The Forum for Stable Currencies would not have been created without Lord Sudeley. He would not have learned about usury at the root of our dishonest money system, if his family had not been bankrupted in 1893 by Lloyds Bank – as published on the above archive site.
Since we organised meetings at the House of Lords and Commons, we made so many connections among victims of bank and judicial fraud that I created a whole list of websites:
- first men who had created businesses and were bankrupted;
- then families whose homes were re-possessed;
- and finally the mothers whose children were kidnapped by the state’s institutions – all in all 33 sites promoting and advocating Open Justice.
When I met Lord Sudeley for the first time, I remember saying to him: when we heal your family, we will heal your nation… Today I received this email from him:
“Much new ground was broken on our bankruptcy in the paper by Dr Stanley Chapman, author of The Rise of Merchant Banking, in The Sudeleys – Lords of Toddington, published in 1987 by the Manorial Society of 104 Kennington Road, London SE11.
Further advances are given in my 10-page paper, just published in the Transactions of the Cymmrodorion Society, together with its Ancillary Memorandum. The Enterprise Act has mitigated the harsher effects of the old cardinal rule in business that liquidity or cash flow is more important than capital. And now we may understand more clearly how under Slow Payment of our debt which arose put of the agricultural depression there would have been no bankruptcy.
Looking ahead, perhaps not enough headway is to be anticipated over the eradication of usury, which was the root of our trouble, since usury has become too ingrained in our monetary system. More headway might be expected however over the unsatisfactory character of banks guarantees, which reduced without in the end altogether eliminating the fourth Lady Sudeley’s Tollemache inheritance.
Important elements are still missing from the full story of why Lloyds Bank destroyed us by filing their petition for bankruptcy. From Gregynog Lady White (for many years Eirene White MP) was an experienced and much respected Parliamentarian who felt that 70 years was about the right interval of time after which Lloyds Bank should have disclosed more information. As yet her expectations have been unfulfilled- and the recent election of Neil Hamilton to the new devolved Welsh Parliament might be a lucky break for us. It was the intention of Neil Hamilton, soon after the publication of Dr Chapman’s paper, to introduce an Adjournment Debate about it in the House of Commons.
(Lord Sudeley’s fresh article on the Sudeley Bankruptcy of 1893, just published in the Transactions of the Cymmrodorion Society)
This article is concerned principally with our estate of Gregynog in Powys (now part of the University of Wales) where by the end of the nineteenth century, when our bankruptcy took place, most of our land had come to lie. Back in 1985, at our older estate of Toddington in Gloucestershire, I held a public conference on the history of our old family, which had held Toddington since 1042, and is descended from early mediaeval royalty. (Under the title of The Sudeleys-Lords of Toddington, the proceedings of this conference have been published by the Manorial Society of 104 Kennington Road, London SE11). The star paper at this conference which caught the attention of the media was the one to mark the end of our story on the controversial and spectacular bankruptcy in 1893 of my great-grandfather the fourth Lord Sudeley, delivered by Dr Stanley Chapman, author of The Rise of Merchant Banking, and an economic historian of international reputation.
To try and help Dr Chapman, I asked the Chairman of Lloyds Bank, Sir Jeremy Morse, for more information on why Lloyds Bank filed a petition for bankruptcy against the fourth Lord Sudeley. The denial which Morse gave of having any more information was the subject of a leading entry in Kenneth Rose’s Albany Column in the Sunday Telegraph.
Though the Adjournment Debate on the bankrupcy in the House of Commons to have been introduced by Neil Hamilton MP did not happen, we have still Lady White’s opinion that the bankruptcy merits a debate in the House of Lords on the keeping and disclosure of banks’ records. In her view Lloyds Bank should have disclosed more information 70 years after the event, which takes us roughly up to the year 1960 when I came of age. Soon I will be approaching my 80th birthday, so a breach of the bank’s secrecy is long overdue.
A fresh public airing of our case has been made more than timely by those provisions which I describe in my article of the Enterprise Act to make sure that what Lloyds Bank did to us in 1893 cannot happen again. The aristocracy is not supposed to understand money very well, so any tips on how I should draft my letter to the present Chairman of Lloyds Bank would be much appreciated. The reply from the Chairman could justify the issue of the Sudeley Bankruptcy being raised once again in Parliament. It may be a lucky break for us that in 2016 Neil Hamilton was elected to represent UKIP in the new devolved Welsh Parliament. In the House of Lords two peers who might usefully be approached are the fourth Lord Sudeley’s descendant Lord Brookeborough, or the eminent lawyer Lord Carlile of Berriew who used to represent Gregynog’s constituency in the House of Commons.
My letter should cover the following points.
ONE. Our debt caused by the agricultural depression was covered twice over by large assets, and there is no doubt how much Lloyds Bank was at fault in filing their petition for bankruptcy to force the payment of our debt on the nail which resulted in a foreclosure with all of our assets reduced overnight to decimated value. If we had been given the opportunity for Slow Payment of our debt through a series of ordered sales under which such of our assets as had to be sold would fetch their full and proper value, our creditors could have been paid in full and we would have kept the other half of what we had.
TWO. Just as happened to us, creditors still enlarge their claims because they are not independently and adequately audited. Top accountant Christopher Arkell advises of the existence of a similar contemporary case arising out of a dispute between the Inland Revenue and a cafe near Heathrow Airport. Thought needs to be given to how to circumvent the bankers’ objection there can be no audit because there is nobody to pay for it.
