Parr's Bank Ltd

Parr's Bank Ltd (1788-1918), established in Warrington, was a past constituent of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

Brief history

This private bank was established in Winwick Street, Warrington, in 1788 as Parr & Co by Joseph Parr, sugar refiner, Thomas Lyon, brewer and sugar refiner, and Walter Kerfoot, attorney; it was also known as Warrington Bank. The bank was styled Parr, Lyon & Greenall from 1825 to 1851 and Parr, Lyon & Co from 1855 to 1865. Branches were opened in St Helens (1839) and Runcorn (1853). In 1865 the bank was reconstructed as a joint stock bank with limited liability, Parr’s Banking Co Ltd. The partners in the old business were paid £100,000 and the paid-up capital of the new bank was £100,000. Joseph Parr's son Thomas Parr was appointed chairman and the bank recruited John Dun, from Bank of Scotland, as its first general manager.

In 1877 a purpose-built banking house was opened in Winwick Street. The bank expanded by acquisition of Thomas Firth & Sons, bankers of Northwich, in 1865; Thomas Woodcock, Sons & Eckersley, bankers of Wigan, in 1874; Dixons & Co, bankers of Chester, in 1878; F W Jennings, bankers of Leek, in 1878; Shrubsole & Co, bankers of Kingston-upon-Thames, in 1894; National Bank of Liverpool Ltd, in 1883; Fuller, Banbury, Nix & Co, bankers of London, in 1891; Alliance Bank Ltd, bankers of Liverpool and London, in 1892; Croxon, Jones & Co (Old Bank) Ltd of Oswestry, in 1894; Sir Samuel Scott Bart & Co, bankers of London, in 1894; Consolidated Bank Ltd, of Manchester and London, in 1896; Derby & Derbyshire Banking Co Ltd, of Derby, in 1898; Ashton, Stalybridge, Hyde & Glossop Bank Ltd, of Ashton-under-Lyne, in 1900; Dumbell’s Banking Co Ltd, bankers of Douglas, Isle of Man, in 1900; Pares’s Leicestershire Banking Co Ltd, of Leicester, in 1902; Whitehaven Joint Stock Banking Co Ltd, of Whitehaven, in 1908; Robin Brothers, bankers of Jersey, Channel Islands, in 1908; Stuckey’s Banking Co Ltd, of Taunton, in 1909; Crompton & Evans’ Union Bank Ltd, of Derby, in 1914; and Thomas Barnard & Co, bankers of Bedford, in 1915. In 1892 the bank became known as Parr’s Banking Co & Alliance Bank Ltd. By 1890 it had 43 branches and sub-branches, rising to 136 in 1900 and to 329 by 1918. In 1896 the company’s name was shortened to Parr’s Bank Ltd. In 1918 Parr’s Bank Ltd amalgamated with London County & Westminster Bank Ltd of London, to form London County Westminster & Parr’s Bank Ltd.

Branches: In 1918 235 branches and 94 sub-branches were operating.

Published histories

  • National Westminster Bank, 200 Years in Warrington 1788-1988 (London: privately published by National Westminster Bank, 1988)
  • T E Gregory, The Westminster Bank through a century (London: privately published by Westminster Bank, 1936)

Summary of our archive holdings

Our archival records of Parr’s Bank Ltd have the reference code PAB.

For help understanding words used here, check our glossary of banking record types (PDF 24KB).

Partnership records

  • Parr family papers 18th-19th cent.
  • partnership agreements 1804-57
  • deed of mutual release and guarantee 1867

Corporate records

  • prospectus 1865
  • circular re formation 1865
  • select committee meeting minute book 1865-6
  • share ledger 1865-90
  • certificates of incorporation and change of name 1865-96
  • directors’ meeting minute books 1865-1918
  • annual reports 1866-1918
  • annual general meeting minute book 1866-1918
  • memoranda and articles of association 1873-1918
  • dividend register 1885-89
  • memorandum book of John Rae 1890-1927
  • board committee meeting minute books: weekly 1892-5, daily 1907-18
  • record of dividends 1892-1918
  • acquisition papers: agreements booklet 1892, memorandum book c.1912-8, Thomas Firth & Sons 1865-6, Metropolitan Bank 1867, Thomas Woodcock, Sons & Eckersley 1874, Dixons & Co 1878, Union Bank of Manchester 1881-1901, National Bank of Liverpool 1883, Fuller, Banbury, Nix & Co 1891-2, Croxon Jones & Co 1894, Sir Samuel Scott Bart & Co 1894, Alliance Bank 1896, Consolidated Bank 1894-6; Dumbell’s Banking Co 1900-18, Stuckey’s Banking Co 1909-10, Crompton & Evans’ Union Bank 1914, Thomas Barnard & Co 1915, London County & Westminster Bank 1918
  • seal registers 1895-1916
  • shareholder correspondence 1896-1903
  • list of shareholders 1897
  • general manager's reports 1897-1901
  • registers of directors 1901-16
  • general purposes committee minutes 1908-13

Financial records

  • balance sheets: 1865-1918, weekly 1865
  • auditors’ reports 1867-9

Legal records

  • counsel’s opinions: customer bankruptcy 1846, partnership 1860, share deposits 1865, 1883
  • orders re appointment of liquidators to acquired banks 1916-30

Customer records

  • customer account ledger 1788-95
  • drafts 1788, 1830s
  • album of customer cheques and letters 1788-1910
  • cheques and cheque forms 1800-1918
  • customer correspondence 1810-39
  • bill of exchange 1831
  • loan papers: Serbian government 1897, Japanese government 1902-10, South Manchurian railway 1907-11, Yokohama city 1909, Osaka city 1909, Tokyo city 1912, Chinese government 1913
  • specimen cheques c.1900
  • papers re local authority loans 1910-12
  • scheme of charges book 1912
  • telegraphic codes book n.d.

Head office branch records

  • authorised signatories 1912
  • branch circulars 1915-6

Staff records

  • salary books 1856-63
  • register of staff life assurance policies c.1880-(1915)
  • list of staff, Manchester 1896-1902
  • appointment letters 1896-(1915)
  • staff registers 1897-(1915)
  • declarations of secrecy, directors 19th cent.
  • inspector’s notebook c.1900
  • staff instruction books 1903-19
  • authorised signatures book 1909
  • staff photograph 1909
  • Widows & Orphans Fund annuity payments ledger 1912-(1915)
  • staff sports club papers 1914-(1915)
  • roll of honour 1919

Property records

  • premises registers 1892-1918
  • branch architectural drawings 1892-1921
  • branch and premises committee minute books 1898-1918
  • premises account book 1909-18
  • photograph of Highbridge branch 1909-18

Note issue records

  • banknote, Isle of Man c.1900s
  • guardbooks of forged treasury notes 1914-7

Marketing records

  • presscuttings book 1901-12

Branch records

  • selected records

Summary of archive holdings elsewhere

  • Warrington Library: Papers, deeds and accounts: Lyon family estates 1566-1860, Parr family estates 1600-1900; memorandum and articles of association 1865