County of Gloucester Banking Company Records

Scope and Content

Records of County of Gloucester Banking Company relating to the establishment and operation of the business and its amalgamation with Lloyds, including:

  • Establishment (1836): deeds of settlement;
  • Operation (1836-1901): minute books, balance sheets, private ledgers;
  • Amalgamation (1894-1901): agreements, correspondence, statements of accounts.

Administrative / Biographical History


The County of Gloucester Banking Company was formed in 1836. It was the result of the merger of Gloucester County & City Bank (established in 1834) and the Cirencester-based bank Pitt, Croome, Bowley & Brown (established in 1790). The new business immediately went on to take over several other local private banks.


Operating in a predominantly rural area, the Bank’s customers were involved primarily in agriculture. The County of Gloucester became the biggest bank in the region in 1856, on taking over its main competitor, Cheltenham & Gloucestershire Bank. By this time it had also become the fourth largest note-issuing bank in England and Wales.

Its takeovers, however, were not always motivated by the desire to expand its branch network. In 1841, it acquired the private bank, Strange & Co., purely to secure the services of its managers in Swindon and Highworth.A prominent figure on the Bank's board of directors in the 1890s was the Earl of St Aldwyn. He later resigned his seat to become Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Marquis of Salisbury’s government.


The economic downturn of the 1890s hit the Bank hard. A series of bad debts, and the increasing volatility of regional banks, forced the board to accept that the Bank could no longer survive on its own. The banking sector was witnessing an ever-increasing number of amalgamations, which resulted in bigger and bigger banks. Lloyds saw the County of Gloucester Bank as an ideal purchase: it would significantly increase their representation in the south-west. County of Gloucester was bought by Lloyds Bank in 1897.

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Geographical Names