bell Inn. 

Eastwood Turnpike. 

Wilber force. 

Wilberforce & Smith. 

Subscription to the loan, 1779, .^14,445. 

The account of Wilberforce & Smith shows that the Hull 
bank was then carried on by Samuel Smith and William 

The expenses account, which corresponds to the profit 
and loss account of the present day, has some interesting 
entries as follows : 

liiKNiiiiN Hail, Kknt. 

a->om a» i;iii:ra-j:iix- '■> "''■ //»//.; 

To f.icc J). 70. 

The History of a Banking House. 


10 Loads of Coal 

• • £\o 

1 1 


Subscription for Paving Fletchingate 4 


To Cheese 




To Oysters 



To a Lottery Ticket ... 


Coach Duty ... 


Woohner for Cloth ... 



Frost Farrier ... 

1 1 


Burch & Son for Old Hock ... 






Deverell for one year's boatage 



1776 — 112 Notes written off... 

.. 485 

1 1 


34 .. 




.. 651 



With regard to the purchase of a lottery ticket, it was the 
custom of the Government at that period to raise money by 
such means, and tickets could be obtained at various places in 
the Metropolis. 

The old bank, according to an engraving dated 1754, 
was an imposing structure, and had a balcony on the first 
floor; during the rebuilding of the premises, in 1836, the 
business was carried on at the South Sea House. It had 
been the custom for eight junior clerks to reside on the 
premises, and whilst the new building was being erected, they 
were accommodated over a bootmaker's shop in Bishopsgate 

7 2 The History of a Banking House. 

It will be noticed that wines were supplied by a firm which 
still exists in Cornhill ; the charge for boatage is a curious 
one, but possibly it was necessary to get across the river for 
business purposes. At that time many London bankers lived 
on the premises, and consequently we find entries relating to 
household expenses. 

There were stables at the back of the present premises, 
and as horses were kept by the partners of the firm, there are 
several entries relating to the purchase of hay, corn, etc. ; it 
was customary for the partners to drive into the City with 
postilions, and consequently the stables were utilised. 

The notes written off represented promissory notes in the 
hands of the public, and when presented at due date were 
paid and cancelled. 

Mr. Smith's eldest .son, Abel, died soon after his election 
for Nottingham, in 1779, and the next son, Robert, who was 
elected in his place, afterwards became a peer, under the title 
of Lord Carrington. 

The late Mr. Oswald Augustus Smith furni.shed me 
with an interesting letter from the first Lord Carrington, 
which orives the date of the foundation of the London office ; 
previous to that date it was only an agency to the Notting- 
ham bank. 

This letter is dated Whitehall, December 25th, 18 19, and 
is addressed to Mr. George Smith : 

OF Selsdon, M.P. for Wendover. 

(From a Fainti'li: Ay J. Partrui-f and J. yaU'-'i, 

The Histoty of a Battking House. ' y;^ 

" My dear George, 

" I went into the City this morning, but to my great sur- 
prise found the coast clear. By one of the clerk's account it 
seems that you finished your General Balance last night, a 
thing I should have thought impossible. 

"My object in this visit was to have told you that it is 
fifty years this day since I commenced the establishment in 
Lombard Street ; it was till then a house to be drawn upon 
from Nottingham. 

" We settled, as you seem now to have done, the General 
Balance at night, and Bowman, when he gave up the keys, 
took great credit for having left all going on at an expense of 
only, I think, ^2,400 above his profits. 

" I am always, 

" Yours most affectionately, 

" Carrington." 

This shows that the old bankers were in the habit of 
balancing their books half-yearly with the ledgers, on the 
30th June and 31st December, and this practice is still 
continued by many of the London banks. 

Lord Carrington gives the date of 1769 as the date when 
he commenced banking business, but the old firm, conducted 
by Abel Smith and John Payne, must of necessity been 
somewhat of a banking character, so that the date of the 
London house can be given as 1758. The firm removed, as 
already stated, from Coleman Street to 18, Lombard Street, 
at the sign of the Phoenix, which was not a pre-fire sign, but 


74 The History of a Banking House. 

had been adopted by a new house after the Great Fire, where 
they remained for twelve years. Before the Great Fire this 
house was known by the sign of the Hatt and Harrow ; in 
one deed called the Hat and Arrow, in occupation of one 
Stephen Hill. After the Great Fire the sign of the new 
house was the Hare. 

In 1782 the Phoenix Fire Insurance Company purchased 
the house, and the sign was altered to the Phoenix, which was 
originally the sign of No. 10. 

The present Clearing House is actually on the site of 
Messrs. Smith, Payne & Smiths' stables at this place. The 
firm appeared to have covered in the stable yard, but it is 
not certain whether any of the walls belonging to the stables, 
which were at the back of the premises, are still in existence. 

After leaving 18, Lombard Street, the firm removed to 
George Street, Mansion House, formerly called Bearbinder 

The Parliamentary influence of the Smith family at this 
period was great, because in one House of Commons they 
held no less than seven seats. 

When Lord Carrington retired from the firm, the manage- 
ment of the business devolved chiefly on his next brother, 
Samuel Smith, of Woodhall Park, Herts, who was M.P. for 
Leicester for many years. 

A portrait of the first Lord Carrington, which is a copy of 
Sir Joshua Reynolds' painting, and who was a particularly 


(From a Paitttiit^i; fiy Fretifnc R. Say.) 

To face p. 74. 

The History of a Banking House. 75 

handsome man, is preserved in the partners' room at Lombard 
Street. At this period in the firm's history, the other partners 
were Samuel Smith's brothers, viz. : George Smith, of Selsdon, 
and John Smith ; the latter had the privilege of laying the 
first stone of the new banking house at i, Lombard Street, 
in 1836, and I have thought it desirable to state his prayer on 
this occasion, as a typical example of the high standard of 
commercial morality with which the leading merchants and 
bankers at that period were imbued. 

" I invoke the Almighty Disposer of all events (without 
Whose sanction no human exertions can avail) to look down 
with favor and protection on this our undertaking, to give 
permanence to this Building, and to maintain the Prosperity 
of the family connected with it, so long as they shall continue 
their Affairs with Fidelity, and Industry, and with Honor, 
and no longer." 

The name of the firm, which was Smith & Payne in 1759, 
was altered, in 1774, to Smith, Payne & Smith, when they 
removed to 18, Lombard Street, but in 1785 it was altered to 
Smith, Payne, Smith & Payne, of George Street, Mansion 
House, the Ren6 Payne being, as already stated, the son of 
John Payne. In 1786 the name was altered to its present 
tide of Smith, Payne & Smiths. In 1823 the firm is 
described as of Mansion House Place, but in 1830 the 
premises at No. i, Lombard Street were occupied. 

The business increased largely from that date, and some 
of the largest City firms kept their accounts with the bank. 

76 The History of a Baulking House. 

A cheque drawn by Messrs. Longmans, Green & Co. for 
;^io,ooo, in favour of Lord Macaulay, being the amount paid to 
him for his " History of England," was, I believe, the largest 
amount ever paid at that time for the copyright of a book. 

The firm has two interesting cheques drawn by Sir H. M. 
Stanley, in Central Africa, and for which he received payment 
from Arab traders ; curiously enough one cheque was paid 
through the Union Bank of London. 

The origin of the firm with Samuel Smith, the goldsmith, 
of Wood Street, is illustrated by the term Goldsmiths' Book, 
given to the waste book still in use at Lombard Street. 

Some reference is necessary to the famous house of 
Messrs. Rothschild, since the connection between the two 
houses has in many ways been an important factor in the 
money market. The first entry relating to this firm is dated 
1820, when Hannah Rothschild signs on behalf of N. M. 
Rothschild, but in 1839 the firm became N. M. Rothschild & 
Sons ; it had also an account for bill purposes at Masterman's, 
but on their amalgamation with the Agra Bank, in 1864, this 
account was also transferred to Smith, Payne & Smiths. 

The firm was for many years the London agent of the 
largest provincial banks, until the recent amalgamations took 
place ; it also represented two of the largest Scotch banks, 
viz., the Bank of Scotland and the British Linen Co. Bank. 

At Nottingham it was brought into contact with the 
great contres of industry, and it represented firms at 

OF SACcoMr.E, Herts. 

< Frotn a Paiutiu}; by Miller.) 

Tij face p. 76. 

