Sykes Family

The Bywater Family

The Bywaters were a wealthy banking family in Leeds. The 1837 White's Directory lists Leeds Commercial Banking Co at 33 Commercial Street, directors JR Bywater,Edw,Charlesworth and Thomas Motley. Rainforth, Bywater, Charlesworth & Co issued banknotes see below.


Thomas Bywater b.1749 m. Mary


children of Thomas and Mary

James b. 1770 d.1794

Sarah b.1772

Hannah b. 1775 d. 1801 m. Thomas Snow

Joseph b.1777 m. Ann Higgins

Elizabeth b.1778 d.1781

Samuel b.1782 d. 1784

Mary b.1785 d.1787

William b.1787

Mary Ann b.1789

John Rainforth b. 1792 m. Mary Idle


children of John and Mary

Caroline b. 1817 d. 1880 m. William Sykes Ward


Charlotte m. Henry Nelson


Mary Jane

The Bank of England has not always been the sole issuer of bank notes in England and Wales. Acts of 1708 and 1709 had given it a partial monopoly by making it unlawful for companies or partnerships of more than six people to set up banks and issue notes. The ban did not extend to the many provincial bankers – the so-called country bankers – who were all either individuals or small family concerns. However, the Country Bankers’ Act of 1826 allowed the establishment of note issuing joint-stock banks with more than six partners, but not within 65 miles of London. The Act also allowed the Bank of England to open branches in major provincial cities (including Leeds), which gave it more outlets for its notes.

In 1833 the Bank’s notes were made legal tender for all sums above £5 in England and Wales so that, in the event of a crisis, the public would still be willing to accept the Bank’s notes and its bullion reserves would be safeguarded. It was the 1844 Bank Charter Act which was the key to the Bank achieving its gradual monopoly of the note issue in England and Wales. Under the Act no new banks of issue could be established and existing note issuing banks were barred from expanding their issue. Those, whose issues lapsed, because, for example, they merged with a non-issuing bank, forfeited their right of issue. The last private bank notes in England and Wales were issued by the Somerset bank, Fox, Fowler and Co in 1921. [source:]