FIRST - Banker in Cambridge - John Mortlock
Posted by: Groundspeak Charter Member Hard Oiler
N 52° 12.244 E 000° 07.129
31U E 303126 N 5787648
Quick Description: John Mortlock opened the first banking house in Cambridge here in 1780.
Location: United Kingdom
Date Posted: 5/15/2006 4:11:13 PM
Waymark Code: WMCNV
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Dew Crew
Views: 95

Long Description:

John Mortlock established the first bank in Cambridge near here in 1780 later moving it to this building on Bene’t St. in 1783. It’s still a bank though now a Barclay not a Mortlock.

As the quote on the plaque suggests although John Mortlock was not the first corrupt politician (nor the last) he excelled at it and made no secret of using corruption to gain influence and put cash in his pocket.

In 1783 he became an Alderman, got the quorum and mayoral election rules changed such that by 1784 he was the Mayor of Cambridge – a position he held 13 times until his death. He had the system so well worked out that his sons inherited the position for 19 years following his death – Morlocks were Mayors of Cambridge for an unbroken streak of 51 years.

The combination of Mayor and Banker was financially rewarding but he also added to that the lucrative office of Receiver of the Land Tax for Cambridgeshire and was also returned to Parliament. This powerful combination of offices enabled him to run the city as a private fiefdom, selling off city property (and some property that wasn't strictly the city's to sell) to friends at knock-down prices, diverting taxes and city funds into his own pockets and using them to buy off or compromise anyone who dared to oppose him.

FIRST - Classification Variable: Person or Group

Date of FIRST: 01/01/1780

More Information - Web URL: [Web Link]

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