Samuel Smith & Co (Derby)

Samuel Smith & Co (1806-1902), established in Derby, was a past constituent of NatWest.

Brief history

This private bank was established in 1806 as Samuel Smith & Co by Samuel Smith III and his brothers, George and John Smith, partners in other Smith family banks. Indeed this was their fifth bank following the formation of Samuel Smith & Co of Nottingham; Smith, Payne & Smiths of London; Smith, Ellison & Co of Lincoln; and Samuel Smith, Bros & Co of Hull.

The Derby business was based on the acquisition of the business of Richardson & Co (est. c.1778), bankers of Derby, owned by local merchants Samuel and Henry Richardson. The firm traded from Tenant Street and issued it own notes. It was also known as Derby Bank.

In 1814 John Henry Smith, son of George Smith, became resident partner until moving to the Hull bank in 1828. In 1824 the bank house moved to Rotten Row, premises which were enlarged and rebuilt in the late 1870s. In 1809 the balance sheet totalled £102,000 and grew to £265,000 by 1825. Customers included W, G & J Strutt, cotton spinners.

The firm was styled Samuel Smith, George Smith, John Smith, Abel Smith & Samuel George Smith by 1812; Samuel, George, John, Abel, John Henry & Henry Smith by 1829; Abel, M T, George R & Alfred Smith by 1846; Rowland, Robert, Francis Nicholas & Eric Carrington Smith by 1887 and Samuel Smith & Co by 1902.

During the nineteenth century the connections between the Smith family partners loosened and each bank became more autonomous of the London business. In 1902 the bank joined the other Smith family banks in merging with Union Bank of London Ltd of London, to form Union of London & Smiths Bank Ltd.

Branches: In 1902 one branch was operating.

Published histories

  • J A S L Leighton-Boyce, Smiths the bankers 1658-1958 (London: privately published by National Provincial Bank, 1958)

Summary of our archive holdings

Our archival records of Samuel Smith & Co, Derby, have the reference code SSD.

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

Partnership records

  • correspondence with Smith, Payne & Smiths 1806-9, 1826, 1885-6
  • partners’ correspondence 1834, 1841, 1885-1902
  • partners’ office diaries 1840-58, 1876-1902
  • manager’s letterbooks 1842-62
  • partners’ private papers 1843, 1880-1902
  • partnership agreements 1843-5
  • amalgamation: papers 1891-1902, ledger 1902-3

Financial records

  • private ledgers 1816-1902
  • petty expenditure book 1817-82
  • balance sheets 1845-54
  • general balances book 1888-1902

Customer records

  • customer annual balances lists 1806-32
  • customer list 1816
  • customer correspondence 1845
  • indemnities re lost drafts and deposit receipts 1857-91
  • customer information books 1864-72, 1889-1901
  • memorandum book, loans to Smith, Payne & Smiths 1876-9
  • opinion book 1878-84
  • cheques 1879
  • deposit receipt 1879, 1883
  • papers re opening hours 1880
  • promissory note 1883
  • bad debts book 1888-1902

Property records

  • builders’, architect’s and solicitors’ bills re property 1870-88
  • architectural drawings and photographs, Derby premises 1876-1914
  • papers re purchase of property in Ripley 1877, 1897

Note issue records

  • banknotes: 1809-1901, mutilated 1856-83
  • bills and notes issued register 1814-43
  • note circulation weekly returns book 1833-49
  • banker’s licences 1878-97
  • banknote pull 19th cent