The History of a Banking House. jy 

Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, Huddersfield, Bradford, 
and Leicester. Reference has been made to its connection 
with the Arkwright family ; the cotton industry was 
established by Sir Richard Arkwright at Nottingham, and 
subsequently at Derby. Smith, Payne & Smiths were the 
agents for Surtees, Burdon & Co., of Newcastle, and during 
the panic of 1793 the following announcement was made. 
False reports injurious to the house of Messrs. Smith, 
Payne & Smiths 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 ; this 
bank, however, failed in 1803. 

Several Roman coins, some mosaic work, and a gold- 
smith's hammer were discovered when the old premises were 
pulled down in the year 1836. 

After the memorable panic of 1866, the business again 
considerably increased, so that it was considered necessary in 
1875 to enlarge the premises. 

There is an interesting record of an assessment of the 
firm's property in 1804, which might be compared with the 
value of the property one hundred years after : 

" 19th March, 1804. 

" An Act passed in the 43rd year of his present Majesty's 
" reisfn intituled — 

" An Act for granting to his Majesty, until the 6th day of 
" May next, after the ratification of a Definitive Treaty of 



The History of a Banking House. 

" Peace, a Contribution on the Profits arising from Property, 
" Professions, Trades and Offices." 

In accordance with this Act, the firm was assessed in the 
sum of £']()0 for one year, from 5th April, 1802, to 6th April, 

If we compare this with the present assessment, where 
the rateable value of premises alone is ^10,382, we can 
realise the enormous growth, not only in the value of the land, 
but also of banking profits as compared with 100 years ago. 


OF GoLDiXGs, Herts. 

(Front a Phofo. by y. Thomson, ^oa. Gmv^fiar Street. IV.) 

To face i>. ;8. 


«N the present day one can scarcely imagine 
the appearance of old Lombard Street prior 
to the erection of the Mansion House in 

In front of the north-east corner and 
north-west corner of Smiths Bank, but a long way out in 
what is now the roadway, stood the Stocks Market, which was 
a meat, fruit and vegetable market, situated on the eastern 
side of the Wall Brook. 

The Church of St. Christopher le Stock, named after the 
market, occupied what is now the south-west corner of the 
Bank of England. From the corner of Lombard Street one 
saw the Church of St. Stephen's, Walbrook, an equestrian 
statue of King Charles II representing the King trampling 
under foot Oliver Cromwell, which was erected by a Lord 
Mayor at that time, and also various stands used for market 
purposes. The Walbrook was a small stream whose source 
lay in the northern heights, and after passing through some 
marshy land entered the Thames near the bridge over the 

8o The History of a Banking House. 

river eit Cannon Street. On reference to an old engraving, 
which has been reproduced, one notices that Lombard Street 
had a very narrow appearance, but in 1750 an effort was 
made to widen it, when six feet was added to the roadway. 

The old bank, an imposing structure of four stories, stood 
at the corner, and there was a narrow alley called New George 
Street at the western side of the premises. This was subse- 
quendy called Mansion House Place, after being considerably 
widened in 1750; previously it was similar to the narrow 
passage at the back of the Mansion House. 

The traffic of the City increased so rapidly that it was 
considered desirable in 1 814 to add another six feet to the 
roadway. Subsequently, another three feet was added in 
1836, when the new street was completed. All this land was 
taken from Messrs. Smith, Payne & Smiths' premises. 

The formation uf King William Street entirely altered 
the aspect of old Lombard Street. In 1833 it was proposed 
to form a new street to London Bridge, and an interesting 
account is given in the Times of the contemplated change : — 
" Very active measures are in progress for the purpose of 
obtaining the support of the principal merchants, bankers and 
tradesmen in the City to a plan by which the entrance to the 
new street, now in course of formation (King William Street) 
from the Mansion House to the new London Bridge, will be 
materially improved, and the surrounding neighbourhood 
rendered more open and convenient. Already the signatures 

The History of a Banking House. 8 1 

of a great number of influential merchants have been obtained 
for the plan for the removal of the banking house of Messrs. 
Smith, Payne & Smith at the corner of Lombard Street, 
and a petition has been prepared which it is expected will be 
presented at the next Court of Common Council, praying the 
Court to sanction the alteration in the plan received by the 
London Bridge Commissioners, and which is part of the 
design of Sir Robert Smirke. The advantages which will 
be gained by the removal of the house belonging to Smith, 
Payne & Co., are as follows : — The mouth or entrance to the 
new street near the Mansion House would be wider than is 
proposed, by which means facilities would be given to the 
incalculable increase of traffic which will exist from the many 
intersecting streets, and thus continued stoppages are avoided. 
If the banking house were removed, an uninterrupted view 
of the portico of the Mansion House would be obtained, also 
a portion of Cheapside and the now hidden but beautiful 
Church of St. Mary Woolnoth would be seen from the 
Poultry, and a sudden and bold view of the new street, with 
the Monument in the distance, would present itself at the 
eastern corner of the Mansion House." 

On the completion of the new street another three feet 
was added to the roadway, as previously stated, so that 
Lombard Street was originally fifteen feet narrower at its 
western entrance, and at the extreme east, the old premises 
projected twenty-eight feet, this portion having been acquired 
by the Corporation in 1836. 

82 The History of a Banking House. 

The Mansion House was built on the site of the Stocks 
Market, which was at first only for the sale of flesh and fish, 
but subsequently became of a general character. 

Mr. F. G. Hilton Price states, in his paper on Lombard 
Street, that the house known by the sign of the Angel stood 
at the south corner, as near as possible on the site of the 
present premises. The actual sign cannot be ascertained, 
but when alterations were carried out in 1873, a sign in cast 
iron of the George Street premises was found, representing 
a cock fighting a snake, dated 1652. The house in question 
was in George Street, and was formerly the bank of 
Sir C. Raymond & Co. Another description of the sign is 
that of the early bird catching the worm, an apt illustration 
of the firm making use of every opportunity in order to 
expand its banking business. 

There is no record of the tenant of No. 6, but No. 7 was, 
in 1723, occupied by Robert Tempest, a goldsmith, and the 
sign of the house was the Three Crowns; it was subsequently 
occupied by Mr. Deputy Smith, a No. 9 is 
described as being situated on the west side of the Phoenix, 
and was called the Golden Anchor. No. 10 was at the 
corner of Sherborne Lane, in Lombard Street, west of the 
church. In Mr. Robart's deed, we learn that Sir R. Vyner 
built this messuage called the Phoenix, formerly known as the 
Bull and Cock, in the possession of Mr. White, goldsmith ; 
Sherborne Lane entered Lombard Street close in front of the 

The History of a Banking House. 83 

Sir Charles Raymond, who occupied the George Street 
premises, was originally a partner in Raymond, Williams, 
Vere, Lowe and Fletcher, and this firm, according to 
the London Directory of 1771, were located at 81, 
Cornhill, but afterwards removed to 22, Birchin Lane, 
and subsequently became Williams, Deacon, Labouchere, 
Thornton & Co. 

In 1778 Sir Charles Raymond retired from the firm and 
established another bank at George Street, Mansion House, 
under the title of Sir Charles Raymond, Bart., Harley, 
Webber & Co., so that Messrs. Smith, Payne & Smiths must 
have carried on business in adjoining premises. 

In 1789 it was styled Harley, Cameron & Sons, but in 
1 799 the firm no longer appears in the list of bankers, and it 
is presumed that Smith, Payne & Smiths then acquired the 
premises, as no other bank in George Street is mentioned. 

In Mansion House Street there were several private 
banks, viz. : 

Forster, Lubbock, Bosanquet & Co. 

Newnham, Everet, Drummond & Tibbits (failed 14th 
December, 1825). 

Harrison, Prickett & Newman (stopped payment in 

Sikes, Snaith & Co. (stopped payment nth December, 

84 The History of a Banking House. 

The first-named bank still remains, the title being 
subsequently altered to Robarts, Lubbock & Co. 

It seems strange that two of the largest private banks 
recently in existence should have carried on business near 
each other, and also so successfully that their names must 
always be honourably associated as distinguished represent- 
atives of the old methods of banking. Their connection 
with the Clearing House will be dealt with in a subsequent 

The last bankers in Mansion House Street were Sir 
W. Kay, Bart., Sir Charles Price, Bart., J. Marrytit, and 
J. Coleman. 

The firm commenced business at the back of the present 
premises, viz., in Mansion House Place, in the year 1785, 
which was then called New George Street ; but they only 
rented the premises until 1 799, when they were purchased by 
George Smith from Mr. and Mrs. Walter Vane. The 
property consisted of two blocks, one at the corner of 
Lombard Street, and the other in the centre of New George 
Street. The area of these blocks was as follows : — The 
first 30 feet frontage in Lombard Street and 50 feet in George 
Street ; the second being a smaller one in the latter street, 
viz., 22 feet by 12 feet. 

