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The history of this firm originates from two banks. The Braintree Bank was established in 1803 with Crowe, Sparrow and Brown as partners, and the Essex Bank began to trade at Chelmsford in 1805. The financial crisis of 1825 is believed to have influenced the decision to amalgamate, although the management of the two banks remained separate. In 1826, the bank was forced to suspend payment, though by 1830 business appears to have been back on an even keel. The title Sparrow, Tufnell and Co appeared 14 years later when William Michael Tufnell joined the partnership. This was one of the twenty banks that amalgamated in 1896 to form Barclay and Co Ltd.

Material available at Group Archives:

  • Essex Bank partnership documents including agreements 1817 onwards
  • ledgers 1827-66
  • minutes 1874-96
  • balance sheet 1891
  • customer ledgers 1807-29
  • examples of cheques and bank notes
  • amalgamation papers