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 Runaway Nun

The baronets’ branch of the Cayleys descended from members of the family who made their main base in Yorkshire in later medieval times. But some Cayleys stayed in East Anglia, where the family had its original landholdings after the Norman Conquest.

In 1389 a nun called Margaret Cailly eloped from St Radegund’s Priory, Cambridge, whose site was taken over by Jesus College when it was founded in 1496. William Courtenay, Archbishop of Canterbury, found her and her partner living in the the Diocese of Lincoln during a visitation he made of the diocese. She had naturally cast off her nun’s habit and was in ordinary secular dress. William Courtenay apprehended her and parcelled off unceremoniously to the custody of John Fordham, Bishop of Ely, who in turn sent her back to St Radegund’s, with strict orders that the prioress was to keep the poor woman in close confinement and impose harsh penances on her.

It is perhaps ironic that St Radegund, after whom the priory was named, was forcibly married in the 6th century to a brutal Frankish ruler who had her brother murdered: she ran away and successfully sought the protection of the Church, founding a double monastery (one which had both male and female members – quite a common practice at the time). For Margaret Cailly the Church was hard and uncompassionate.

Margaret was almost certainly descended from members of the Cailly family who stayed in East Anglia.

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.