Drummond, Messrs | RBS Heritage Hub

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Messrs Drummond

A royal procession passing Messrs Drummond, 1950s © RBS 2018

Image: a royal procession passing Messrs Drummond, 1950s © RBS 2018


Messrs Drummond (c.1712-date), established in London, is a constituent of the Royal Bank of Scotland.


Brief history

This private bank was founded by the London goldsmith Andrew Drummond. He had begun his goldsmithing career as an apprentice in Edinburgh before moving to London. In about 1712 he began business as a goldsmith at the sign of the Golden Eagle on the east side of Charing Cross, a residential area favoured by the Scottish gentry in London. By 1717 he had also developed a banking business which soon overshadowed his goldsmithing activities. Scots and army agents predominated amongst his early customers but, by 1744, he had over 400 accounts in his ledgers and his diverse clientele included English as well as Scottish aristocrats, men of the arts, hospitals and religious and charitable institutions.

Andrew Drummond temporarily stopped trading in October 1745, possibly as a consequence of government intervention, and as a result lost over half of his clients. Thereafter, the firm, known as Andrew Drummond & Co, grew quickly and, in 1760, moved to a specially commissioned building on the west side of Charing Cross. Andrew Drummond died in 1769 and a series of subsequent partnership agreements divided the business among three branches of the Drummond family. By 1769 the bank had 1,500 customer accounts and annual profits of £10,000, and in 1795 had 3,200 accounts and annual profits approaching £30,000.

The bank proved highly successful during the last quarter of the eighteenth century, numbering many important architects, artists, composers and craftsmen amongst its banking customers. In 1879 the present bank building was constructed to provide further accommodation. In 1924 the bank, known simply as Messrs Drummond, was acquired by the Royal Bank of Scotland - its first acquisition south of the border. It continued to operate as an independent branch office managed until the 1960s by a board of local directors.


Published histories

  • Messrs Drummond Bankers: A History (Edinburgh: privately published by The Royal Bank of Scotland, 2002)
  • H Bolitho and D Peel, The Drummonds of Charing Cross (London: George, Allen & Unwin, 1967)
  • N Munro, The History of the Royal Bank of Scotland 1727-1927 (Edinburgh: privately published by The Royal Bank of Scotland, 1928)


Summary of our archive holdings

Our archival records of Messrs Drummond have the reference code DR.

For help understanding words used here, check our glossary of banking record types (PDF 24KB).

Partnership records

  • partnership agreements 1772-1892
  • papers re constitution and division of the partnership and the management of the business 1788-1892
  • rules for partners 1792
  • memorandum books 1813-90
  • partnership constitution 1822
  • statement of partnerships 1833
  • private notebook c.1830s-50s
  • rough agenda 1877
  • copy resolutions 1895
  • partners’ resolution and minute books 1897-1924
  • draft share transfer forms c.1890s
  • correspondence re authorised signatories 1918-20
  • memorandum and articles of association 1923
  • local board: minutes 1924-71, attendance book 1964-71, correspondence 1939, 1963-71, papers 1955-71
  • merger papers, The Royal Bank of Scotland 1924

Financial records

  • bills of exchange, promissory notes, receipts, cheques and customer instructions 1727-1822
  • papers re partners' accounts and affairs 1774-1930
  • balance statements 1788-1830
  • statement of interest payments to partners 1790-1804
  • partners’ account book 1807-41
  • papers re creation of a sinking fund 1815
  • annual statements of exchequer bills, bank stock, annuities, etc. 1816-41
  • annual balances of receipts and payments 1833-54
  • balance books 1841-89
  • sundry statements of profit and loss and other accounts 1843-89
  • agreement re partners authorised to sign promissory notes 1885
  • correspondence re purchase and sale of stock 1870-83
  • list of foreign government bonds 1891
  • statements of assets and liabilities and profit and loss account 1924
  • summary profit and loss calculations 1924-5, 1930-3

Legal records

  • papers re forged bills of exchange and cheques 1819-28, 1891-1910
  • legal case papers 1839, 1890-1, 1917
  • correspondence with solicitors 1847, 1889-92
  • papers re Business Names Act registration 1917

