The Cayley banking interests in Stamford

Two Cayleys were partners in a bank based in Stamford, Lincolnshire: Edward Cayley (1782-1868) and his son George Cayley (1831-1891). For information about them, see A Banker’s Family.

The bank changed its name several times during its existence as an independent bank. It was founded as a private bank in 1800 by William Jackson and William Johnson, and was initially called Jackson and Johnson, or the Stamford and Rutland Bank. In those days, many banks, especially outside London, were run as partnerships and were relatively small affairs: they had often had formal business connections with other banks and with a bank in the metropolis.

In 1810, following William Jackson’s death, Stephen Eaton became a partner. In 1819, after the death of William Johnson, Edward Cayley bought in as a partner and the bank became Eaton & Cayley. Successive changes of partner led to further name changes, with the Cayley name still being included.

The bank seems to have survived the various 19th-century financial crises which led to the collapse of a number of private banks.

In 1861 George Cayley became a partner, with his father Edward remaining a partner until his death in 1868. In 1891, on George Cayley’s death, the bank lost its independence and was subsumed into the Stamford, Spalding & Boston Banking Co. Ltd. This bank was taken over by Barclays in 1911.

The bank’s main premises were in Broad Street, Stamford – and are still used as a branch of Barclays Bank. There were branch offices in some other towns in the area.

[Sources: Barclays Archives website – and; John Orbell, British Banking: A Guide to Historical Records, pub. Ashgate Publishing 2001 and Routledge 2007, consulted at Google Books.]


The Frederick Cayley Robinson connection


It took me some years to track down how Frederick (or Frederic – the name is spelt both ways) Cayley Robinson (1862-1927) fitted into Cayley genealogy. For those of you who don’t know of him (and Cayley Robinson is not a household name), he was an artist and is probably best known for a series of four large oil paintings, collectively called Acts of Mercy, painted between 1915 and 1920 for the Middlesex Hospital in London. One (illustrated in this post) shows soldiers wounded in World War 1; another, a woman thanking a doctor for treating her daughter; two show the refectory of an orphanage. They are now in the collection of the Wellcome Library, and there was a special exhibition of them at the National Gallery, London in 2010. There is an article on these paintings from The Guardian newspaper at and you can find a good summary of Cayley Robinson’s artistic career at

Cayley Robinson – he is never known just as ‘Robinson’, always as ‘Cayley Robinson’ – was descended from one of the Cayley Russia merchants, John Cayley (1761-1831), son of the John Cayley who was British Consul in St Petersburg. John Cayley junior and his second wife Harriett Raikes (daughter of another Russia merchant) had ten children, of whom the last, Harriet (1800-1879), married Charles Robinson, a London banker, in 1821. One of their sons, was Frederic Robinson, a stockbroker, and Frederick Cayley Robinson was Frederic’s son.

As far as I know, Frederick Cayley Robinson is the only significant British artist to be descended from Cayleys. In Australia, from a completely different family came the bird artists Neville Henry Peniston Cayley and his better-known son Neville William Cayley – see Australian Bird Painter’s Family. If anyone knows of other Cayley-linked major artists, do get in touch.

[Painting credit: Wellcome Library, London: copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0]



Fisticuffs in Cambridge

Future Chief Justice of Ceylon in a student brawl

Sir Richard Cayley (1833-1908), a son of Edward Cayley the Stamford banker, was one of the most distinguished lawyers to bear the Cayley surname, rising to be Chief Justice of Ceylon. But in his student days at St John’s College, Cambridge he had a moment of dubious fame.

It was 8 November 1854. There had been a series of confrontations between town and gown – townsfolk and students. Both proctors (university officers with disciplinary responsibilities) and the police were trying to prevent further occurrences, with extra patrols in the streets and repeated threats that offending students would be rusticated. Additional efforts were made to enforce the rules for when students had to be in their colleges in the evenings.

That evening there was a lecture on the evils of tobacco in Cambridge town hall, with pro-tobacco students in the audience. A disturbance ensued with much shouting and jostling between some of the local citizenry and the students. The police came in as an attempt was made to end the meeting. A group of students resisted this and proposed that a local tobacconist should take the chair. As the commotion increased, the police started to clear the room. A cry of “Gown! Gown!” went up – an appeal for students to help one or more of their number – and the students still in the room rushed to the exit, in the process causing some deliberate damage to furniture. More police arrived, one or two students were apprehended, and the police drew their batons.

One of those arrested, having struck a policeman, called out, “Gown! To the rescue!” More students joined in the melée. Among them was Richard Cayley, the future Chief Justice, who struck one of the police officers several times and violently resisted arrest.

The Magistrates’ Court was packed for the subsequent trial. The officer who had apprehended Richard Cayley described him as “very much excited, and I think he must have been drinking.” Another officer said in the subsequent magistrates’ trial that he saw Richard “on Serjeant Howlett’s back” – which gave rise to laughter in the courtroom.

Richard Cayley said that he had come out of his College and seen a fellow-student “collared by someone, and I naturally went forward to rescue him.” He added that, once he realised it was the police who had charge of the other student, he desisted, and gave himself quietly into the hands of a proctor. “I will admit that I was excited, but I deny that I was drunk, and can bring twenty witnesses who can prove that I never was drunk in my life.”

Inevitably Richard was found guilty. He could have faced a month in prison, which would probably have stopped him becoming a senior judge in later life, but the magistrates went for the more lenient option of fining him £5. This was paid on the spot, and a whip-round among undergraduates, who no doubt thought all this a bit of a lark, ensured that Richard was quickly reimbursed.

To see genealogical information about Sir Richard Cayley, you can go to A Banker’s Family.

Source: Cambridge Chronicle and Journal 11 November 1854. The story was also widely reported in other newspapers around England.


Sale of Cayley Brompton estate

Earlier today I found a website showing papers relating to the auction of the main Cayley estates at Brompton, Yorkshire in 1953 by the then baronet, Sir Kenelm Cayley. You can look at them at They make some quite interesting reading! One thing that seems to emerge is that many of the lots into which the estate was parcelled did not reach their reserve price.

Sir Kenelm had sold other lands at Ebbertson and Allerston in 1920, and he sold Ebberston Hall in 1941 to my late distant cousin William Ross de Wend Fenton. In 1957 he put Brompton Hall, the seat of the Cayley baronets, up for sale.