Friday, 23 October 2009

Scottish Banking(part 5)

This was  the plan the Edinburgh banks had adopted
 during their own feud against each other; and now
as friends they resolved to try it on the two young
Glasgow banks. Trotter accordingly came west on
his despicable mission, and took up his abode in
Glasgow. But he completely failed in his object.
The Glasgow banks stood their ground manfully,
 backed by the voice of public opinion, against the
 tyranny attempted towards them,and met all
As a specimen of Trotter’s tactics,he insisted that
the Ship and Arms banks had no right to fix their
 hours of doing business, but were bound to pay
 their notes at any time these were presented—from
seven o’clock in the morning till ten o’clock at night;
and he therefore made his demands often at the most
untimeous hours. In order,however, to punish Trotter,
some of the payments were made to him in sixpences,
to his no small vexation, from the time it took to count.
But this was just what the Edinburgh banks had done
 themselves during their feud with each other; and,
moreover, silver was then a legal tender.
 This opposition lasted some years, and ended
in a lawsuit before the Court of Session, at Trotter’s
instance against Cochrane, Murdoch, and Co., the plead-
ings in which revealed the whole conspiracy.
 Latterly,Trotter was glad to compromise the case,
after having spent about £600 in law expenses.
 The Glasgow banks continued to prosper, and none
 of the Edinburgh banks ventured to place a branch
 here for upwards of twenty years after their repulse.

The Royal was the first stranger bank which seated
itself in Glasgow. This was in 1783. It did so in a
very humble manner. Its first office was on the one
side of a small shop in " Hopkirk’s Land," east side
of High Street,five doors north from the corner at

Glasgow High street images

the Cross. The agent carried on his ordinary busi-
ness of a linen-draper on the other side of the shop.
The rent paid by the bank was £2,10s. annually. The
agent had been originally a herdboy, afterwards a
 weaver in Paisley,Hamilton, and Cambuslang;
thereafter a clerk to a silk-mercer in Glasgow;
and at the time the bank employed him he was,
as already said,a  linen-draper on his own account.

 The Bank of Scotland did not repeat their
experiment of a branch  here for many years after
 the Royal. They had only  a bill-collector,Mr.
Herbert Hamilton, agent for the Carron Company,
west side of Queen Street, and  had a room in
 his place of business. Their first  regular office
 was in Miller Street, the agent being  Mr.
Archibald Hamilton, jun. Afterwards they
bought the old Star Inn, Ingram Street, and
built their office on the site in 1826.

more to follow........

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