In order to realise the enormous increase in the value of 
land in the City of London, it might be stated that two pieces 
of land were sold, in i 799, for ^950. 

Th& History of a Banking House. 85 

The next portion was purchased in 1806 from Mr. Chas. 
Morgan, and situated in Lombard Street, being described 
as "that messuage marked with the number i, situate on 
the South Side of the Street called Lombard Street, in the 
occupation of Henry Locker, and number 2, in the occupation 
of Messrs. Chase & Cox." 

The next purchase was in 18 10, when premises in New 
George Street, now called Mansion House Place, were 
purchased from Sir John Frederick, Bart., and described 
as "a messuage. Yard and Offices in the parishes of St. Mary 
Woolnoth and St. Mary Woolchurch." 

An addition was made in 18 12, when another block in 
Lombard Street was purchased from Henry and George 
Ledger, Silk and Cotton Manufacturers, described as "all 
that and those Toft and Tofts of ground and soil, being on 
the South side of Lombard Street." The old English word 
Toft means a place where a messuage once stood ; this 
purchase added about twenty-two feet frontage to the 
Lombard Street premises. 

In 1829 another portion was added, by the purchase of a 
piece of land from the Commissioners of Sewers. 

The largest addition took place in 1836, when premises 
in George Street and Dove Court were acquired from 
Alexander Maitland and others. The property is described 
as "6 messuages in George Street and Bearbinder Lane, two 
in Dove Court, and also the gateway or passage leading 

86 The History of a Banking House. 

out of St. Svvithin's Lane into Dove Court; also the passage 
leading out of George Street into the same court." 

The last addition to the Lombard Street frontage was 
purchased in 1837 from the Corporation of London, in 
consequence of an Act of Parliament passed during the 
reign of George IV for improving the approaches to London 

The jiiece of land purchased in 1S29 projected twenty-five 
feet into the roadway, and therefore it was necessary for the 
Corporation to acquire this in order to make the new street ; 
this was the last improvement in Lombard Street prior to the 
erection of the present buildings. 

In 1S39 another addition was made to the George Street 
premises by the purchase of Friend's Eating House, which 
was situated about fifty feet from the corner of Ahuision 
House Place ; a piece at this end was acquired from the 
Corporation of London in 1846. At the same time the 
Corporation sold to the firm a piece of land described as the 
site of a passage leading from Dove Court to Lombard 
Street ; this was evidently the last portion of Little 
Lombard Street, and as it only led into Dove Court was 
of no practical value. 

The following sketch, which is taken from Mr. Hilton 
Price's paper on Lombard Street, read before the Institute 
of Bankers, gives some idea of the changes which have 
taken place. 

The History of a Banking- House. 


No doubt the old members of the firm possessed a 
considerable amount of wisdom in purchasing one of the most 
valuable sites in the City of London ; Abel Smith was 
ambitious in starting a London business, and his sons 
realized the fact that commanding premises are of some 
importance, especially for a bank. 




2 5 



•"^ ^1 








: ' 










/_ \ 



^^f^J-'c^^X \t\ 


\ \>i \ 


h J 


\o \ 

Bear b//vdek 

^x.7~ ""^^ 

\ Ci \ 



-4^:0^^ .^ 

\ ui \ 



k \ > 





It will be seen that Dove Court and Little Lombard Street 
have disappeared ; with regard to the latter, it was, in fact, 
practically abolished in 1836, on the completion of the new 
street, since it only led into Dove Court, now called 
Gresham Place, consequently the Corporation of London, 
as already stated, sold the remainder to the firm in 1846. 

88 The History of a Banking House. 

All the houses, from Little Lombard Street to Sherborne 
Lane, and numbered 5 to lo inclusive, were purchased by the 
Commissioners of Sewers for street improvements; Sherborne 
Lane entered Lombard Street close in front of the church 
prior to the alterations. 

On the site of the present premises, Messrs. Denison, 
Heyward and Kennard, in 1837, carried on business as 
bankers, until the firm was amalgamated with the Consolidated 
Bank. From 1770 to 1775 these premises were occupied by 
Messrs. Chaters & Rivers, bankers. 

Bearbinder Lane, which is spelt Bierbinder Lane in some 
of the earlier deeds, is mentioned in City records as early as 
1358; it was the spot where the plague, in 1665, first made 
its appearance. 

This lane was the direct communication between the 
two churches of St. Mary Woolnoth and St. Mary Woolchurch 
Hawe ; the latter was one of the thirty-six churches destroyed 
in the Great Fire of 1666. 

The name of the church was derived from the circumstance 
that a beam was fixed in the churchyard for the purpose of 
weighing wool ; the Stocks Market adjoined the church, and 
was situated on the site of the present Mansion House. 
When rebuilt, in the reign of Henry VI, it was ordered to be 
placed fifteen feet from the Stocks Market, so that it stood 
partly on the premises of Smith, Payne & Smiths. 

When the new premises were built, in 1836, the Cor- 
poration of London requested the owners of property to 


- o 



The History of a Hanking House. 


adopt a uniform style, and we find several buildings, including 
the Liverpool, London and Globe Insurance Co.'s office, 
which is now being pulled down, built in the Italian style of 
architecture. The most notable feature in the present build- 
ing is the partners' room, which is of high elevation, and 
beautifully wainscotted in oak. 

With the exception of the Bank of England, it is possibly 
one of the finest sites in the City of London ; it covers an area 
of 18,520 square feet, or nearly half an acre, and, like the Bank 
of England, it is completely isolated from adjoining property, 
the boundaries being St. Swithin's Lane, George Street, 
formerly Bearbinder Lane, Mansion House Place, and 
Lombard Street, and is situated in three parishes, viz., St. 
Stephen's, Walbrook, St. Mary Woolchurch, and St. INIary 
Woolnoth. It might be observed that the Bank of England 
is situated in four parishes. 




^ONE of the most important facts in connection 
with its history, and which contributed laroely 
in its maintaining a high position in the 
<^ financial world, was that it became a lender 
r . fsilis^' J jQ lY^Q Government of the day; this no doubt 
was principally the cause why the firm always held large 
reserves of Government Stock. 

In the present day the most important asset of a bank 
after cash is Consols, because this Stock can readily be sold ; 
the early bankers realised this fact, especially during times of 
financial crises, when it was desirable to hold large amounts 
of Government Stock to meet sudden withdrawals. Another 
reason why they held Consols was in consequence of there 
not being any other form of investment. Foreign Govern- 
ment Loans were unknown, the earliest quoted in London 
being French Rentes and Dutch Bonds. 

On reference to the 1775 ledger in the possession of the 
firm, I find an entry of a subscription to the loan of 1779, viz., 
;^ 1 4,445, but after that date the position of the house became 

92 The History of a Banking House. 

an important one, very similar to our great financial houses of 
Messrs. Rothschild and Baring ; this is shown by extracts 
from the Times and other papers, and I have thought it 
desirable to quote some of the particulars in cxlcnso, since 
the methods of issue were somewhat similar to those of the 
present day. 

The first e.xtract is from the Times, dated February 5th, 
1 80 1, and is as follows : — 

"We understand there are five lists already announced 
for the ensuing loan, so that Mr. Pitt will not want offers of 
money at least. 

" The lists are : — 

" ist. Messrs. Robarts & Co., Sir F. Baring & Co., and 
Messrs. Goldsmid. 

" 2nd. Messrs. Smith, Payne & Smiths. 

"3rd, The Committee of Bankers. 

" 4th. Messrs. Newnham, Everett & Co., and their friends. 

" 5th. The gentlemen of the Stock Exchange. 

" To state the reports of the amounts to be borrowed might 
only mislead ; nor is it announced whether the Chancellor of 
the Exchequer will borrow the Loan at one or two biddings." 

The next extract is as follows : 

"February 17th, 1801. 

" Yesterday morning at ten o'clock the gentlemen who 
offered terms for the loan of the present year met Mr. Pitt in 

The History of a Banking House. 93 

order to conclude the bargain, when Messrs. Robarts & Co. 

and their friends, who had joined Sir Francis Baring's Hst, 

being the cheapest bidders, obtained the loan at the following 

prices : 

";^i 25 Consols calculated at ... £^0 6 3 

"^50 15s. reduced ... ... ... 29 o o 

"Discount ... 312 6 

"^102 18 9 

"In the present state of public affairs, no person can deny 
that this bargain is very advantageous to the public, for 
during no part of the day e.xcept at the first moment of the 
intelligence being received of the respectable names who had 
contracted for the loan, could it be sold at a premium above 
2 per cent., and it fluctuated between that price and i J per 

" The other biddings for the Loan were as follows : 

Consols. Reduced. 

