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Mary’s Links with Liverpool: Samuel Hope

August 26, 2009 Mary Greg 11 Comments

You may remember I mentioned Mary’s grandfather Samuel Hope, who was a prominent banker, after who Hope St. in Liverpool was named. Well I’ve found out a little more about him.

Hope Street was not named after Samuel but his father- Mary’s great-grandfather, William Hope who was a mercer and draper. He was the first to build a house on that street where the Philharmonic now stands. Samuel Hope started a partnership with George Holt called Samuel Hope & Co. They were cotton brokers, however they decided to become bankers as well. In 1823 they dissolved this partnership and the businesses were divided.

Samuel Hope who had originated the cotton business, became banker solely , and George Holt to whom it is said that the initiation of the banking business was due, became cotton broker solely.

John Hughes, Liverpool Banks and Bankers 1760-1837: a history of the circumstances which gave rise to the industry, and the men who founded and developed it, H. Young & Sons, 1906, p.208

Samuel still used the name Hope & Co. with Edward Burrell. They were very wealthy and converted the private bank into a joint-stock company under the title of the Liverpool Borough Bank with a capital of £500,000 in £10 shares. They had lots of support as 32,000 out of the 50,000 shares were appropriated before public issue.

Unfortunately after Samuel died in 1837 the bank went to ruin, when ‘much imprudent business was done.’ This escalated in 1847 because of ‘excessive railway speculations’ unfortunately the Bank of England had to intervene and then ten years later universal distrust in America caused all major banks to panic, this had a knock on effect in England. 

On 27th October 1857 the Borough Bank closed its doors. On examination of affairs it was found that its bad debts were exceedingly large. Some £600,000 to £700,000, previously taken as good, were now found to be almost valueless. They had £3,500,000 bills in London with the endorsement of the bank, and this amount some £700,000 to £1,000,000 “had no negotiable validity at all except that endorsement.” The whole total loss was estimated at £940,000 the whole capital of the bank being thus swept away.

Hughes, pp.213-4

That would be a lot of money lost today, but back then it must have been unfathomable. I wonder if this had an effect on Samuel’s family or whether they divorced themselves from the bank after Samuel had died. John Hughes book, Liverpool Banks and Bankers 1760-1837, also gives an insight into Samuel himself. He lived in Everton after purchasing houses there in 1828 which he knocked down and built a ‘spacious and elegant mansion’. So the Hopes were clearly a respectable and wealthy family. Samuel Hope was described…

To the poor and uneducated he has been, and still continues to be, a fervent, active, and sincere friend.

Syers, History of Everton, Liverpool, 1830 in Hughes, p.207

Hughes describes Samuel as well, I think the likenesses between him and Mary are quite prominent…

He was a man of considerable strength of character, and had pronounced Liberal views. In philanthropic endeavours he was ever to the fore, and he was earnest in his promotion of educational improvement.

Hughes, p.212

It seems he was also quite political and had strong views.

He identified himself strongly with the anti-slavery movement, and was an influential speaker at public meetings… A sturdy Nonconformist Mr. Hope took the chair on two occasions in 1837 when the question of the abolition of church rates occupied public attention.

Hughes, p.212

Sorry lots of information there, but hope you find it interesting!


Currently there are "11 comments" on this Article:

  1. Margery L Brown says:

    I am a direct descendant of Samuel Hope and would like to correspond with Bettina Hardin and anyone else interested in the Hope family. I will happily share any information I have, including a digital copy of Samuel Hope’s will. Although the quality of the copy is really bad. I can also share the family tree from Ancestry. Here is my relationship: Samuel Hope and Rebekah Bateman’s daughter Sarah Clegg Hope married Charles Coates. Their son Charles Middleton Coates married Janet McRae. Their son, Charles Adrian Coates, married my grandmother, Margery Susan Nevins. My mother, Mary Rose Coates, married Cecil M. Lemon. I married Raymond Brown.

  2. Hello, re post by Joan Borrowscale regarding connection between the Liverpool Hope family and the Holland family.
    I have a Peter Hope (1781-1820) married to Mary Holland of Millington Cheshire – they had five children – Ellen (b1777),
    John (b1778), Philip (b1780), Mary (b1783) and Rev. Samuel (b1785).

