YEARS IN FOCUS
LOCAL NEWS AND EVENTS FROM THE 1940s
PONTEFRACT IN 1946
25th JANUARY 1946
PONTEFRACT BANK £5 NOTE SIGNED BY MR. TRUEMAN
Some light on the man responsible for the erection of
the leaning monument in Pontefract (the destruction of which was
recorded a fortnight ago), is provided in a sketch of the history
of the 'Pontefract Bank', written nearly seventy years ago, which is now
in the possession of Mr. A. Straker, the Manager of Barclay's Bank at
The man, as has already been stated, was Mr. Edward Trueman, who was one
of the original partners in the banking firm which was the forerunner of
Leatham, Tew and Co.
The Pontefract bank was established in 1801, in the
premises now occupied by the Pontefract Branch of Barclay's Bank. The
other original partners were Mr. John Leatham, Mr. James Jackson and Mr.
Thomas William Tew, and they carried on business at Pontefract and
Doncaster, as well as opening a third branch at Wakefield, in 1809. The
house in which the business began was owned by Mr. Trueman, and occupied
by Mr. Tew.
Mr. Trueman became an Alderman and was the Mayor of
the Borough on no fewer than five occasions - 1808, 1812, 1818, 1824 and
1827. He presided at the General Election in 1812 and 1818 and the
Parliament which governed between those years was the longest lived of
any in the century. As Mayor, he headed a movement in 1818 to erect a
monument to commemorate the British victory at Waterloo and it was built
in his grounds at The Grove. It was a quadrangular pillar of brick,
surmounted by what was formerly a gilt urn and its base, a sandstone
pedestal on three steps was surrounded by iron pallisades. When the
sketch was written in 1879, the monument was described as "in a state of
great disrepair", but there is no mention that it leaned, which seems to
indicate that the tendency developed after that date.
Mr. Trueman, as well as being an ardent politician, was an active
businessman and prided himself on being the means of obtaining several
Acts to establish turnpike roads in the neighbourhood, especially those
between Wakefield and Pontefract, Aberford and Ferrybridge, and Leeds,
Ferrybridge and Doncaster. On the last named he saw, on March 23rd 1822,
the first mail coach, ''The Union'.' He lived into the reign of William
IV and died in March 1831. He left two sons, one of whom, Joshua, became
a partner in the Bank, but retired and died three years after his
father. The other was the Rector of Killham, near Driffield.
It is interesting to note that the premises in which the Pontefract Bank
was established, 145 years ago, are still serving their original
purpose, and were retained by Barclay's Bank when they took over the
firm of Leatham, Tew and Company, which was formed when Joshua Trueman
retired. In English Banking circles that must be a record that
In the earliest days of the Bank, a fifth partner, Mr. Richard R. Mills,
joined the undertaking, but retired from it at the end of 1816. A Bank
Note of that period, for £5, still in the possession of Barclay's Bank,
Pontefract, is signed by Mr. Trueman on behalf of the five partners. A
portrait of Mr. Trueman hangs in the bank but is so faded that it is
unsuitable for reproduction.
1946 Index ]
in Focus is researched by Maurice Haigh and reproduced
with the kind
permission of the Pontefract and Castleford Express.