Collection consists of four bundles of documents relating to sequestration of the Merchant Banking Company of Stirling and claims on the sequestrated estate.
Merchant Banking Company of Stirling
Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
The Merchant Banking Company of Stirling, also known as Belch and Company, was founded by a group of six partners in 1784. It remained a small operation throughout its existence and ultimately failed in 1804-05.
While the Bank's numerous speculative investments in agriculture during a period of depressed agricultural prices were undoubtedly responsible for much of its difficulties, there was also an element of criminality in its final collapse. According to S.G. Checkland, the Bank 'acquired quite early an unsatisfactory reputation'. Before its failure, Andrew and John Belch, the only remaining partners, were contemplating a ficticious bankruptcy and to this end almost all of the floating capital was put under Andrew Belch's control with the evident intention of individual appropriation. Andrew Belch absconded to London with £13,957 in notes and bills but was soon apprehended.
He appeared before Edinburgh Sheriff Court on 27 September, 1805. The brothers had also planned to distribute £5,000 worth of notes to their friends for claims against the Bank. The failure of the Merchant Banking Company of Stirling was the first failure of a Scottish bank in which the public lost money. At the time of its failure it had liabilities of £50,140. Of this, £34,500 were liquidated, leaving a shortfall of £15,640.
The collection is arranged into the following :
- GB1830 MBS/1 Papers re sequestration.
- GB1830 MBS/2 List of unclaimed dividends due from the sequestrated estate, consigned in the Bank of Scotland by James Dundas, Trustee of said estate.
- GB1830 MBS/3 Bundle of receipts for banknotes of the Merchant Banking Company of Stirling
- GB1830 MBS/4 List of unclaimed dividends due.
Conditions Governing Access
Access is by appointment only, and at the discretion of the Archivist. Closure periods apply to some records less than 100 years old. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Conditions Governing Use
Copying of material is permitted at the discretion of Lloyds Banking Group Archives.
No further accruals expected.
George Joseph Bell, Commentaries on the Laws of Scotland and on the Principles of Mercantile Jurisprudence Vol. 2 (London 1826)
John Burnett, A Treatise on Various Branches of the Criminal Law of Scotland (1811)
S. G. Checkland, Scottish Banking A History 1695-1973 (1975)
Andrew William Kerr, History of Banking in Scotland (London, 1926)
Charles A. Munn, The Scottish Provincial Banking Companies 1747-1864 (Edinburgh, 1981)
Richard Saville, Bank of Scotland, A History, 1695-1995 (Edinburgh, 1996)
The Scots Magazine, Volume 68, 1806 contains brief report on Andrew Belch case before the Court of Justiciary.