So­ci­ety hears of world’s first sav­ings bank

The Arran Banner - - News -

Mem­bers of the Ar­ran His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety wel­comed Kay King­stone of the Scot­tish Sav­ings Bank Mu­seum at Ruth­well near Dum­fries for an in­for­ma­tive talk on the his­tory of the sav­ings bank and its founder, the Rev­erend Henry Dun­can at their Au­gust meet­ing in Brod­ick Hall.

Rev Henry Dun­can was born in Lochrut­ton in Kirkcud­bright­shire in 1774, the son of the parish min­is­ter. He was 16 years of age when he had to de­cide what his in­ter­ests were and what pro­fes­sion, if any, he would take up. He first went to St An­drews Univer­sity but left af­ter two ses­sions.

He then got an ap­pren­tice­ship in a com­mer­cial bank in Liver­pool but this did not suit him ei­ther, and he came back home af­ter a cou­ple of years.

He then de­cided to be­come a min­is­ter and went to Glas­gow and Ed­in­burgh Uni­ver­si­ties for six years to get the nec­es­sary ed­u­ca­tion. His pa­tron had him or­dained as min­is­ter near his home at the parish of Ruth­well in 1799 at the age of 25.

In 1810 Rev Dun­can opened the world’s first com­mer­cial sav­ings bank in his parish to cater for the parish­ioners who would not usu­ally have ac­cess to es­tab­lished banks. At the time banks only catered for those with sub­stan­tial wealth. His bank was a great suc­cess and was even­tu­ally copied by oth­ers lo­cally be­fore spread­ing all over Bri­tain and across the world.

Many of the rev­erend’s ex­ploits are recorded in the Scot­tish Sav­ings Bank Mu­seum at Ruth­well, which pro­vides an in­sight into his en­quir­ing mind which em­braced is­sues rang­ing from his­tor­i­cal to so­cial and sci­en­tific is­sues.

Rev Dun­can’s life ended rather trag­i­cally. Hav­ing joined the free church dur­ing the church dis­rup­tion in 1843, he was then barred from his parish. He died soon af­ter­wards and be­fore the new free church build­ing was com­pleted. His grave is un­marked.

The next so­ci­ety meet­ing is on Mon­day Septem­ber 17 at 2pm in Brod­ick Hall when Bob Tom­lin­son will talk about his life in jour­nal­ism. He was, at one time, ‘The Hon Man’ for the Sun­day Post.

Kay King­stone from the Scot­tish Sav­ings Bank Mu­seum at Ruth­well.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.