Background and early life
Algernon Henry Mills was born on 13 February 1856, the second son of Charles Henry Mills, 1st Baron Hillingdon, and his wife Lady Louisa Isabella Lascelles. He was educated at Eton and Christ Church, Oxford.
Algernon Henry Mills joined the family business of Glyn, Mills, Currie & Co in 1878, and became a partner when the firm converted to joint stock status in 1885. At first business decisions continued to be dominated by Algernon’s father Charles Henry Mills and his fellow senior partner, Bertram Wodehouse Currie. Gradually, however, Algernon Henry Mills’ expert knowledge and aptitude for analysing statistical data brought him more influence, making him a valuable asset to the business. He became managing partner in 1888.
Unlike earlier generations of the Mills family, who had divided their attention between banking and politics, most of Algernon Henry Mills’ working life was fully dedicated to the bank. His responsibilities increased in 1907, when his older brother Charles William Mills retired from the bank due to ill health.
Algernon Henry Mills was largely responsible for bringing Glyn, Mills & Co safely through the difficult years of the First World War, when several of the bank’s younger partners and many of its employees were away on war service. He was known for his caution and good judgement on banking matters, and had a reputation in the City of London as an expert on financial issues.
He remained in the business until his death in 1922, at which time he was senior partner.
Other business activities
Algernon Henry Mills held numerous company directorships, including:
- Great Western Railway
- Central London Railway
- Sun Insurance Office
- Sun Life Assurance Society
- Yorkshire Penny Bank
- Mortgage Company of Egypt
- London committee, National Bank of Egypt
On 21 July 1880 Algernon Henry Mills married Lady Mary F S Dawson-Damer, daughter of the 4th Earl of Portarlington. Together they had a son, Henry Christian George Mills, born in 1886.
In around 1919 he bought the estate of Wood Norton Hall, Evesham, where he often stayed at weekends.
Later life and death
In later years Algernon Henry Mills suffered long periods of ill health. He died on 21 October 1922 at home at Wood Norton Hall.