Bank’s anniversary

Bridgnorth’s HSBC branch is celebrating its 200-year anniversary and in recognition of this a special booklet has been produced which charts the early beginnings of the branch – from the ‘gentlemen bankers’ Charles Cooper and William Purton who formed the Bridgnorth Bank in 1817 right through to the present day.

The booklet recounts the story of an early swindler, Eliza Jane Scoffham, who, in 1889, donned a wig and nurse’s uniform and attempted to cash a cheque for £250 (around £2,000 today) before suspicious staff gave chase. Just before WW1, the bank became the Midland Bank and remained so until 1992 when it became part of HSBC. A portrait of founder William Purton painted by John Constable was hung in the Bridgnorth branch – it now hangs in HSBC’s offices in London’s Canary Wharf.

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