Thereafter it remained as the London office. By 1700 Thomas Martin, the first Martin partner to join the bank, had begun an unbroken family association with the bank which lasted until the 1930s.
The Bank of Liverpool was a joint-stock company formed in December 1830 under the Chairmanship of Sir William Brown, although it did not begin trading until 16 May 1831. The bank’s fortunes were linked with those of Liverpool’s merchants trading in sugar, rum, tobacco and cotton from the Americas, a trade which was seriously affected by the American civil war in the 1860s.
By the 1880s however, the bank had recovered enough to expand and by 1900 it had 75 branches, 330 staff and 33,000 customers. Further expansion saw acquisitions such as the Craven Bank in 1906, the Carlisle and Cumberland banking company in 1911 and the north-eastern banking company in 1914.
Between the wars, the newly-established Bank of Liverpool and Martins expanded beyond the Bank of Liverpool’s Lancastrian and Yorkshire heartlands. The bank opened branches in Berwick-On-Tweed in 1922, Birmingham in 1935, Brighton in 1936, Northampton in 1937, Newport, Monmouthshire in 1938 and Plymouth in 1939.
As well as opening new branches it acquired more small banks, strengthening its position. It purchased the Palatine Bank in 1919, the Halifax Commercial Bank in 1920, the Lancashire and Yorkshire Bank in 1928 and finally Lewis’s Bank in 1958. The bank also shortened its name in 1928 to Martins Bank Limited, remaining so until its merger with Barclays in 1969.