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John Mortlock (d.1754) established the family's fortunes.
John Mortlock II (d.1777) bequeathed to his son John Mortlock III (1755-1816) a profitable cloth merchant's business. He began to provide banking services to his customers in an informal and friendly manner, and soon found that there was sufficient potential to start a bank.
c1780 John III founded a bank at Bene’t Street.
Mortlock became a leading figure in town and university affairs.
1784 Mortlock was returned as MP for Cambridge, but there was a dispute concerning commissioners for the land tax in Cambridge, and Mortlock’s actions earned him a severe reprimand in the House of Commons.
Between the 1790s and 1815 the bank's turnover grew from £90,000 to £360,000. Samuel Francis joined the bank as a clerk and later went into partnership with Mortlock. As a result of his connection to Mortlock, Francis secured prestigious positions within the county, including Receiver General and later became Mayor of Cambridge.
Francis was later compelled to resign both from his county positions and his partnership in the Bank.
John Mortlock’s political manoeuvres brought him many critics, and yet he was still held in high regard in the area.
John Mortlock's third son, Thomas, succeeded to the banking business. He took various partners into the bank, including Edmund John Mortlock by 1866 and Edmund Henry Parker in 1888.
1889 Acquired limited company status, as John Mortlock and Company Limited.
1896 This was the only joint stock company to participate in the bank amalgamation which formed Barclay and Co. Ltd.