On 3rd June 1765, a local bank was formed that 250 years later would become one of Britain’s biggest high street banks – Lloyds Bank. In celebration of this remarkable milestone, Lloyds has published a fascinating history not only of the bank, but of the context in which the bank thrived.
The firm originally started life in 1765 as Taylors & Lloyds, opening for business in Dale End. The founders, Sampson Lloyd II, Sampson Lloyd III, John Taylor and John Taylor Jnr all had backgrounds in manufacturing and had shown skill at producing their wares efficiently. As the industrial revolution was changing the landscape of Britain, new ways of managing financial transactions was needed, and a new style of banking offered by Taylors & Lloyds was to pave the way.As prominent Quaker families, they gained a reputation of being trustworthy to do business with, and within 10 years had 277 customers banking with them. At that time, private banks issued their own bank notes, and it was a testament to the integrity of the company that their notes were accepted throughout Birmingham and remained in circulation for 100 years, despite still being handwritten. In 1822, a packet of bank notes was stolen from the London Branch of Hanbury, Taylor, Lloyd & Bowman (a company founded jointly by the two sons and two associates) containing the sum of £4002. As the notes were indistinguishable from many others, they had difficulty recovering them, leading to the addition of a beehive emblem which became the first company logo. Following the death of the last remaining member of the Taylor family, James Lloyd, in 1853, the future of the bank needed to be decided and the Lloyd family chose to continue alone. It was now Lloyds & Company.
100 years after the company was established, rumours spread that they were in financial difficulties, prompting Lloyds & Company to take action before all their customers withdrew their money. Their first move was to publish their accounts in the local papers for all to see. Following this, they took the decision to become a joint-stock limited liability company, which was seen as a more ‘robust’ venture and preferable to private, family run firms in the emerging industrial era. The only other privately owned company, J L Moilliet & Sons, merged with Lloyds and the Lloyds Banking Company was born.
Although Archives, Heritage and Photography do not have records of the bank, a look through our catalogue gives a glimpse into the local companies and organisations that used their services. The records of the General Hospital include a receipt from Lloyds Bank for securities lodged with them. The Queen’s Hospital lodged their deeds with the bank. Across our solicitor’s collections we find mortgages and leases from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, naming Lloyds Bank. Middlemore Homes and local churches dealt with them, both Anglican and non-conformist. As did members of the Norton Family and the Calthorpe Estate, not least of all Boulton and Watt.Whatever your view of banks in the current age, to know that a company founded in Birmingham went on to be so influential, not only locally but nationally, is something all Brummies should be proud of.
To learn more, we would recommend HELPING BRITAIN PROSPER, 1765 – 2015: From industrial revolution to digital revolution, a social history of Britain and Lloyds Bank. Available to download online.