Background and early life
Richard Carr Glyn was born in London on 2 February 1755, the son of Sir Richard Glyn and his second wife Elizabeth Carr. He was educated at Westminster School before travelling to France to finish his education in the Loire Valley.
When his father died on 1 January 1773, Richard Carr Glyn travelled back to London. After his 18th birthday the following month, he became a partner in the bank his father had founded, and the partnership name became Hallifax, Mills, Glyn & Mitton.
Thomas Hallifax, the bank’s senior partner and the only survivor of the three men who had originally founded the bank, died in 1789. Richard Carr Glyn then became senior partner, and the partnership name changed to Glyn, Mills & Mitton.
Under his leadership Glyn, Mills & Mitton expanded rapidly, from employing 9 clerks in 1793 to 36 by 1815. The partnership undertook financing activities on behalf of the government during hostilities with France in the 1790s, and also became London agent for over 40 provincial banks across England.
In 1805 Richard Carr Glyn became a member of the Committee of Six, set up to recommend improvements to the running of the Bankers’ Clearing House.
In 1813 Richard Carr Glyn was joined in the partnership by his eldest son, Richard Plumptre Glyn. In 1819 his fourth surviving son, George Carr Glyn, also joined the partnership.
Richard Carr Glyn remained senior partner of the bank until his death in 1838.
In 1797, as the threat of French invasion increased, the government and the City appealed for a volunteer military association to be formed in each London ward. In Bishopsgate Richard Carr Glyn created and commanded the Bishopsgate Volunteers, taking the rank of major. Formed on 1 May 1798, within a year the unit had 140 volunteers performing regular early-morning military drills.
From 1 June 1799 existing units were amalgamated into larger divisions, and the Bishopsgate Volunteers became part of the North East Division of Loyal London Volunteers. The new division was commanded by Richard Carr Glyn, who took the rank of lieutenant-colonel. The Volunteers were disbanded in 1802 when the French threat subsided following the peace of Amiens.
Papers relating to the Bishopsgate Volunteers are held by NatWest Group Archives: source overview (PDF 120KB).
Richard Carr Glyn was Member of Parliament for St Ives, Cornwall, from 1796 until 1802. He found it difficult, however, to manage both his business and political careers, and did not stand for re-election in 1802.
Other offices and titles
Richard Carr Glyn held a number of roles in the City of London, including:
- Alderman of Bishopsgate Ward, 1790-1829
- Master of the Worshipful Company of Salters, 1791
- Sheriff of London, 1791
- Lord Mayor of London, 1798-9
- Father of the Corporation of London from 1829
- Alderman of Bridge Ward Without, 1829-35
It was during his period as Lord Mayor of London, and with his support, that the London river police were started.
Richard Carr Glyn was knighted in 1791 and elevated to the baronetcy in 1800, taking the title 1st Baron of Gaunts.
In 1793 Richard Carr Glyn became a member of the Ancient Society of Cogers, whose aims were ‘the promotion of the Liberty of the Subject and the Freedom of the Press; the maintenance of Loyalty to the Laws, the rights and claims of Humanity and the practice of public and private virtue.’
He was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquities of London in 1795.
Like his father, he was President of Bridewell & Bethlem hospitals. On 18 April 1812 he laid the foundation stone for the new Bethlem hospital.
Richard Carr Glyn was a member of the Committee for the Relief of the Industrious Poor of the Cities of London and Westminster, the Borough of Southwark and adjacent parts.
On 2 July 1785 Richard Carr Glyn married Mary Plumptre, daughter of John Plumptre of Fredville, Kent. Together they had eight children:
- Mary Elizabeth
- Richard Plumptre
- Robert Thomas John
- Thomas Christopher
- Carr-John (died in infancy)
- George Carr
- Carr John
- Elizabeth (died in 1805, aged 3)
Richard Carr Glyn died on 27 April 1838 at his home in Arlington Street, London. His eldest son Richard Plumptre Glyn succeeded to his title. Two of his sons, Richard Plumptre Glyn and George Carr Glyn, continued his interest in the family bank.