" The Committee of the Stock Exchange £12^ ;^53 

" Messrs. Smith, Payne, and Smith & Co. 125 56 

"Messrs. Newnham, Everett & Co. ... 125 56 

"The Bankers 125 57." 

The last is taken from the Daily Advertiser and Oracle, 
dated 6th April, 1802, when the firm subscribed for the whole 
of the loan on terms which the Chancellor of the Exchequer, 
Henry Addington, afterwards Lord Sidmouth, thought very 
satisfactory. I have given the extract in full, because it 
shows the method of raising money at that time. 


The History of a Banking Ho7tse. 


"Yesterday the Gentlemen who had formed Lists waited 
on the Minister to contract for the Loan. 

"The Bidding was to be on a deferred 3 per Cent. Stock. 
" Every Subscriber of ^100 money was to receive 
" £(>S Consols. 
" £60 Reduced. 
And those who chose to take the least sum of Deferred Stock 
were to have the Loan. 

"The different parties delivered in their letters, which, on 
being" opened, appeared as under : 

Smith, Payne & Smiths ... ... £6 19 

7 15 

7 15 

8 10 

9 4 
Robarts & Co. ... ... ... 9 5 

Easdain & Co. 

" Of course, Smith, Payne & Co. w( 
purchasers. The terms are exceedingly good for the public, 
and considerably better than we believe the Minister himself 
expected. The Consols during the time the different parties 
were with the Ministers were at 74|. As soon as the terms 
of the loan were known, they rose to 76, and left off at 77^ 
for money, yj^ for the account. Omnium was from 4 to 2^, 
and left at 4|. 

Committee of Bankers 
Stock Exchano-e 
Everett & Co. 
Barino- and Anoerstein 

9 15 




ere declared the 

The History of a Banking House. 95 

"The House of Smith, Payne & Co. were supposed not 
only to be out of Stock, but what is termed Bears also ; 
therefore it was material for them to get the Loan to reim- 
burse them and prevent their lying at the mercy of others to 
get in their Stock. 

"One chief reason of the Fund's great elevation may be 
attributed to its being known that the Bank Directors are 
concerned with the house of Smith, Payne & Co. 

" It is said that Smith & Co. offered to coalesce with 
Curtis and Co., which the Alderman refused ; and old Jemmy 
Morgan, in consequence of what he sifted out at Downing 
Street, altered his price from £"] 13s. to £6 19s. 3d., which 
completely jockied all the parties. Most of the Leading Men 
in the Stock Exchange were great Bears of Stock, which, 
being obliged to be bought in, occasioned the rise to be so 

" A celebrated Lottery Contractor has, it is said, the call 
of half a million of Consols for the account of an eminent 
Jew, at or under 70. Of course, there is at the present price 
a gain of ^33,000." 

The total estimated capital value of annuities set up in 
Great Britain in 1801 and 1802 was ^8,502,519 12s. 8d., 
but we have no record of the exact amount taken by the 
banking house, but as the Bank of England was interested 
in the issue, it is possible that the whole amount was sub- 
scribed by Messrs. Smith, Payne & Smiths. 

96 The History of a Banking House. 

There is also an interesting statement as to the Govern- 
ment Debt at that date. 

Interest on loans : 
Interest on Consols and Reduced ... ^862,500 
Ditto on Deferred Stock from 5th 

January, 1808 ... ... ... 48,051 

Management of the whole ... ... 13,648 


Interest on Stock created by Exchequer 
Bills funded, together with ^7,796 1 2s. 
Long Annuity ... ... ...^431,05 

2 per cent, thereon ... ... ... 112,223 

Management... ... ... ... 5-099 



Interest on Stock charged : 
On Income Duties ... ... ^1,713,017 

Management... ... ... 25,621 

1,738.6 38 

Total of Stock created by the loan, .^30,351,375. 
For each ^100 of money 
In 3 percent. Consols ... ... ^^65 o o 

In 3 per cent. Reduced ... ... 60 o o 

Deferred Stock ... ... ... 6193 

^151 19 3 
The whole amount of annual interest is ^3 18s. 2d. 


( Reprocimeii /roin an liiigraviiis by kintt ptmtissioii of Messrs. P* &• /). Cotnaghi & Co.") 

To face p. 96. 

The History of a Banking House. 97 

The interest on this Deferred Stock is 4s. i|d., but the 
interest does not begin to be paid until 1868, or at present 
value 3s. 2d. annually. 

Prices of Stock at that time : 

3 per cent. Consols, 74. 
5 per cent. Navy, 106. 
Imperial 3 per cent., 75 J. 
English Lottery Tickets, ■}j2>- 

The Chancellor of the Exchequer stated that it was an 
advantageous bargain, and showed the great confidence which 
the monied men place in the extent and the stability of the 
resources of this country. 

On the introduction of the Budget in 1801, Pitt stated 
" that the country had gone through with a war of four years 
with an accumulation of enemies, and have at length emerged 
from it with an increasing vigour in resources, wealth and 
prosperity, through every class of individual, and in a year of 
peace make a loan of twenty-five millions on as good terms as 

Reference has already been made to the intimate friend- 
ship which existed between Lord Carrington, William 
Wilberforce and the great statesman. The portrait which 
has been reproduced was given to Lord Carrington in order 
to show the great statesman's appreciation for services rendered 
to the Government by the house of Smith, Payne & Smith. 

98 The History of a Banking House. 

Although the Government had to borrow at a high rate 
of interest, yet one must remember that the price of all 
securities was then abnormally low, and at one period Consols 
had fallen to 47. 

Lord Rosebery states that Pitt's financial fame will always 
be remembered by his plan for the redemption of the National 
Debt, which his contemporaries regarded as his highest claim 
to renown. It may be stated that in order to raise money, 
Pitt did all in his power to stimulate public competition, which 
is shown by the tenders for the loan of 1802, when Smith, 
Payne & Smith were the highest bidders. The money 
market at that time preferred a 3 per cent, stock, rather 
than one at 5 per cent., because the latter might be 
redeemed at short notice. Mr. Newmarsh, a well-known 
banking authority, stated, by actuarial calculations, that 
borrowing in 3 per cent, stock, as compared with 5 per cent., 
was in reality an economy. In any case, Pitt had to appeal to 
a limited and abnormal market, and if he had not offered the 
temptation of stock which was certain to rise sooner or later 
in capital value, he could not have secured the requisite 
means for carrying on the war. 

At the close of the French War, in 1802, the National 
Debt was ;^ 5 7 1,000,000, the amount now being ;^639, 165,000, 
showing an increase of ;^68, 000,000 in 100 years. 

The firm from that time until the present day has always 
been a large subscriber to the various Government issues, and 

oi- GoLDiNOS, Herts. 

To face i>. 

The History of a Banking House. 99 

in conjunction with Messrs. Rothschild and other leading firms, 
subscribed to the recent issues for the payment of the 
South African War. 

It will be noticed that the Chancellor of the Exchequer 
usually consulted members of the Stock Exchange and the 
leading bankers as to the best methods for floating the loan, 
and this system has been continued to the present day. A 
new innovation, however, occurred when American banking 
houses were asked to assist to contribute, but some differences 
of opinion were expressed as to the desirability of this in 
the future. 

The late Mr. Retrinald Smith informed me that the firm 
was able in one of the earlier panics of this country, to pay off 
the whole of the deposits from their holding of Govern- 
ment Stock, which I think is a unique position for any bank 
in this country to hold. 






^-' s ^ .t 


/•S^JSiX-^CJ^X—iT , 

<HE issue of bank-notes was an essential feature 
of early banking ; the scarcity of coin, and 
the unsettled condition of the country were the 
principal causes of a large issue of bank-notes. 

Mr. Maberly Phillips, in an interesting 
article in the Counoissetir for March last, on Note Collecting, 
states that in the early part of last century there were at least 
900 different firms issuing their own paper money, and 
amongst them were Samuel and Abel Smith, and a note 
dated August 26th, 1728, is certainly the earliest provincial 
one known. 

There is a close connection between the issue of notes and 
the growth of deposit banking. Anyone who had notes in 
his possession would in course of time find that it was 
desirable to leave them for safety with the issuing banker, and 
he would thus become a depositor of the bank ; the issue of 
bank-notes has therefore always preceded deposit banking. 
The earlier forms were more of the character of promissory 
notes. Thomas Smith stated in 1 707 that he owed Richard 

I02 The History of a Banking House. 

