Lancelot 'Capability' Brown bank accounts | RBS Heritage Hub

RBS heritage hub

Lancelot 'Capability' Brown bank accounts

Image: signature of Lancelot Brown, 1773 © 2018


The landscape designer and architect Lancelot 'Capability' Brown (1716-1783) was a customer of Drummonds Bank.

In 2016, in celebration of the tercentenary of his birth, we were pleased to provide digital access to the ledger pages containing the bank accounts of Lancelot Brown and his executors.

Brown's bank account appears in the ledgers from 1753 until his death in 1783, and that of his executors from 1783 to 1789. For decades his account been a key source for the study of landscape and garden history. Landscape historian David Brown, who has become very familiar with the account in recent years, has contributed a brief note on his own his own view (PDF 19KB) of its importance and value to garden historians.

The accounts appear on one or more open spreads (‘folios’) in each of the annual sets of ledgers of Drummonds Bank 1753-1789, and pdf copies of the accounts as they appear on each folio can be accessed through the relevant account folio list:

In order to view digital copies of the accounts themselves, you must submit a completed application form (PDF 112KB), agreeing to comply with our standard terms and conditions. You may return the form by email to or by post to RBS Archives, 6 South Gyle Crescent Lane, Edinburgh, EH12 9EG. Password-controlled access will then be granted to the online digital copies.

The information contained in the Drummonds Bank customer account ledgers is not always easy to understand, and a detailed guide to using these accounts for historical research is available in our source overview. (PDF 49KB).

Set Tab for lightbox