THREE. Lloyds Bank appears not to hold a copy of the fourth Lady Sudeley’s Guarantee of her husband’s loan from Lloyds Bank. Were the full implications of the Guarantee, which was a dangerous document for her to have signed, ever properly explained to her? There are bankers who tell us any explanation is useless because their Guarantees are invariably worded to ensure the bank takes it all in a way which may be deeply offensive to public opinion.
If the fourth Lady Sudeley’s Gurantee can be found, Dr Andrew Campbell of the Department of Law at the University of Wales in Aberystwyth who specialises in the wording of Banks Guarantees may help us to understand it. The Guarantee may explain the statement given by the fourth Lady Sudeley’s daughter Ida Whitbread in her memoir My Golden Childhood that more of her mother’s substantial Tollemache inheritance was saved than had at first been anticipated.
FOUR. Published in an Appendix in The Sudeleys – Lords of Todington is an entry from the Board Minute Book of Lloyds Bank of 6 November 1893 which records how the General Manager reported that the fourth Lord Sudeley’s Deed of Assignment with his creditors which the Bank has not signed will take effect upoon a date this month, 3 months after registration, unless the debtor is made bankrupt. Does this mean Lloyds Bank would not allow Sudeley pay his own debt in order that he could be made bankrupt?
In my article I make the bold conjecture that the motivation for the petition for bankruptcy from Lloyds Bank was not economic but political, originating in the long standing quarrel which arose within the Whig or Liberal Party between Joseph Chamberlain and the fourth Lord Sudeley’s principal creditor, the Grosvenor Lord Stalbridge, who was the party’s Chief Whip and Treasurer. Over disagreement with Gladstone’s policy of Home Rule for Ireland, Stalbridge did not follow Chamberlain into the Conservative Party, and through Lloyds Bank and their petition for bankruptcy Chamberlain evicted him from politics. The dated document recording Stalbridge’s loan to the fourth Lord Sudeley is amongst my papers deposited at the Gloucester Record Office.
My conjecture is not original, and received a very special welcome from the reader of my manuscript for the Editor of the Transactions of the Cymmrodorion Society. Because the Establishment was still very powerful, Chamberlain would have had to play his cards close to his chest.We may therefore experience trouble from the lawyers, who will argue that my conjecture has to be useless because it cannot be proved. But science shows us well enough how the dependence of lawyers, who are not always practical people, upon proof may be wrong. Often doctors are there to provide the right answer which cannot be proved. When I became ulcerated, my doctor was convinced without being able to prove my ulcer was due to the stress induced by my first wife’s schizophrenia. Upon separation from my wife my ulcer disappeared. To provide a further example, we enjoy the benefits of radar notwithstanding scientists have no knowledge of the natural law in physics whereby it comes into operation.
It may help to try and engage the interest of the head of the Grosvenor family, the Duke of Westminster whom I do not know. I believe it would be best to approach the Duke sideways through our cousins the Brookeboroughs. The fourth Lord Sudeley’s grand-daughter Cynthia Sergison married the first Lord Brookeborough, Prime Minister of Northern Ireland from 1943 till 1963, whose home and estate lie in Co.Fermanagh. The Duke of Westminster also has a home and estate in Co.Fermanagh, so it is not unlikely the two families have known one another rather well.
FIVE. Any denial from Lloyds Bank of holding more information about the Sudeley Bankruptcy has to be put into the context of the privilege private banks have enjoyed of being in total control of their own records. Of late Lloyds Bank may have lost that privilege through being owned in part by the Government which is answerable to the taxpayer. Such a remission may not last for very long. . The percentage of ownership of Lloyds Bank by the Government has already been reduced to 12%, and soon will be reduced still further. Where banks are reluctant to disclose information the Independent Banking Advisory Service calls for the use of proper search powers such as are held by Customs and Excise- and when his term of part ownership by the Government has expired, I can still ask the Chairman of Lloyds Bank whether he would agree with the Secretary of the Historical Manuscripts Commission that any draconian approach to the reluctance of banks to release information can lead only to the concealment and early destruction of the records which it is sought to preserve.
Because the Bank of England which exercises a supervisory role over private banks is to be distinguished from them through being an instrument of the Government, a Bill should be promoted in Parliament to say that after a suitable period of time its records should be released like any other sort of public record.
SIX. Should the provisions of the Enterprise Act, allowing for Slow Payment of a debt instead of payment on the nail, entitle us to retro-active justice? The rejoinder of the Chairman of Lloyds Bank would be that there are too many similar cases for that to happen. But should an exception be made for our case because our bankruptcy appears to have been not economically but politically motivated? Any retro-active justice would have to imply the recovery of Toddington.
Toddington was personally designed by the first Lord Sudeley, Chairman of the Commission for the Rebuilding of the Houses of Parliament, and is its fore-runner. Being of the wrong period, that of the Gothic Revival, its importance as an architectural monument has suffered from undeserved neglect. For about a quarter of a century before its purchase by the contemporary artist Damien Hirst, Toddington was without any owner accepting responsibility for its upkeep,therefore a great worry to conservationists. After his purchase of it, Hirst shrouded Toddington in scaffolding to restore its sculpture; shortly afterwards he stopped work on restoration whilst leaving the scaffolding in situ because he has bought the scaffolding company; and his interest has shifted towards the development of a fresh domicile in Regents Park. And his estate is about to be reduced substantially by a settlement for divorce. Once again Toddington may be left without an assured future.
Should Toddington be restored to the family which built it, the stirrup cup will be served in the Reptonian park on Boxing Day for the meet of the local hunt.