Thomas Ashby, a Quaker, had moved to Staines from Northamptonshire in about 1757. He quickly prospered and bought Hythe End Mill at Wraysbury where he ground flour.

Thomas started Staines Bank, trading as Thomas Ashby & Co., in 1796. Originally it was located in a room of a house in Church Street but later moved into the High Street occupying part of Henry Ashby’s residence, to become known as Bank House. In 1808, the bank was trading as Thomas Ashby Senior & Sons,. The four sons were Thomas II, Robert, William & Joseph. Thomas Ashby I died in 1813 aged 80.

'After date' note issued by Staines Bank - similar to a post-dated cheque

William died in 1832 and his son Skidmore succeeded him; Joseph died in 1833. Thomas Ashby II, had started a brewery in about 1805.  He died in 1841, although he had retired by 1836. The bank, was continued by his four sons, Thomas III, Henry, Charles and Frederick together with their cousin, Skidmore. Henry died in 1840 and Charles in 1855.

£5 note issued by Staines Bank

£5 note issued by Staines Bank

In May 1866, the English Joint Stock Bank, which had a branch in Egham failed - on Monday 13th its doors were closed.  On Tuesday 14th, the name of Thomas Ashby & Co. Bankers appeared in the window of the front lounge of the King’s Head Hotel, Egham.  Ashby’s continued trading from the Kings Head for four weeks after which they took over the business, premises and manager of the failed bank.

Egham was the first of Ashby’s branch banks. In 1876/7 Ashby’s bought the business of La Coste & Co. of Chertsey. The bank grew until it eventually had nine branches and thirteen sub-branches in the surrounding districts.

Cheque issued by Staines Bank showing a list of their branches and sub-branches

On January 1st 1904 Thomas Ashby & Co. was sold to Barclays Bank.  John Ashby became a Barclays Local Director at Staines, a position he held until he retired in 1913.  The sixteen partners in the bank from 1796-1903 were Thomas Ashby I and fifteen of his direct descendants, all with the surname Ashby.  

Cheque issued by Staines Bank, over-stamped showing they had been taken over by Barclays Bank


This bank was started, in Staines, in July 1810 by Sir William Abdy Bart., John Coggan and John Morris.  Sir William Abdy was the 7th Baronet.  Until 1809, when he sold the house and park, he lived in Chobham Place, the family seat since the late 17th century.  John Coggan was a considerable landowner in Laleham near Staines and a member of the vestry.   In 1803 he acquired the title of Lord of the Manor of Laleham which he retained until 1813 when he sold out to Richard, 3rd Earl of Lucan. John Morris was the one with banking experience and the executive officer of the bank.

£1 note issued by Middlesex & Surrey Bank

The original partnership was dissolved in December 1810, with Sir William withdrawing, although the announcement did not appear until December 1811.  In 1812 John Coggan was declared bankrupt.  The continuing partnership was John Morris and Jane, his mother.

Middlesex & Surrey Bank ceased trading in 1813; the reason was almost certainly the sudden death of John Morris in July 1813, reported in The Times: 'On Sunday, the 11th instant, at his house at Staines, John Morris Esq., banker of that place. He had just returned from attending evening service, when he was seized with a fit of coughing, burst a blood-vessel, and instantly expired.'