The Collection of British and Irish Banknotes formed by the Late Edward Barnby

Date of Auction: 13th April 2010

Sold for £220

Estimate: £80 - £100

British Provincial, Berkshire, Reading, Reading Bank, Promise to pay to Mr Newman Ten Pounds, 1 January 1800, no. 6695, for Sir Charles Marsh and Henry Deane Esq, signed by Charles Marsh (Outing 1768A; Grant 2370). Hole on left side and many other smaller holes and splits, otherwise good to very good £80-100


The Berkshire & Reading Bank, a partnership between Sir Charles Marsh (1735-1805), Henry Deane (1743-99) and Eyre Evans Crowe (†1804), opened on 1 September 1788. Marsh was a former army officer who had served in the 84th Foot under Sir Eyre Coote in India and had been knighted for his services in raising a regiment of volunteers in the county. Henry Deane was the son of a partner in the town’s pre-eminent Castle Brewery and was thrice mayor between 1782 and 1794; Crowe, a cousin of Eyre Coote who had also served in the 84th, was a dealer and chapman who lived at Sindlesham Lodge. Crowe became bankrupt in 1798 and resigned from the bank, while, on the death of Henry Deane, his son, Henry Boyle Dean, allowed his father’s capital to remain in the bank. By 1803 the bank’s losses, which had been building up over the years, began to soar and the new management put in place after the death of Marsh in 1805 was unable to halt the problem. The Napoleonic wars and the concurrent boost to business stayed the situation but a number of outside factors during 1814, including a disastrous corn harvest, meant that Reading’s trade was so depressed that creditors were forced to call in their loans. The situation was not helped when a coach returning from London with £6,000-worth of the bank’s notes on 1 December 1814 was hijacked and about £700-worth were exchanged before payment could be stopped. On 5 January 1815 the bank’s doors in Friar street were closed for the last time. Sold with a copy of ‘The Earliest Reading Bank: Marsh, Deane & Co, 1788-1815’ by T.A.B. Corley (Berkshire Archaeological Journal, vol. 66, pp.121-8)