Customer records

  • papers of David Mallet re proposed biography of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough 1648-1755
  • customer ledgers of Johannes van der Bent, Amsterdam merchant 1697-1709
  • various executorship and trusteeship papers 1698-1859
  • plate ledgers 1716-37
  • customer ledgers 1716-(1915)
  • note drawn on Andrew Drummond 1723
  • powers of attorney 1734-1835
  • customer correspondence 1768-(1915)
  • papers of John Tucker as paymaster to His Majesty’s marine forces 1755-78: source overview (PDF 26KB)
  • papers of John and Henry Drummond as contractors to the Treasury as paymaster to His Majesty’s forces in North America 1763-96: source overview (PDF 30KB)
  • correspondence and agreements re exchequer bills 1771-2, 1811-2, 1841
  • annual balance statements of various customer accounts 1775-1844
  • passbooks c.1780s-1905
  • cheque books, cheques and cheque forms c.1780s-(1915)
  • signature and address books 1793-(1915)
  • statement of bad debts 1811
  • safe custody administration records 1830-41
  • plate waste books 1830-79
  • papers re sale and purchase of annuities for customers 1833, 1842
  • notebook re safe custody items c.1830s
  • presscuttings re foreign stocks, railway and joint-stock companies 1854-81
  • burial certificate entry book 1867-(1915)
  • letter of introduction for customers abroad c.1860s
  • plate receipt books 1872-89
  • record of large advances 1880-87
  • accounts opened books 1880-1913
  • trust and executor index c.1885-(1915)
  • letters of credit books 1893-(1915)

Staff records

  • staff lists 1792-3, 1811, 1848-(1915)
  • papers re salaries 1777-(1915)
  • reports on working procedures 1788-1830
  • correspondence from clerks re working conditions 1791-1848, 1888
  • papers re appointment of clerks 1799, 1819-32, 1835-(1915)
  • procedural instructions for clerks 1816-1908
  • regulations for the conduct of clerks c.1830s, 1878-(1915)
  • staff cartoons 1848-late 19th cent.
  • papers re pensions 1856-(1915)
  • papers re opening hours 1860, 1862
  • papers re holiday allowances 1866, 1886-1912
  • rules for establishment of a clerks' widows scheme 1882
  • staff address book c.1880s-(1915)
  • application for clerkship 1892
  • artwork for staff dinner menus 1900-12

Property records

  • lease, Craigs Court 1765
  • inventory 1789
  • papers re partners' occupation of bank house 1789, 1823, 1836, c.1861, 1871
  • papers re bank rebuilding and alteration 1810-2, 1876-81, 1916, 1962-3
  • plans and sketches of the bank premises 1823-1968
  • maps of Charing Cross area 1874, 1919, 1951
  • photographs/drawings of the bank 1877-1982
  • tenancy agreement, 18 Spring Gardens 1878
  • valuations of properties, Charing Cross 1880, 1890, 1910-4
  • surveyor's reports 1880, 1904, 1921-3
  • statement re premises purchased by Andrew Drummond 1889
  • conveyance of bank premises 1892
  • licence re advertising space 1893
  • papers re proposal to rename Charing Cross 1899-1908
  • return for rates assessment, 49 Charing Cross 1905
  • papers re The Mall to Charing Cross improvement scheme 1911-3

Marketing records

  • notice re payment of Andrew Drummond’s creditors 1746
  • Christmas cards 1954-68
  • leaflet re introduction of automatic cash dispensers c.1968


  • circular re wartime paper salvage 1942
  • drive-in bank: plans 1950, 1960, photographs 1961, presscuttings 1961-2, reports 1961-8


Summary of archive holdings elsewhere

  • Hampshire Archives and Local Studies: Partnership agreements 1780-1892; correspondence of Drummond family re banking and partnership matters 1811-91; deed of settlement 1894 (Ref: 3M60)
  • National Register of Archives: Autograph volume containing notes by members of the Drummond family re the bank’s history, incl. profits and premises, and also incl. original cheques, presscuttings and papers re the bank premises 1726-1939 (NRA 14022 A28); Drummond family letters re partnership name 1833, John Drummond and the partnership 1839, banking affairs incl. salaries of clerks 1852-62, customer accounts 1878, n.d., and Colin Drummond’s possible entry into the partnership 1884 (Ref: NRA 14022 N1-5). Papers held in private hands; contact National Register of Archives for further information
  • London Metropolitan Archives: Correspondence with John Knight, Shropshire 1812-21 (Ref: CLC/47/1)
  • Bank of England Archive: Governor’s file re bank amalgamations, incl. possible merger of Messrs Drummond with Glyn, Mills & Co 1923 (Ref: G1/9)
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