Hacker ;^i, 287 15s. 3CI., and for the repayment of the said sum 
he gave a note of hand. He also stated that for several years 
past he had used to take in and receive great sums of money 
of diverse persons, and upon receipt thereof to give notes 
under his hand for the same, thereby promising to pay the 
sums so secured to the person authorised the money, or the 
bearer of the note upon demand, and in case any note so 
given by this deponent be produced and endorsed only with 
the name of the person to whom it is payable upon 
delivering the said notes, this deponent pays the same to 
the bearer, so that sometimes this deponent's notes are 
paid by endorsement. 

The earliest specimen of a promissory note or cheque is 

as follows ; 

Nottingham, 31 Aug., 1705. 

Please to pay Thomas Wright or order, Sixty-fuur 

pounds eleaven shillings and five pence, and place the 

same to Eliz. Metcalfe and Sister. 

p. yours, 

J. Smith. 
To Mr. Thos. Smith, 


The name of Mr. Thomas Smith appearing as witness to 
the note is somewhat curious. 

An old ledger in the possession of the firm, dated 1775, 
has several entries respecting the cancellation of such notes. 



- 1. I - 

OAU/U, W ^r/Mry <fft — -^ ^ '"^'^ 0^ 

r Kt-firodrttti/ hy ki,ui fermix.u.m 0/ - Thf Connoisseur:') 

Til faci' p. I02. 

The History of a Banking House. 103 

The Editor of the Connoisseur has kindly allowed me to 
reproduce some of the Nottingham bank-notes, which form 
part of a series in Mr. Maberly Phillips's paper : 

S. A. S. 
August 26, 1728. 

I promise to pay John Newton, Esq., Six hundred 
and forty Pounds at Nottingham on demand, value 

For Brother Samuel Smith & Selfe. 

Abel Smith. 

The letters S. A. S. stand for Samuel and Abel Smith. 

Another is an interesting one, with an engraving of the 
town of Nottingham. 

No 8195. 

I promise to pay Mr. Wm. Elliott or Bearer Twenty 
Pounds at Nottingham on demand, value received. 

Septem. 24, 1746. 
£20. For Messrs. Samuel and Abell, 

Smith & Self. 
(Signature torn off.) 

At the present time we do not see any cash transactions 
in guineas, except as donations for charitable purposes, but a 
guinea was a coin of the realm, and consequently bank-notes 
were issued for various multiples of £\ is. 

104 ^^^^ History of a Banking House. 

Other specimens of bank-notes are as follows : 

S. A. S. 
No. 6492. 

I promise to pay Charles Turner, Esq., or Bearer, 
Eighty Pounds at Nottingham on demand, Value 

Nov. I, 1735. 

£%o. For Brother Samuel Smith & Selfe, 

Abell Smith. 

Mr. Frederic Chatfield Smith informs me that it was 
customary at the Nottingham bank, until a very few years 
since, to insert names of influential customers of the bank in 
promissory notes, partly as a compliment, and partly to 
multiply the handwriting, thus making it more difficult to 
forge the notes. It does not, however, follow that any such 
note was issued to the persons named. 

There is one drawn upon the London house as 
follows : 

Nottingham Bank. 

Messrs. Smith, Payne & Smiths, 

Bankers, London. 
Pay the Bearer Five guineas on demand, value 
received, the 1st day of September, 1795. 

For Samuel Smith, Esq., & Co., 
p'ive guineas. Saml. Smith. 

L /. "^V^^ 


\ y//i'^f>//M//i 




_ i>r : '.if,-//, /■ 




^ Jf/ip^)n'^ 

( Kepraduceii by kiiiti per»ns:iio>i p/ " The Comwisstur.' ) 

To face )>. 104. 

The History of a Banking House. 105 

Another bank-note is as follows : 

S. A. S. 

No. 7346. 

I promise to pay Evelin Chadwick, Esq., or bearer, 
Fifty pounds at Nottingham on demand. Value 

December 22, 1796. 

For Brother Samuel Smith & Self, 

Abel Smith. 

The banks at Hull and Lincoln also issued notes, the 

one of the former, dated 1818, for £\ is., is of interest, 

since it contains a vignette of the old Custom House at 
Hull, a very picturesque building. 

As already stated, the bank was known as the Custom 
House Bank for many years. 

The note is as follows : 

One guinea. 

I promise to pay to the Bearer on demand One 
guinea, value received. 

Hull Bank, 5 Aug., 181 8. 

For Messrs. Smiths & Thompson, 

Jas. Henwood. 

The Lincoln bank-note has simply the arms of the City 
of Lincoln engraved on it, and is as follows : 

io6 The History of a Banking House. 

Lincoln Bank, £,\ is. 

I promise to pay the Bearer on demand One guinea, 
value received. Lincoln, 7 June, 1803. 

For Samuel Smith, Rich. & Henry Ellison, 
Entered W. S. Parker. Henry Ellison. 

No. 168. One guinea. 

When Sir Robert Peel passed the famous Note Act of 
1847, the amount of the country banks' circulation was as 
follows : 

Authorised Issue. 

207 Private Banks /S, 153.407 

72 Joint Stock Banks 3,495,446 


There is no doubt that it was intended to gradually 
extinofuish the local issues, because no new bank was allowed 
to issue notes, and when any bank amalgamated, the right of 
issue was forfeited. 

In 1844 the average circulation of the country banks was 
;^8, 1 70,000, but thirty years later the amount was reduced by 
about one-half, viz., ;^4,8 12,000. 

The present amount is ^2,618,465, viz. : 

30 Private Banks ;i^i, 147.938 

25 Joint Stock Banks 1,470,527 

55 ^2,618,465 


kVK^V, /f^M' fff/.y^ ■ 

y- foNEGriNEvJ 

To f.iLC ]), loo. 

The History of a Baulking House. 


The present amalgamation will involve the cancelment of 
private note issues to the amount of ,^^22 1,460, the authorised 
note issues of the local banks being as follows : 

Samuel Smith & Co., Nottingham ... ^31,047 

Smith, Ellison & Co., Lincoln ... 100,342 

Samuel Smith & Co., Hull ... ... 19, 979 

Samuel Smith & Co., Derby... ... 41,304 

Samuel Smith & Co., Newark ... 28,788 

The issue of notes by the Lincoln bank was the largest 
amount of any private bank, although there were two joint 
stock banks, viz., Stuckey's Banking Co. and The Yorkshire 
Banking Co., which had a larger circulation ; the issue of the 
last named has been cancelled through amalgamation with the 
London City and Midland Bank, Limited. 

There is no doubt that the local issue of notes has been of 
great service, especially when means of communication were 
deficient, and gold or Bank of England notes somewhat 
difficult to obtain, whilst often there was considerable danger 
in the transmission of coin from one part of the county to 
the other. 


,NOTHER incident in the career of the bank 
is its connection with the Clearing House ; 
and it must not be forgotten that the founda- 
tion of clearing houses is due to the early 
bankers. The great economy effected by 
such means is of first-rate importance, and is of daily advantage 
to bankers of the present day. The first Clearing House 
appears to have been established on premises belonging to 
Messrs. Smith, Payne & Smiths ; clerks from various banks 
met in a room for the purpose of exchanging cheques. 
Although the firm has no record of this fact, it was stated 
by one of their clerks, in 1827, "that the Clearing House or 
Office adjoined the bank or office of which it formed part." 

There is, however, in the possession of the firm the 
Clearing Book of 3rd March, 1777. This book is ruled with 
two columns, the custom then being to pay the balances in 
notes and gold. 

A clerk was sent to the Clearing House with money 
sufficient to liquidate the balance due from the bank ; and 

I lo The History of a Banking House. 

this system continued until the Bank of England was utilised 
for the purpose of adjusting the balances. 

The addresses and signs of the various banking houses 
which are mentioned in the above-named book are taken from 
Mr. Hilton Price's interesting book on London banks. 

3rd March, 1777 — 31 Clearing Bankers. 

