Child & Co.
Child & Co c.1580s - date.
This private bank traces its origins to the sixteenth century London goldsmith's shop of the Wheeler family. After William Wheeler's death in 1661 his widow married another goldsmith, Robert Blanchard. Their two shops merged under the sign of the Marigold in Fleet Street. Soon the firm's banking outshone its goldsmithing business. Blanchard was joined in partnership at this time by Francis Child. In 1673 Blanchard & Child moved to the bank's present site at 1 Fleet Street, then adjoining Temple Bar (a gateway marking the western limit of the City of London) Child married Blanchard's stepdaughter and in 1681 inherited the entire business, later becoming Lord Mayor of London.
Francis Child's grandson, Robert, had no male issue and the Child fortune was eventually settled on his granddaughter, Sarah Sophia Fane, who married the 5th Earl of Jersey. Lady Jersey had an income of £40,000, and had some London fame as one of the patronesses of Almack's assembly rooms. Sarah was to act as senior partner of the bank for sixty-one years.
An inside view of the banking house of Child & Co.
Illustration taken from the Illustrated London News.