Background and early life
Joseph Vere was born in London on 14 September 1697, the son of William Vere, a mercer in Paternoster Row. On 13 May 1714, at the age of 16, he began a seven-year apprenticeship with the goldsmith Thomas Martin of Lombard Street.
Career up to 1752
At the end of his apprenticeship Joseph Vere remained with Thomas Martin as a clerk. Shortly afterwards, however, he left the goldsmith business to work for his uncle Samuel Vere’s banking partnership, then known as Glegg & Vere. The exact date of this move is unknown but surviving records indicate that Joseph Vere became a resident of the parish of St Mary Woolnoth, where Glegg & Vere’s business premises were located, in March 1725. In December of the same year he became free of the Goldsmiths' Company.
When Samuel Vere died in 1736 the firm continued as Glegg & Vere, with Joseph becoming the second partner. When Glegg also died in 1738 Joseph Vere carried on the business alone for about a year, before forming a partnership with Charles Asgill, a clerk with William Pepys & Co. In 1746 John Wickenden was also admitted to the partnership and the business became Vere, Asgill & Wickenden.
Vere, Glyn & Hallifax
In 1753 Joseph Vere left Vere, Asgill & Wickenden to form a new bank, in partnership with Thomas Hallifax and Sir Richard Glyn. Vere had probably met the latter man through Charles Asgill, who in 1752-3 served jointly with Glyn as sheriff of London.
Joseph Vere and Sir Richard Glyn each contributed £10,000 to the new bank’s capital, while Hallifax contributed £4,000. It was known as Vere, Glyn & Hallifax, and Vere took the role of senior partner. The new bank opened for business at Vere’s house at 70 Lombard Street.
In 1757 the bank moved to more suitable premises in Birchin Lane, off Lombard Street. The bank’s business was conducted on the ground floor and Joseph Vere himself lived on the upper floors, also providing lodgings there for some of the bank’s clerks.
The bank’s original partnership agreement lapsed in 1760. A new agreement was drawn up but never signed, possibly because Joseph Vere delayed deciding whether or not to remain in the partnership. It was still unsigned in 1766 at the time of Vere’s death.
Other roles and interests
In 1728 Joseph Vere was elected to livery of the Goldsmiths' Company and in 1738 was elected to the court of the Company. In 1753 he was elected Prime Warden, or Master, of the Company.
Unlike his two business partners in Vere, Glyn & Hallifax, Joseph Vere was not involved in politics or public affairs.
In 1749 he became a governor of St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London.
Death and legacy
Towards the end of 1765 Joseph Vere’s health began to fail. He died in May 1766. He was unmarried.
He left £200 to Alexander Carlton and Henry Mitton, senior clerks at Vere, Glyn & Hallifax, and £25 each to the clerks who lived in Vere’s lodgings above the bank at the time of his death. He also left legacies to various hospitals, including St Bartholomew’s. The remainder of his estate was left to his cousin Charles Vere, who became a founding partner of the banking firm Raymond, Williams, Vere, Lowe & Fletcher in 1770.
- R Fulford, Glyn's 1753-1953: Six Generations in Lombard Street (London: Macmillan, 1953)
- ‘Williams and Glyns and the Veres’,Three Banks Review, September 1970, vol. 87, pp. 47-54, reprinted in Williams Deacon’s, 1771-1970 (privately published by Williams & Glyn’s Bank, 1971)