Brown & CoUinson, 58, Lombard Street ,^1,967 

(became Brown, Collinson & Tritton in 1778) 8,680 

Hankeys & Co., "Golden Ball," Fenchurch Street 1,129 


Givies & Atkinson, " Rose and Crown," 50, 526 

Lombard Street 4 

Walpole, Clarke & Bourne, 28, Lombard Street 281 


Bland, Barnett & Hoare, "Black Horse," 62, 4>3i5 
Lombard Street 2,200 

Sir Chas. Asgill & Co., "White Horse," 70, 6,144 
Lombard Street 3,688 

* Barclay, Bevan & Bening, corner of George Yard, 2,274 
Lombard Street 

Boldero & Co., ']'], Lombard Street 3.420 


Castell, Whately & Powell, " Spread Eagle," 66, "]"] 

Lombard Street 373 

* In 1785, John Ilenson Tiitlon joined the firm of Barclay, Bevan & Co. 

The History of a Banking House. 1 1 1 

Staples, Baron Dimsdale, John Dimsdale, & Josiah ^664 
Barnard, 50, Cornhill 186 

Archer, Hyde & Co., White Hart Court 983 


Fuller, Son, Halford & Vaughan, 84, Cornhill 604 


Glyn & Co., 18, Birchin Lane 1,189 


fBevan, 12th March, 1777 2,764 

Dorriens & Co., 22, Finch Lane 1,048 

1 1 1 

Batson & Co., "Unicorn," Lombard Street 145 

(formerly Remington & Co.) ^^IZl 

Halliday & Co., 3, Freeman's Court, Cornhill 399 

Ladbrooke & Co. (moved to Bank Buildings) 573 

Lemon, Furley, Lubbock & Co., 11, Mansion 2,536 
House Street 3, 116 

Halford (not in London Directory) 4.263 


Kendall (not in London Directory) 327 


Ladbroke & Co., 10, Lombard Street 573 

(in 1842 amalgamated with Glyn & Co.) S76 

t Name does not appear in list, but possibly is Silvanus Bevan, who joined Barclay & Co. 

1 1 2 The History of a Banking House. 

Langston, Polhill & Co., So, Cornhill £Z9^ 

Lees & Co., Lombard Street 2,670 


Martin & Co., "The Grasshopper," 68, Lombard 2,010 
Street, E.C. 556 

Mason, Currie & Co., 29, Cornhill 774 

(amalgamated in 1864 with Glyn & Co.) ^^^11 

Marlar & Co., i, Bartholomew Lane '.320 

(subsequently Pole & Co.) i.i37 

Prescott, Grote & Co., 57, Threadneedle Street 2,378 


Raymond, Sir Chas., Bart. 2,550 

Vere, Lowe & Fletcher, 10, Birchin Lane 1,998 

Reade, Moorhouse & Co., 76, Lombard Street 2,249 

(afterwards Willis, Percival & Co.) 1,008 

Smith. Payne & Smith, George Street, Mansion 1,810 

House 1,084 

Welch & Rogers. 80, Cornhill 1,390 

Wickenden & Co., 20, Lombard Street 1.369 



This total of ^104,739 is insignificant compared with the 
present daily amount of ^^52, 356, 000. 

The History of a Banking House. 113 

It is interesting to observe that the leading bankers at 
that time were as follows, if we can take the amounts cleared 
as any criterion : 

Messrs. Brown & Collinson. 

Barclay & Co. 

Bland, Barnett & Co. 

Sir Chas. Asgill & Co. 

Boldero & Co. 

Lemon, Furley, Lubbock & Co. 


Prescott & Co. 

Sir Chas. Raymond. 

Reade, Moorhouse & Co. 

Smith, Payne & Smiths. 

Wickenden & Co. 

The recent amalgamation of Prescott & Co., Limited, 
with the Union of London and Smiths Bank, Limited, includes 
Dimsdale & Co., and it will be seen that both these banks 
are mentioned in the Clearing Book of 1777. 

For many years the private bankers had the entire control 
of the Clearing House, and it was not until 1854, some years 
after the formation of the joint stock banks, that they 
considered it desirable to admit their rivals. 

The Clearing House remained the property of the private 
bankers, who eventually numbered four only, including 


The History of a Banking House. 

Messrs. Smith, Payne & Smiths. In 1901 a new company 
was formed for the purpose of taking over the property. 

The late Mr. Jervoise Smith was at one time Deputy 
Chairman of the Clearing House, in the affairs of which he 
always took a great interest ; he was also Chairman of the 
Public Works Loan Commission, and recognised as one of 
the leading bankers in the City. 

M.P. FOR Falmouth. 

To facL- |». 114. 


T seems desirable to make a few concluding 
remarks with especial reference to the 
causes which led to the success of the firm 
from its foundation in 1688 until the present 
time. To a great extent the careful manage- 
ment of large deposits entrusted to the care of various 
members of the firm was the principal reason why they did not 
participate in any speculative schemes, although at times the 
temptation was great to secure large profits. Transactions 
which might be designated as beyond their resources were 
always carefully avoided, and the firm rightly considered that 
the capital at its disposal did not permit the financing of large 
accounts such as the acceptance of bills for foreign firms. 
Although this business was somewhat remunerative, yet only 
a limited amount was undertaken. 

Some banks have failed through want of sufficient capital, 
but the Smith family had at all times a large sum invested in 
Government Stock in order to meet any sudden withdrawal 
of deposits. No doubt the large amount held over a century 

ii6 The History of a Banking Honse. 

ago was partly due to the fact of their participation in the 
various issues of the Government. This was shown in the 
first published balance sheet (1891) of Messrs. Smith, Payne 
& Smith, the amount of Government Stock held being 
;^ 1,000,000, in addition to ^728,000 of actual cash, against 
liabilities of ^4,682,000. This was held against any sudden 
panic or crisis in the financial world ; here again there was 
always the temptation of obtaining a higher rate of interest, 
but their conservative policy was never altered. 

The capital utilised for the purpose of banking was always 
a considerable amount ; the balance sheet, already referred 
to shows ^705,000 subscribed by the partners against their 
banking liabilities. 

One of the causes of the failure of other private firms was 
the withdrawal of capital when any member of the firm 
died ; but again we find it was always retained in the 
business, in order that the high character of the firm should 
be maintained. 

The last published balance sheet of the bank, prior to its 
amalgamation with the Union Bank of London, showed that 
it held the highest cash reserves of any London bank, viz., 
2 7 "9 per cent, of its liabilities. Curiously enough the Union 
Bank stood second on the list with 23'3 per cent, of cash. 

The system of branch establishments, which is one of the 
features of our present banking system, was realised by the 
Smith family. Abel Smith saw the importance of having 

The History of a Banking House. 1 1 7 

an agency in the great metropolis in order to meet the 
wants of his customers who had business transactions with 
the financial centre of the world. 

Mr. Frederic Chatfield Smith, in a letter to the author, 
states that " The characteristic qualities of the femily have 
always been caution and sound common sense, which are the 
most valuable to a banker and far better than genius, and 
have led them to success through a long career of business 
life." This statement is no doubt perfectly true, and these 
qualities were certainly the cause of the success of the firm. 
There was also the personal influence which contributed in 
some degree towards its gaining the respect of the com- 
mercial community with which its interests were so intimately 

An example of this might be given in the case of a City 
firm, when at a period of commercial distrust, was afraid 
whether it would be able to meet its liabilities. The bank 
considered the firm worthy of support, and gave a blank 
cheque on the Bank of England, stating that it could be filled 
in with the amount required. This cheque is now carefully 
preserved in the counting house as an example of the perfect 
confidence between banker and customer. Incidents such as 
these contributed largely to its success, so that it became 
known throughout the world. 

The reputation of the firm might be illustrated by its 
name being immortalised by Dickens. The " Pickwick 

1 1 8 The History of a Bmtking House. 

Papers " refer to Sam Weller selling some stock at the Bank 
of England and receiving a cheque for ^530 on Smith, 
Payne & Smiths. 

A writer sixty years ago stated "the firm of Smith, 
Payne & Smiths possessed great wealth and exemplary 
conduct. This created public confidence, and many of the 
nobility kept their banking account with the firm." 

At the time of Wright & Co.'s failure, in November, 1840, 
the Duke of Norfolk had ^70,000 in that bank, the partners 
of which were Roman Catholics, and his account was then 
transferred to Smith, Payne & Smiths. Another customer was 
Sir Richard Arkwright, who was considered the wealthiest 
man in England, his fortune being considered to be about 
^5,000,000. His dividends, which amounted to ;^200,ooo, 
were partly received by Smith, Payne & Smiths. 

The private bankers, including those who founded this 
banking house, will always be remembered as the pioneers of 
banking in this country. 

Thomas Smith had started his career five years before 
the Bank of England, so that the machinery of banking, viz., 
cheques, notes, and bills of exchange, were really brought 
into everyday use through the efforts of the private bankers. 

