Group Archives

Group Archives

search

This ancient City partnership can be traced back, through antecedents, to 1563 when Sir Thomas Gresham founded a goldsmith business on the site occupied later by Martins Bank at 68 Lombard Street, London. It can therefore, by tradition, claim to be the oldest of the constituent banks in the Barclays Group. Gresham used the golden grasshopper as his crest, and this sign became associated with the house in Lombard Street and subsequently, the banking business that developed there. The Martin name dates from 1703 when Thomas Martin became a partner in the business. Other names in the bank included Stone, Blackwell and Foote. Following the Baring crisis of 1890, the partners decided to incorporate the business as a limited joint stock company in 1891, adopting the name Martin's Bank Ltd. Martin's was committed to a policy of expansion, and in 1918 merged with the Bank of Liverpool to become the Bank of Liverpool and Martins Ltd.

Material available at Group Archives:

  • deeds and papers regarding Lombard Street site 1700 onwards
  • partnership agreements 1712 onwards
  • balance books 1731-1842
  • partners' letter books 1714 onwards (with some gaps)
  • Martin family papers
  • clerks' bonds 1777 onwards
  • examples of passbooks
  • customer account ledgers 1770s onwards (with some gaps)
  • staff registers 1882-1925
  • cheques
  • records of the limited company from 1891
  • memorandum and articles
  • board minutes
  • shareholders' minutes
  • securities ledger 1896-1905
  • foreign exchange ledger 1911-17
  • history papers of J B Martin
  • amalgamation papers