Berwick, Lechmere & Company records

Scope and Content

Records of Berwick, Lechmere & Company relating to:

  • Establishment (1766-1954): articles of partnership and list of partnership deeds;
  • Operation (1811-1908): balance sheets, and general, private, deposit and discounted bills ledgers;
  • Amalgamation (1893): correspondence, financial statements, books recording Berwick, Lechmere & Co. accounts with Capital & Counties Bank;
  • General (1804-1951): records relating to properties other than bank premises, family and estate records.

Administrative / Biographical History

This private bank’s origins can be traced back to 1772, when Joseph Berwick, Receiver General of Taxes for Worcestershire, established Berwick & Co. It was also known as Worcester Old Bank. Much of his capital was derived from his collected taxes, which he was allowed to hold for six months before sending them to London.

In 1781 Samuel Wall, a Hereford haberdasher, and Elias Isaac, formerly a partner in the bankers Isaac Baldwin & Shapland (est. c.1785) of Marshfield were admitted as partners. By 1785 the firm's capital was £20,000, half of which Berwick contributed. From 1791 until his death in 1798, he also held a 20% interest in the City of London bankers Robarts, Curtis & Co. (est. 1791). For a while he also had an interest in Wakeman, Farley & Turner (est. c.1793) of Kidderminster.

In about 1800 (Sir) Anthony Lechmere married Joseph Berwick's daughter and became a partner. Because Lechmere was one of the partners in the Tewkesbury bank of Lechmere & Co. (est. 1792), this marriage facilitated the merger of the two banks in 1831, to form Berwick, Lechmere & Co. It was also known as Berwick, Lechmere & Isaac.

The bank, which had branches at Bromyard (1879), Malvern (1847), Malvern Link (1892), Tenbury Wells (1887), Upton upon Severn (1792) and West Malvern, was acquired by the Capital & Counties Bank (est. 1877) in 1906.

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Geographical Names