On the formation of joint stock banks it was found neces- 
sary in many cases to engage gentlemen who had received 
their banking education in the private banks, as the same 
methods were found advantageous to those institutions. We 

The History of a Banking House. 119 

might also describe them as the legislators for the banking 
community. It is only necessary to refer to the evidence 
given by such men as Lord Overstone, Samuel Gurney, Lord 
Avebury, Jervoise Smith, and others, before various Parlia- 
mentary Committees as an illustration of the keen interest 
which they had in all matters appertaining to their profession. 
They were animated with a desire to conduct business from a 
high standpoint which, possibly, is somewhat the cause why 
England occupies such a high position in the financial world. 

There is, however, a feeling of regret when old firms, who 
have had such an honourable career, are merged into other 
institutions ; but there must always remain a feeling of regard 
with respect to this banking house which has maintained a 
high reputation, and possibly this fact will never be forgotten. 

The universal marks of approbation in the Press at the 
time of the amalgamation with the Union Bank of London 
must be a source of gratification to the members of the firm 
who have upheld the dignity and honour of the banking 

In conclusion, I cannot give a better account of this 
banking house than by quoting the following extract from 
Bailey's "Annals of Nottinghamshire," written many years 
ago : " A country banking firm which has been enabled, 
through all the monetary panics, shocks, and vicissitudes of 
so many years, not only to maintain its credit unimpaired, but 
generation after generation to go on extending the sphere of 
its operations, without weakening the original source of its 

1 20 The History of a Banking House. 

power and influence by any act of really dangerous over- 
exertion, is an instance of long-continued successful industry, 
under the guidance of sound discretion and well-directed 
enterprise, which entitles all persons engaged in the manage- 
ment of its vast concerns, from its first foundation even up to 
the present time, to the highest commendation from others, 
as it must ever have been, and still continue to be a source of 
honest gratification and honourable pride to themselves." 

I SMITH, Nottingham. 
yt 1593. Vied 1642. 


B. 1699. Married (first) M 

urence Collin, whose sons were a; 

,1 and Banker in London, from whom are 
bd the Sniith-Dorrien family. 
' D. 1751- 

Int in London, from whom are descended 
lotes, of Preston Court, Gloucester. 
, B. 17 16. 


;, and Blendon Hall. 
M.P. for Bucks, 1833-4. 
D. 1842. 

lORGE Robert, of Selsdon, 
I", for High Wycombe, 1838. 
B. 1793. i^- 1869. 

Oswald, of Blendonj 
B. 1794. D. l8( 

r Abel, 
D. 1890. 

Ernald Mosley. 
B. 1839. D. 1872. 

B. 1826 

Basil Guy Oswald. 
B. 1 861. 

Martin Tucker, of Shirley. 

M.P. for Aylesbury. 

B. 1808. D. 1S80. 

^L\RTIN Ridley. 
B. 1S33. 

Gerard, M.P. for 

Wycombe, 1883. 

Governor of West 


B. 1839. 

Nigel Martin. 
B. 1866. 

Gerard Hamilton. 
B. 1876. 

JOHN SMITH, Koi-viNi;iw 
Bern 1593. Ditd 1641. 

THOMAS SMITH, of Nottingham, and Gaddesby, co. Leicester. 

P'ouiidcr uf the Noiiiiigham Bank. />'. 1631. D. 1699. Married (first) Marv, daughter of — Hooper; 

(second) Fortune, daughter of Laurence Collin, 

Married (first) Marv, daughter of - 
whose sons were as follows : 

Thomas, ur Nollinclisni, unil Gad[li:»by, c< 


, and Eiui Siokc. 

Cr oiled a Uarnncl, 
unicil ihc name of Dromlcy.) 
D. tj69. 

John. Mvixhuii in London, ftom whom arc tlesccnilcU 

tht Paunccrotcs, of Preslon Cuurl, GloucctU-i. 

B. i;i6. 

AnBL. of NciUiogtuni. EtlaMishcil the Lonilon Bnnlc 

of Smith & Payne, ilw ihc Mult and Lincoln Uontu. 

M.l'. ftom 1774 to 1785, 

Jf. 1717. D. 17S8. 

ItODRRF. M.r. 

cAlcd Lord Cittinyion 17' 

/I. 175a. D. t»j8. 

.. of Wooilhull Park, Ilcils. 
M.P. for St. Gcriiinin, 178^. M.V. for Lcicalcf. 
ft. I7S4- O- 1834- 

GEOKCE, of ScUdon, Surrey. 

M.P. for Midhum. M.P. fot Wendo>cc, 1806-30. 

S. 1768. Z). 1836. 

RoiiURT loilM, 
Second Lord Corringlun. 
[Awunii'd Ihc name of 

Coilinpon 1K39.) 
B- 1796- 

/I. 1788. D. 1859, 

Samubl George, of 

Uoldings, llctis. 
?. 1789. A 1863. 

<v, ut Wilfor.! Hou 

liEORiie KoiiKKT, of Sclalon, 

>[.!■. fur fUgh Wycombe, 1838. 

ff. 1793. />. 1S69. 

OiWAi.D, of Ulendon Hull. John IIenk 

Kent. />. 1795. D. 

B. 1794. D. 1S63. 

Joriv AuKl. of Dale I'ntk, S 

.M.P. foi Midhum, Chicha 

1/. iSoi. D. 1871. 

AHiiN Ti'iK»,orShiiky. 
^i.l■. for Aylc»liury. 
ff. iSoS. A tm. 


Wv.sN Carrinoio.n, 

ihiid I.ord CnirinBloi' 

Crcalctl BmI Cnrrini'loci, 

P.C, G,C.M.(i., 

16 Jul/, 1895. 

Governor of New South 

Walc«, 1885-90. 

B. 1843. 

ALniHT EnvvAHu 


VUcount Wcndover. 

B. I89S- 

RofiKKT, of Goldingt. 

//. 1833. D. 1894. 

SamUBL GKfJIir.K, 
M.P. for AyltslKiiy. 

B. 1S22. P. 1900. 

M.P. fur Nonh Noi 
B. 1813. 

H. 1S24. D. 1901. 

llnitAiR Jame.'. 

B. 1S36, 

(tVuumed ihi; name 


Hugh Coi.ix, Martin Rtnn 

Govemor of Ihc Dank B. 183J- 

orEnclMid, 1897-8. 
B. 1836. 

Governor of Wmi 
II. 1839. 



Arkwright, Richard, 38. 
Ashby Folville, Leicester- 
shire, 18. 
Avebury, Lord, 119. 

Bagchot, Walter, 15. 

Bailey's "Annals of Notting- 
ham," iig. 

Bank Notes — 
Hull, 105. 
Lincoln, 106. 
Nottingham, 102. 

Baring, Messrs., 92. 

Bearbinder Lane, 88. 

Beaconsfield, Lord, 19. 

Bill of Exchange, 62. 

Blue Parlour Club, 69. 

Boroughs, I'ocket, 18. 

Branch Banks, 116. 

Bromley, Sir George, 12. 

Brown, John, 51. 

Brymore, Somersetshire, 

Burdett, Sir Francis, 18. 

Burrows, Robert, 5. 

Carrington, Lord, 16, 73. 

Earl, 22. 

Carynton, Sir Michael de. 8. 
Civil War, 36. 

Clearing House, 74, log. 
Collin, Abel, 39. 

Fortune, 7, 39. 

Laurence, 4. 

Collin's Hospital, 9, 39. 
Commission of Inquirj', 1711. 


Corporation of London, 80. 

Country Banks' Note Circu- 
lation, io6. 

Cropwell Butler, Parish of, 

Cromwell, Oliver, 6. 

Custom House, Hull, 60. 

Denison, Hey ward & Ken- 

nard, 88. 
Derby Bank, 60. 
Dickens, Charles, 117. 
Dove Court, 85. 
D'Orsay, Count, 19. 

East Grinstead, 32. 
East Stoke, Nottingham- 
shire, 12. 
Ellison, Henry, 51. 

Richard, 51. 

Forester, Lord, 21. 
Fowler, William, 31. 

Gaddesby, Nottinghamshire, 

S, 39- 
Gardner, Lord, 21, 
Genealogical Tree, I2i. 
Gladstone, W. E., 26. 
Goldsmiths of London, 38. 
Government Debt, 96, 98. 
Government Loans, gi. 
Gurney, Samuel, 119. 

Hales, Sir Philip, 10. 
Howe, Major William, 12. 

• Viscount, 12. 

Hull Bank, 55. 
Hutchinson, Col. John, 6. 
Sir Thomas, 3. 

