Clement-Jones family v2/21 - Person Sheet
Clement-Jones family v2/21 - Person Sheet
NameJohn WAKEFIELD, 820
Birth1738
Death1811
FatherRoger WAKEFIELD , 822 (1706-1756)
MotherMary WILSON , 6201 (1718-1787)
Spouses
Birth1731
Death1812
Marriage1760
ChildrenJohn , 815 (1761-1829)
Notes for John WAKEFIELD
Of Stricklandgate. Owner of Woollen and cotton mills in Burneside, merchant shipowner and banker. Owner of gunpowder mills-see entry under his son John.

Wakefield's Bank, founded by John Wakefield in Stricklandgate next door to Stricklandgate House, enjoyed from the first a very good reputation. Both Kendal banks were immune from the periodic crises of the time but the farmers particularly favoured Wakefields and a "Jacky Wakefield" bank note was reckoned the equal of a gold sovereign. John Wakefield II moved the bank to better premises in the same street. This is the only recorded happening in the history of the bank, which continued to thrive until its amalgamation with W D Crewdson & Sons in 1840, under the style of Wakefield, Crewdson & Company; "The Kendal Bank".

Both families provided the town with a succession of Mayors and other civil dignitaries. Both were Quakers (although subsequently withdrew) and thus had marriage connections with other bankers, the Crewdsons with the Lloyds and the Craven Bank partners. Both families are still represented in the town today.

The amalgamation of the two firms was no doubt in response to the rise of the Joint Stock banks; the Bank of Westmoreland had opened in Kendal in 1833. The new firm operated from the Crewdson premises, using the Crewdson trading name (Kendal Bank) and with a Crewdson as a senior partner, and that family taking 60% of the profits. However, within 10 years, the family interests were equalised and thereafter the senior partner was always a Wakefield!

A long period of prosperity followed the amalgamation. New branches were established, this bank favouring the system whereby the chief businessman of a village was appointed the bank's agent and combined banking with his other business of lawyer, land agent, factor or parish clerk. An unusual number of sub-branches thus resulted.

Naturally, the banknotes produced after 1840 reflected the amalgamation. They were printed by Perkins Bacon, the printers to the old Crewdson Bank. The coat of arms is from the old note, as is the beehive, a famous Charles heath engraving of the 1820s which also appears on notes at Rochdale, Oswestry, Ringwood and no doubt elsewhere. On the extreme left is the vignette from the old Wakefield family bank, and this is also used on the firm's cheques.

In 1863, the business of Percy and Postlethwaite at Ulverston was taken over. This firm had been established in Theatre Street as wine merchants since 1804 and had combined banking with their other business for many years. Apparently, Wakefield Crewdson & Co were content to leave the wine business in the hands of Petty and Postlethwaite, for an old directory of 1889 still lists them as trading in Theatre Street.

Some years later, when the North Western Bank of Barrow-in-Furness failed, Wakefield Crewdson & Co took the opportunity to buy out the Coniston deposits and in 1883 they acquired the premises and business in Lancaster of the Manchester and Salford Bank, when the latter decided to give up this connection.

In 1884 a further business was purchase, that of Grice & Company, of Bootle in Cumberland. They were wool and general merchants, as well as bankers and members of the Grice family are customers in the Millom area today.

Wakefield Crewdson & Co had not registered a coat of arms, but the design on their cheques of an oat sheaf surrounded by a rake, scythe and sickle was as familiar in Westmorland as the heifer on the cheques of the neighbouring Craven Banking Company was in the West Riding.

Negotiations for the amalgamation with the Bank of Liverpool Ltd were begun in 1892 and a resolution dated 27 June 1893, of the latter authorised the purchase of the undertaking of Wakefield Crewdson & Co which by this time, in addition to the head office in Kendal, comprised seven full branches and seventeen sub-branches spread throughout Westmorland, Furness and South West Cumberland.

Thus, vis Martins Bank Limited to the present day Barclays Group.
Last Modified 4 Sep 2008Created 11 Feb 2021 using Reunion for Macintosh