Home » Articles » Monks House Comments- Elizabeth Robinson

Monks House Comments- Elizabeth Robinson

I am interested in Monks House because of my research into Bromley House, Angel Row, Nottingham. I am happy to write about my interest in this building, but I have no personal memories.
I am interested in the time when it was owned by Abel Smith junior, the father of Robert Smith, who became the 1st Lord Carrington. Abel Smith junior was a Nottingham banker. Smith’s bank was the first provincial bank, created in about 1656, by Thomas Smith. it was situated in the centre of Nottingham.At the time I am interested in , the mid eighteenth century, there were four partners: Abel Smith Senior, his two sons, George Smith ( who built Bromley House) and Abel Smith junior ( who owned Monks House), and Samuel Smith, who was a London goldsmith acting as the London agent for the bank.
In 1745 the Young Pretender, Bonnie Prince Charlie, marched with his army from Scotland to Derby, where they caused a lot of trouble. Nottingham is only twelve miles from Derby, so people here were terrified. The Duke of Kingston said he would raise a Regiment of Light Horse. The people of Nottingham contributed to this project, and Abel Smith
senior acted as Treasurer, and w as also on the corporation’s Committee, deciding what action to take to protect the town.
The Smiths would have been aware of what was happening in Derby, and heard that the soldiers were chanting a squib which said that Bonnie Prince Charlie’s army would come to Nottingham and steal the contents of Smith’s Bank, in order to help their cause.  The Smiths had no choice but to move the contents to ‘the marshes of Lincolnshire’. I had discovered that Abel Smith junior was a member of the Gentlemen’s Society of Spalding, and done some research. I knew that at this time Spalding was still surrounded by marshes, and a guide was needed to take strangers into, and out of, the town. Abel Smith’s address was given as ‘Monks House’, and as the house had well-mad brick cellars, it made sense that this was where the contents of the bank were taken.
In 1754, Abel Smith junior moved the bank from Peck Lane to what is now South Parade in Old Market Square.
Abel Smith junior had been apprenticed to William Wilberforce of Hull, the grandfather of the abolitionist. It was the start of a hugely successful relationship with the Wilberforce family. Abel Smith junior married Mary Bird, and Robert Wilberforce (William’s son) married her sister. This meant that their children were cousins. Abel Smith junior also started a bank in London, in 1757. His son Robert worked at the London Bank, Smith and Payne. It was probably through his cousin, William Wilberforce, that he met Pitt the Younger, the Prime Minister. He sorted out his private finances, and was created the first Lord Carrington as a reward.

Vistor comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.