    The father of Peter was John Hope of Millington & Rostherne (1707-1786). John was brother to a Samuel Hope, Builder in Manchester, (1709-1781). This Samuel was father of William Hope of Liverpool (1751-1827).

    William had eight children, one of which was Samuel Hope of Everton ((1781-1837) married to Rebekah Bateman.

    I hope that this Hope/Holland connection is the one that Joan was looking for.

    No, I am not related to that that extensive Hope family of Liverpool.


    Anthony J B Hope.

  3. Joan Borrowscale says:

    Hello Melanie and sorry for not replying sooner.
    I am writing a history of the famlly and descendants of William Holland and his wife Sarah (Cain)
    There must be a connection somewhere beween the Hope family and the Holland family.and Cain Family.
    William and Sarah had 5 daughters and 5 sons. The daughters became School Mistresses in Gateacre, Liverpool
    and I have written their stories – but it is their father who is the brick wall.
    Both he and Sarah and other members of the family are buried in St. Mary Churchyard, Edge Hill Liverpool.

  4. Bettina Harden says:

    Do get in touch – see email address above – I would love to talk to you.

  5. Liz Mitchell says:

    Hi Bettina. That’s very exciting! We only have one photograph of Mary and a drawing by Herkomer in the collections at Manchester Art Gallery. My colleague Sharon has been doing a lot of the family tree research on Mary and I know will be very excited to see this. Can we contact you directly?

    Thanks very much for getting in touch


  6. bettina Harden says:

    It’s me again. Looking at my Family Tree I find Mary Hope as follows:

    The first Mary Hope was born on 8th January 1849 and died in the same year. Mary Greg Hope was born in 1850 and is listed as marrying Thomas Tyleston Greg – I have photographs of nearly all of them.


  7. This all quite fascinating – I came across this article and site researching my husband’s family history. He is a direct descendent of William and Samuel Hope and we have a archive of photographs and other items that might be of interest – there was a very dashing bust of Samuel which, sadly I ony know of from a photograph. Samuel Hope married Rebekah Bateman and I have a detailed Family Tree. Do let me know if I can be of any help.


  8. David Sekers says:


    I saw a poor copy of a privately printed diary 1817-1823 of (I think) Samuel Hope the other day; and was in two minds about buying it. Do you know of it eg is it in public collections in Merseyside?

    If not I’d better get hold of it.

    The contents are edited by some relative, and not esp informative other than about his dissenting faith; thoughts on education, and ideas of books his sons shd read. It is only a few dozen pages; with a ms note c 1890 by a decendant giving various genealogical refs. Plus 2 bookplates.

    (I am writing about Hannah Rathbone in Liverpool in this period and hioped to find a connection)



  9. Melanie Williamson says:

    Joan there is an earlier post titled ‘Some Pretty Diagrams’ which cites the Hope family tree which might be of use to you, Samuel seemed to have a great uncle named Henry but I couldn’t find any dates for him.

    You might also find William Holland mentioned in the book referenced in this post: John Hughes, ‘Liverpool Banks and Bankers 1760-1837: a history of the circumstances which gave rise to the industry, and the men who founded and developed it’, H. Young & Sons, 1906. That’s where I found most of my information on Samuel Hope, there was a whole chapter on him, it might detail people who knew him such as Holland.

    Perhaps there is a connection between the Cain’s? Thomas Cain’s father was a Tailor and draper as was Samuel Hope’s father, William Hope. I hope you find what your looking for it sounds very interesting.


  10. Sharon Blakey says:

    Hi Joan, our interest in Samuel Hope is his relationship to Mary Greg (nee Hope) and is in connection to a research project we are working on about Mary Greg and the collection of bygone handicrafts she donated to the Manchester Art Gallery. I’m afraid I can’t add anything further to your own research, but I am curious as to what your interest is in connection to? Sharon

  11. Joan Borrowscale says:

    Hello – I have been reading your article about Samuel Hope. Do you know of a connection with either
    William Holland or Sarah Cain. On their marriage entry in 1804 a Samuel Hope was a witness.
    I know that William Holland was a Grocer, and Sarah Cains father Thomas Cain was a Master Tailor and Draper.
    There was also mentioned on the Administration for William Holland ( he died intestate) a Henry Hope. I seem to think there will be a connection somewhere.
    Your comments would be welcome
    I wonder why you chose Samuel Hope for your article. I did not read your previous article.
    Thank you

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