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The origins of this bank lie with Leighton Buzzard Bank (Bassett and Co) whose partners opened a bank in Hitchin in 1820 under the name Sharples, Bassett and Co, Hertfordshire Hitchin Bank. In 1827 John Sharples and William Exton retired from the Leighton Buzzard Bank partnership to take over the Hertfordshire Hitchin Bank (in Ampthill, Luton and Hitchin) as a separate entity. In the early days, the bank benefitted largely from its agricultural and county connections but later profited from industrial development. The title of the firm changed with new partnerships and included Sharples, Exton and Lucas (1836), Sharples, Tuke, Lucas and Lucas (1855) and finally Sharples, Tuke, Lucas and Seebohm (1859). The partnership was one of the founding banks of Barclay and Co Ltd in 1896, and another with early Quaker connections through the Lucas and Tuke partners.

Material available at Group Archives:

  • partners' ledgers 1852 onwards
  • profit and loss book 1824-49
  • securities registers 1853-84
  • monthly statistics 1858-94
  • declaration of confidence in the bank 1825
  • bank note registers 1882 onwards
  • amalgamation papers