Barnetts, Hoares, Hanbury & Lloyd



Barnetts, Hoares & Co. banknote, c.1790
Barnetts, Hoares & Co. banknote, c.1790

The origins of Barnetts, Hoares, Hanbury & Lloyd date back to 1728. This marked the point at which the City of London goldsmith, John Bland, started to offer banking services to his customers. Bland traded under the now famous sign of the black horse in Lombard Street. However, the symbol itself had been used as early as 1677, by another Lombard Street goldsmith, Humphrey Stokes.

Following Bland’s death in 1764, the business was carried on by his widow and two sons. The bank expanded and went through a number of partnership changes over the next two decades. The association with the Bland family ended in 1788 with the death of Bland’s son, also called John. 

In 1864 the firm, by this time known as Barnett, Hoare & Co., merged with fellow Lombard Street bankers Hanbury, Lloyds & Co. This firm had been established in 1771 by two of the original partners of Taylors & Lloyds , Sampson Lloyd III and John Taylor Jnr. The new business was called Barnetts, Hoares, Hanbury & Lloyd.


From the outset, Barnetts, Hoares & Co.’s customer base was made up largely of merchants who traded in the Port and City of London.  However, a significant proportion of business also came from the wealthy aristocracy who spent the ‘season’ in London.  For some of these customers, loans were advanced purely on the security of their art collection.

Extract from customer ledger, 1770s
Extract from customer ledger, 1770s

During the first half of the 19th century the bank incurred heavy losses as a result of a downturn in the sugar trade, the financing of which it had been heavily involved in. However, it was able to survive largely due to its more successful involvement in the cotton trade – this subsequently became its primary focus.


In 1884, Lloyds Banking Company took over Barnetts, Hoares, Hanbury & Lloyd, in a bid to gain a foothold in London. One of the bank's partners, Edward Broadie Hoare, joined the Lloyds board of directors.He eventually went on to become Deputy Chairman. 

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