Leicester, Town of, 38. 
Lincoln Bank, 51. 
Lister, Sir John, 59. 
Littlefear, William, 35. 
Little Lombard Street, 86. 
Lombard Street, 1751, 79. 
Longmans, Green & Co., 76. 
Loiiginaiis Magazine, 62. 

Mansfield Bank, 49. 
Mansion House, 80. 
Medow, Hon. Charles, 15. 
Melville, A. H. Leslie, 53. 



Melville, A. Leslie, 52. 

A. S. Leslie, 54. 

Midhurst, Borough of, 26. 

Note Issues, loi. 
Nottingham Bank, 35. 

St. Mary's, S. 

Daily Guardian. 49. 

Overstone, Lord, 119. 

Paget, M. J., 54. 
Palmerston, Lord, 29. 
Pauncefote, Lord, 2, 13. 
Payne, Edward, 67. 

John, 62. 

■ Rene, 67. 

Peck Lane, Nottingham, 35. 
Penn, William, 59. 
Phillips, Maberly, 47. 
Pitt, William, 97. 
Plague, the Great, 8S. 
Pole, Sir Peter, & Co., 47. 
Price, Hilton, 82. 
Pym, C. J. M., 54. 

Raymond, Sir Charles, 83. 
Reform Act of 1832, 26. 
Robarts, Lubbock .& Co., 83. 

Rosebery, Lord, 23. 
Rothschild, Baron Lionel de, 

Messrs., & Son, 76. 

St. Christopher le Stock, 79. 
St. Mary Woolnoth, 88. 

• Woolchurch, 88. 

St. Stephen's, Walbrook, 79. 
Salomons, Alderman, 27. 
Shipley, G. IL, 54. 
Smith, Abel, II, 24, 46, 50. 

Abel, jun., 15. 

Dudley Robert, 33. 

Eric Carrington, 32. 

Eustace Abel, 54. 

Frederic Chatfield, 


George, 12, 23, 75. 

• George Robert, 25. 

Gerald Dudley, 26. 

Herbert Francis, 49. 

Henry Abel, 53. 

Hugh Colin, 34. 

Jervoise, 33. 

John, 2, 3, 4. 24. 

John Abel, 26. 

John Henry, 59. 

Martin Ridley, 34. 

Smith, Martin Tucker, 30. 

Oswald Augustus, 31, 


Reginald Abel, 32, 99. 

Robert, 31, 53. 

■ Samuel, 11, 23. 

Samuel George, 31. 

Thomas, 8, 36, 118. 

Smith-Dorrien family, 11. 
•Smith, Marten & Co., 32. 
Smith, Payne & Smiths, 61. 

Balance Sheet, 116. 

Stanley, Sir H. M., 76. 
Stocks Market, 79. 
Surtees, Burdon & Co., 77- 
Sydney, City of, 22. 

Thompson, Thomas, 58. 
Thornton, H. E., 49. 
Times, Extracts from The, 

27, 80, 92. 
Tilheby, Parish of, 3. 

West, Sir Algernon, t,^. 
Wilberforce House, 59. 

William, 17, 56. 

Wilcocke, William, 5 
Wycombe, High, 18. 
Wright & Co., 118. 


Agar, \V. Talbot, St. Mary's Lodge, 

Balme,Chas.,&Co.,6i, Basinghall Street, 

Bennett, V. M., 25, Lonsdale Road, 

Blades, Alfred F., Rookfields, Reigate. 

Blades, G. Rowland, The Firs, Sutton, 

Bosanquet, Horace Smith, Broxbourne- 
bury, Broxbourne. 

Bradford District Bank, Ltd., Brad- 

Garrington, Rt. Hon. Earl, Daws Hill, 
High Wycombe. 

Gave, Gharles H., Rodway Hill House, 
Mangotsfield, near Bristol. 

Ghettle, S. R., Bradford District Bank, 

Gourthope, H. F., 20, Birchin Lane, E.G. 

Daniei.l, Henry A., 4, Lombard Street, 

Dick, G. J. A., c,o H. T. Easton, i, 
Lombard Street, E.G. 

Dickinson, Reginald, 121, St. George's 
Square, S.W. 

Di;ch6, E., Monument Square, E.G. 

Dun, John, Walsingham, Ghislehurst. 

Falkingbridge, William, i, Lombard 
Street, E.G. 

Gardner, F. Williams, 15, St. Swithin's 
Lane, London, E.G. 

Gili,ett, W. H., 33, Jackson's Lane, 
Highgate, N. 

Harvey, G. A., Shirley Hyrst, Weybridge. 

Henderson, R. G., Nithsdale, Sutton. 

Henningham & Hollis, 4, Mount 
Street, W. 

Hill, G. F., c'o Osborne O'Donnell & 
Go., 62/63, Mark Lane, E.G. 

Hill, Herbert, 66, West Smithfield. 

Hill, John, 66, West Smithfield. 

Hoare, H. R., 2, Princes Street, E.G. 


The History of a Banking House. 

London City & Midland Bank, Ltd., 
Threadneedle Street, E.G. 

London & Countv Bank, Ltd., 21, 
Lombard Street, E.G. 

Maitland, Goppell & Go., 24, Exchange 
Place, New York. 

Marshall, W. E., 4, Lombard Street, 

Master, John Henry, Petersham, Surrey. 

Master, R. E., Hillingdon Furze, Ux- 

Melville, A. B., Bank, Lincoln. 

Melville, A. H. Leslie, Bank, Lincoln. 

Melville, A. S. Leslie, Branston Hall, 

Merriman, Edward B., Durley House, 
Savernakc Forest, Marlborough. 

Mitchell, A. G., Highgrove, Tetbury, 

Mitchell, William R., Down Grange, 

Mullens, J. A., Junr., 4, Lombard 
Street, E.G. 

Murray, Samuel B., 5, Threadneedle 
Street, E.G. 

O'Neill, Miss H. G., 2, Gourtenay 
Terrace, Moreton Hampstead. 

Palgrave, R. H. Inglis, F.R.S., Belton, 
near Great Yarmouth. 

Parker, Geo., Union of London and 
Smiths Bank, Ltd., Grimsby. 

Pierce, William, c/o David Jones, 
Metropolitan Bank, Gonway. 

Price, F. G. Hilton, i. Fleet Street, 

Price, W., New Gourt, St. Swithin's 

Lane, E.G. 

Rose, F. W., Bush Hill Park, Enfield. 

Ruffles, Glifford H. i, Lombard 
Street, E.G. 

Schuster, Felix, 2, Princes Street, E.G. 

Serocold, Glaud Peahce, 10, Bucking- 
ham Palace Gardens, S.W. 

Sherris, John Foster, i, Lombard 
Street, E.G. 

Sibthorp, F. R. Waldo, Gol., Junior 
Carlton Club, Pall Mall, S.W. 

Simpson, Archibald F., Bonnymuir, 
Putney Heath, S.W. 

Smart, William, 10, Clement's Lane, 

Smith, Basil Guy Oswald, i, Lombard 
Street, E.G. 

Smith, Ben, 89, Lordship Road, Stoke 

S.MiTH, Bertram Abel, The Bank, Not- 

Smith, Eric Carrington, Stonewick, 
Warninglid, Haywards Heath. 

Smith, E. Kyrle, Clifton, Nottingham. 

Smith, Eustace Abel, Bank, Lincoln. 

Smith, F. A., Bank, Nottingham. 

The History of a Banking House. 


Smith, Frederick Chatfield, 33, Ches- 
ham Place, S.W. 

Smith, Gerald Dudley, i, Lombard 
Street, E.G. 

S^[lTH, Gerard H., Union of London and 
Smiths Bank, Ltd., Derby. 

Smith, Herbert Francis, i, Lombard 
Street, E.G. 

Smith, Hugh Golin, Bank of England, 

Smith, Hon. Mrs. Jervoise, Sandwell, 
Harberton, South Devon. 

Smith, Lind.say Eric, i, Lombard Street, 

Smith, Martin Ridley, i, Lombard 
Street, E.G. 

Stutchbury, G. F., Bank of England, 

Swiss Bankverein, 43, Lothbury, E.G. 

The Institute of Bankers. 

Thornton, Henry E., Bank, Notting- 

Trotter, John, 7, Great Winchester 
Street, E.G. 

Vaisey, E. D., Stratton Lodge, Upper 

Weymouth, John, Ash House, near 

Wood, H. R., i, Lombard Street, E.G. 
WooLLEV, Gharle.s, 35, Comhill, E.G.