In the emailbox…

June 14, 2008 at 11:22 pm (goslings and sharpe) ()


I got a wonderful email on Friday the thirteenth from Kate in Norfolk; she has Gosling ancestors – via the family of Sir Francis Gosling, knight.

Sir Francis was the brother of Robert Gosling (William’s father) and gave me tons of trouble all because every generation had a Francis Gosling! There were five successive Francis Goslings by the twentieth century. At the time of the merger with Barclays Bank (1896), Herbert Gosling (Mary’s nephew) and Francis Gosling IV were directors. Kate let me know of a useful article on Gosling’s Branch at the website of a gentleman who actually worked at 19 Fleet-street in 1940. I would be interested in hearing from anyone who can tell me more about this publication; the one citation I found for it listed the author as anonymous and n.d. for the year of publication. There are some illustrations I had never yet seen – and I have to say sections IV and V are really thought-provoking. Section IV deals with debits like, ‘To the poor woman who cleans the Shop, her husband just dead, £1.0.0.’ 

Section V tells of a side of the bank I would never have thought about – the staff. William Gosling (Mary’s father) died in 1834; he had been partner – and senior partner – for some decades. So here is a mention of Goslings in March 1826, in ‘Instructions to the Porters’ and how they were to deal with the ‘junior staff’ who ‘lived in’:

Every morning the Clerks sleeping in the House are to be supplied with hot and cold water, jugs and basins with Towels &c for their use to be cleared away as soon as they are done with before breakfast…

Honestly, I can now see dapper William, with perhaps William-Ellis beside him, arriving in a spiffy carriage that draws up to the doors of 19 Fleet-street; and the breakfast things of the clerks getting spirited out of the way just in the nick of time…

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