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Pontefract Years in Focus 1946

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 Pontefract.

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 stands high. 

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 ]


Years in Focus is researched by Maurice Haigh and reproduced
with the kind permission of the Pontefract and Castleford Express.


Pontefract news from the 1930's


 

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