London Metropolitan Archives - Item Details


Date of Creation:


Reference Code:


Scope and Content:
  • The records of the National Discount Company Limited, discount bankers, comprise minutes, lists of directors and chairmen, accounts, papers and photographs. The majority of the archives date from the latter years of the company's operations; much earlier material was destroyed in accordance with the company's policy on non-current records (see Ms 18199). However, some classes of record survive complete from 1856.

    The records of Gerrard and National Limited, discount bankers, comprise accounts, correspondence and papers.
Extent: 280 production units.
Classification: BUSINESSES
Site Location: Held offsite - access by appointment only
Level of Description:

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Administrative History:
  • This discount house was established in 1870 as Gerrard and Middleton, under the leadership of William Duff Gerrard. It was renamed Gerrard and Company in 1874 and Gerrard and Reid in 1892 following the admission to the partnership of Sandeman Reid, son of a Northumberland engineer. The business operated on a small scale, but it expanded following its merger with Tallack and Company (established 1932) in 1934, a key personality now being John Kellock who joined from Dawnay Day in 1937. In 1946 Edward Clive, another partner, left to form Clive Discount Company Limited.

    Prior to the Second World War, Gerrards had been a bill broker, but thereafter it became a fully-fledged discount house. It acquired limited liability in 1948 and in 1958 Minster Trust Limited acquired a substantial interest when capital was increased to £0.5 million. However, Minster soon withdrew and the business was grown under K. H. Whitaker's management. Capital was increased to over £1 million in 1959 and discount facilities were made available at the Bank of England for the first time. The business was converted to a public company in 1962.

    In 1969 Gerrards acquired the City's second largest discount house, National Discount Company Limited, and in 1970 it was renamed Gerrard and National Discount Company Limited. In the 1970s and 1980s the business grew rapidly and diversified away from its original activities; Gerrard and National Plc was formed in 1986. At the time of the deposit of the records, the traditional discount house business was being carried on by Gerrard and National Limited, a subsidiary of the holding company, Gerrard and National Holdings Plc.

    The business was based in offices at the following addresses: 14 Union Court, Old Broad Street, 1870-5; 3 Newman's Court, Cornhill, 1876-1904; 7 Finch Lane, 1905-ca. 1916; 6 Birchin Lane, ca. 1916-1924; 10 Bell Yard, Gracechurch Street, 1925-33; 11 Birchin Lane, 1933-55; 54 Threadneedle Street, 1956-8; 36 Lombard Street, 1959-64; 32 Lombard Street, 1965-87; and 33 Lombard Street, 1988-date.

    The National Discount Company Limited was formed in 1856 with a subscribed capital of £200,000. It was the first joint stock company, other than the short-lived Overend Gurney and Company Limited, in a sector dominated by private partnerships. It avoided the worst of the 1866 Overend Gurney Crisis, which claimed many of its competitors, and expanded rapidly in the late 1860s and 70s when it was London's largest house. Following the formation of the Union Discount Company of London Limited, it became the second largest house and held this position until recent times. Cunliffe and Fowler was acquired in 1877. In 1969 Gerrard and Reid Limited acquired the business which ceased trading in 1970. The Gerrard business was then renamed Gerrard and National Discount Company Limited.

    The National Discount Company had offices at 25 Birchin Lane (1856-8) and 35 Cornhill (1858-1970).
Creator: Gerrard and National Ltd | discount bankers
National Discount Co Ltd | discount bankers
Gerrard and National Discount Co Ltd | discount bankers
Copyright: Depositor
Source of Acquisition:
  • Records of the National Discount Company were deposited in the Manuscripts Section of Guildhall Library on 30 January 1973 and 9 August 1977 (Mss 18118-18213), and on 16 December 1994 and 6 January 1995 (Mss 29849-29872). Records of Gerrard and National Ltd were deposited in the Manuscripts Section of Guildhall Library on 16 December 1994 by Gerrard and National Holdings Plc. The Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section merged with the London Metropolitan Archives in 2009.
  • 1973/005
  • 1995/002
  • 1977/041
  • 1994/074
Access Restrictions: These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 2018
Arrangement: CLC/B/097-01: Gerrard and National Ltd;
CLC/B/097-02: National Discount Co Ltd.