Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Holt and Co (of London)

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c.1809 Established as army agents by William Kirkland, agent to the First Regiment of Foot, in Bennett Street, St James's, London. Army agents kept the accounts of army regiments, distributing pay and subsistence, dealing in supplies of clothing, claims for pensions and injury, and providing a general banking business for soldiers and their families.

1815 William was joined by Nugent Kirkland.

By 1822 The firm traded as Nugent and John Kirkland

1825 The firm was trading as John Kirkland

By 1847 It held 17 army agencies.

1871 After John’s death the business was run by Vesey Weston Holt.

1881 Named Vesey Holt and Co, when Vesey George Mackenzie Holt succeeded his father

1883 Named Holt and Co.

1884 the army agent Lawrie and Co was acquired. Thereafter the firm was known as Holt, Lawrie and Co

1891 Name reverted to Holt and Co .

1892 After the government fee for disbursements was cancelled, agency profits had to be made entirely from the banking services offered to officers and their families.

WWI The volume of work increased massively.

1915 Links were also forged with the Navy, through the 1915 acquisition of naval agents Woodhead and Co

1918 Part of the Royal Air Force's pay agency was offered to Holt and Co.

1923 Vesey Holt died; the business was acquired by Glyn, Mills, Currie and Co but continued to trade separately

1930 Moved from Whitehall Place to Kirkland House in Whitehall

1939 Glyn, Mills and Co was itself acquired by The Royal Bank of Scotland, but Holt & Co still continued to trade as a separate business until the 1960s.

1992 the London business, then known as Holt's branch, Whitehall, was merged with that of the nearby Drummonds branch in Charing Cross.

See Also

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Sources of Information


  • RBS Heritage [1]