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Arthur Heywood, Sons and Co was founded at Liverpool in 1773 by Arthur, son of Benjamin Heywood of Drogheda, who died in 1725. Arthur Heywood I came to Liverpool from Ireland in 1731 at the age of 14 to serve as an apprentice 'in the counting house' of John Hardman of Allerton, MP for Liverpool. He became a burgess of Liverpool in 1736 and in 1739, married Elizabeth, daughter of Samuel Ogden of Mossley Hill, thereby acquiring a share of the large fortune left by her grandfather John Pemberton. Arthur's brother Benjamin came to Liverpool in 1741 and began his apprenticeship to James Crosby of Liverpool. The Heywood brothers became merchants, and during the French wars determined to extend their trade into the Baltic and the Mediterranean, and from there to the rest of the world.

Arthur Heywood began his trading career in Hanover Street and moved to Castle Street in 1775. By 1800, the business was in Brunswick Street. In 1776, Arthur and his son Richard entered into a banking partnership with Joseph Dennison, the Heywoods' London agent. In 1784, Arthur opened an office at Manchester, in response to requests from his Manchester customers, but this closed in 1786. Two years later Benjamin established a separate partnership in Manchester which was acquired by the Manchester and Salford bank in 1874. Arthur Heywood I relinquished interest in the Bank to his son Richard after the latter's marriage to Mary Earle in 1784, and died in 1795 ('one of the oldest and most respectable merchants in Liverpool'), by which time Arthur Heywood II had joined his brother Richard as a partner in the bank.

In 1882, Arthur Heywood III became sole proprietor of Heywoods Bank. Although not a direct descendent of Arthur Heywood I, he had gained experience in the Bedford branch of the London and County Bank. Rather than take on new partners, Arthur Heywood III decided to amalgamate with the Bank of Liverpool, and upon amalgamation in 1883, he became a director of that company.

Material available at Group Archives:

  • early partners' records 1788 onwards including drafts and acceptances to 1790
  • customer accounts to 1800
  • commission and interest to 1840
  • bad debts to 1846
  • partnership agreements
  • summary balances, profit and loss and general ledgers mid-1800s
  • customer signature books and register 1834-62
  • authority books mid-1800s
  • photographs of partners
  • amalgamation papers