On 16 April 1851, a few days before the opening of the Great Exhibition, Sir George Gilbert Scott was in Herefordshire. When the Scotts moved into 20 Spring Gardens, at the end of 1838, they found themselves close neighbours of the private bank of Cocks Biddulph and Company. The bank occupied the house next door to them with it main office in Charing Cross, immediately behind. Records show that by September 1840, Scott was a customer and continued to bank there for the rest of his life. During this time the bank acquired considerable status as the bankers for the Prince of Wales, and later when he became King Edward VII. John Oldrid Scott and Dukinfield were also customers.
The bank was formed in the late eighteenth century in London by a partnership between the Cocks family of Eastnor Castle and their neighbours, the Biddulphs of Ledbury Park. The Cocks’s had huge estates in Herefordshire and Worcestershire. In 1848 Scott surveyed the church at Eastnor, which contains the tombs of Lord Somers’ ancestors and made preparations to build a new rectory. This was carried out between 1849 and 1850 and is a large and asymmetrical house.
Letter from Barclays Archive, 21 June 2005, 8 July 2005.
Chandler, G., Four Centuries of Banking, as illustrated by the Bankers, Customers and Staff associated with the constituent bank of Martins Bank Ltd (B. T. Batsford, London, 1964).
Hervey-Bathurst, J and S., Eastnor Castle, Ledbury, Herefordshire (Dirly, Heritage House Group, guide book, 2001), p. 48.
C[okayne], G. E., revised by the Hon. Vicary Gibbs and H. A. Doubleday (eds), The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland , Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant or Dormant (The St. Catherine Press, London, 1926), vol. XII, Part 1, p. 36.
Fisher, G., Stamp, G. and Heseltine, J., (eds), The Scott Family, Catalogue of the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects (Avebury Publishing, Amersham, 1981), 84 [c].
Pevsner, N., Herefordshire, Buildings of England (Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1973), p. 123.