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Thursday, 6 August 2009

Winsor's Backers - The Bankers

There were also bankers – and through them connections with the world of colonial trade and expansion.

Matthew Bloxham
In 1806 Winsor said that Bloxham had been his banker for twenty years – and he also became banker to the early Gas Light and Coke Co. Bloxham’s banking partners were Wilkinson & Taylor based at 27 Gracechurch Street and Birchin Lane. He had originally been a stationer and a partner of the Foudrinier Brothers, who introduced paper-making machinery into England. He came from Worcester and was married to William Baker's daughter. He went on to become MP for Maidstone and may have died in Spain in 1838

William Devaynes
Another banker (Devaynes, Daws & Noble of Pall Mall - later ‘Attwood Spooner’) who were also appointed as the Chartered Company's bankers. Devaynes was Chairman of the East India Co., a Government Contractor, involved in the African Company and MP for Barnstable. As such he was among the seriously rich and powerful. He is said to have been a promoter of vaccination. His father was John Devaynes - an apothecary who served the Royal family. William lived in Dover Street and at Cheltenham. Between 1789 and 1797 he was the owner of Highbury House near Islington.

Arthur Noble
According to Winsor’s "Notice Historique" Noble was a Banker based at Cock Street in the City – and presumably a partner of William Devaynes, above. He is described as of ‘Johnson’s Fens’ in Ireland and of Hertford Street. It is very possible that he was relation – or even a descendent – of the American ‘folk hero’ Arthur Noble, who went to Massachusetts from Ulster and died in a battle with the French in Nova Scotia in the 1740s. I have not been able to trace Johnson’s Fens but the American Arthur Noble is said to have come from Fermanagh – an area surrounded by ‘fens’. According to a number of genealogical web sites Noble is a Scottish name and some family members emigrated to Ireland and from there to America. Thus, it seems likely that Arthur Noble was an Ulsterman.

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