This private bank grew out of a cattle agent's business, originally established in West Smithfield, London, by William Biggerstaff in 1790. By 1828 a John Biggerstaff was in business at 82 West Smithfield. He was succeeded later that year by William Biggerstaff, 'agent and wine and spirit merchant'. It was not until 1838 that business directories first described the firm as a bank, by which time it was trading from 8 West Smithfield. At that time the firm was also still a wine merchant.
The bank occupied various premises in West Smithfield, London, ending up at 59 West Smithfield. In the mid-19th century William and John Biggerstaff were partners, and it may have been at this time that the firm came to be known as W & J Biggerstaff. They were succeeded as proprietors by Thomas Milloy, Thomas Lloyd and Assheton Leaver, a nephew of a Thomas Biggerstaff.
In 1919, upon the death of Assheton Leaver, the remaining partners Thomas Lloyd and Cyril D'Arcy Leaver sold the bank, then known as W & J Biggerstaff, to National Provincial & Union Bank of England.
Summary of our archive holdings
Our archival records of W & J Biggerstaff have the reference code BIG.
For help understanding words used here, check our glossary of banking record types (PDF 68 KB).
- miniature portrait of R W Biggerstaff, early partner c.1800
- title deeds, West Smithfield premises 1807-1914
- amalgamation agreement 1919