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Byrom, Allen, Sedgwick and Place, also known as the Manchester Bank, was the first bank to be established in Manchester, England. It was founded on 2 December 1771 in Bank Street.[1]

The bank’s founders were Edward Byrom, William Allen, Roger Sedgwick, and Edward Place. Place left the bank after a few months to pursue other business interests. Byrom died in 1773 and Sedgwick in 1779, leaving Allen as the sole director. One of the bank’s customers was the firm of Livesey, Hargreaves and Company, a “leviathon” calico printer based in Lancashire.[2] Allen was related to the Livesey family by marriage, and made large loans to the company.[3]

Livesey, Hargreaves and Company failed spectacularly in 1788, with debts estimated at almost £1.5 million, equivalent to about £186 million in 2018.[a]Using the UK retail price index.[4] To put that amount in context, in 1788 the Bank of England had issued only £10 million worth of notes.[5] With no prospect of the £78,000 the Manchester Bank had lent to the company ever being repaid,[6] the bank collapsed two days later, and Allen was declared bankrupt.[3] The Manchester Bank was subsequently acquired by Heywood’s Bank, which became a constituent part of the Royal Bank of Scotland.[7]




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