Pole, Thornton, Free, Down & Scott

Pole, Thornton, Free, Down & Scott (1773-1825), established in London, was a bank connected with the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Brief history

This private bank was established at 10 Lombard Street, City of London, as Marlar, Lascelles, Pell & Down in 1773. It became London agent to a number of banks, including the Royal Bank of Scotland. In December 1825, by which time it was known as Pole, Thornton, Free, Down & Scott, it failed. One of its partners, Henry Sykes Thornton, subsequently joined Williams, Deacon, Labouchere, Thornton & Co, which was reformed after failing during the same crisis.

Detailed list of name changes

  • Marlar, Lascelles, Pell & Down from 1773
  • Down & Pell in 1782
  • Down, Thornton & Free in 1785
  • Down, Thornton, Free & Cornwall in 1794
  • Down, Thornton, Free & Down by 1808
  • Pole, Thornton, Free, Down & Scott by 1815

Published histories

  • 'Henry Sykes Thornton', Three Banks Review, March 1966, vol.69, p.29-37
  • 'Letters from a young lady' [Marianne Thornton], Three Banks Review, June 1950, vol.6, p.29-46
  • FG Hilton Price, A Handbook of London Bankers (London: Chatto & Windus, 1876)

Summary of our archive holdings

Our archival records of Pole, Thornton, Free, Down & Scott have the reference code PT.

For help understanding words used here, check our glossary of banking record types (PDF 68 KB).

  • personal papers of Henry Thornton and his executors, incl papers re sugar refinery in Hull 1770-1875
  • agreement and papers re partnership 1797-1821
  • country ledger abstracts 1805-12
  • papers re customer debt 1813-5
  • customer account balance sheets 1814-7
  • profit and loss account c.1815

Summary of archive holdings elsewhere

  • Cambridge University Library: Correspondence of Mr and Mrs Henry Thornton, incl. correspondence with Sykes family 1777-1815 (Ref: Add 7674/1/L); Standish Meacham junior, ‘Henry Thornton of Clapham 1760-1815’, typescript dissertation, Cambridge Massachusetts, 1960 (Ref: Add 7674/2/C)
  • Lambeth Archives: Papers re winding up of the bank, incl draft deeds re property in Bartholomew Lane, London 1826-7 (Ref: IV/104/8/1-22)
  • Wigan Archives: Diary of Henry Thornton 1777-1815, with edition of diary by Edward Hall (Ref: EHC18/M786, EHC7/M775, EHC7/M1248)