A Bank of 'Unquestionable Substance'



Today, Lloyds Bank has some 1300 branches across England and Wales.

For its first one hundred years, however, it operated from just a single office in Birmingham. 2015 marks the 250th anniversary of the bank’s formation; its early history throws light on commercial development in the West Midlands during the Industrial Revolution.

A man of unquestionable substance’ was how a business contemporary described Sampson Lloyd II, founder of Lloyds Bank. Taylors & Lloyds, as the firm was originally known, first opened for business 250 years ago on 3 June 1765, in Birmingham. Sampson and his three other partners each put in £2000 to set up the bank in Dale End.

Sampson’s background was unorthodox. His grandfather, Charles, had spent ten years in prison for his Quaker beliefs. His father, also called Sampson, had fled to Birmingham from Wales towards the end of the seventeenth century to escape religious persecution. Sampson senior chose to come to Birmingham because the Church of England’s control in the area was weak. Non-conformists such as Quakers, Unitarians and Baptists were less likely to be persecuted there, and were able to build communities and places of worship.

KEYWORDS: Banks, Banking, Birmingham, Lloyds, Canals, Oldbury

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