The bank started by William Haydon in 1765, as a sideline to his drapery business, was not only the first bank in Guildford but the first in Surrey and one of the earliest outside of London.  William Haydon's son, William jun.r, became involved in running the bank and had taken over by the time his father died in 1784.  From 1809 until his death in 1816  William jun.r was also a partner in the Surrey Bank at Kingston-upon-Thames.  William jun.r was succeeded by his three sons, William, Thomas and Joseph.

£1 note issued by Haydon's Bank in 1809

After 1850, the partnership was joined by members of the Smallpeice family (which was related by marriage).

£5 note issued by Haydon's Bank

£10 note issued by Haydon's Bank 

£20 note issued by Haydon's Bank

£50 note issued by Haydon's Bank 

In 1883 the bank was sold to Capital & Counties Bank.


In about 1897, by John Sparkes and Richard Sparkes, brothers and linen drapers, founded Guildford Bank.  John's sons, George and William Sparkes, joined the firm early on.   John senior died in 1804 and George the following year.  Shortly afterwards, John French joined the partnership.

£1 note issued by Sparkes &  French

When John French died in 1828, Anthony Lee, a former apprentice in the drapery business, was brought into the partnership.

£5 note issued by Sparkes &  Lee

£10 note issued by Sparkes &  Lee

£50 note issued by Sparkes &  Lee

The bank came to an abrupt end in October 1840 when William Sparkes drowned himself in the River Wey, just above the 'Tumbling Bay', in Guildford.  In the bankruptcy proceedings that followed, depositors got almost nothing on their deposits, with some persons losing thousands of pounds.


West Surrey Bank was started at 49, High Street Guildford, in 1836, trading as Mangles, Keen & Co.  Later in that same year (1836) a branch was opened in Epsom High Street. The bank was initially very successful - in 1855, Kelly’s Directory lists further branches in Egham (previously Wetton & Co., Farnham, Godalming and Chertsey.

Unissued £20 of West Surrey Bank

In 1864 Mangles amalgamated with Burgess, Canham & Co. of Ramsgate and formed the South Eastern Banking Co. Ltd.  The South Eastern Bank (as it was known) was taken over by the English Joint Stock Bank in 1866, which itself failed later the same year. 

Cheque of South Eastern Banking Company Limited