Tuesday 16th October 2018
The Chelsea Society was invited to make a private visit to Coutts Bank, 440 Strand, on 16th October 2018, to view its art collection.
Coutts’ archivist, Tracey Earl, accompanied the visit, and outlined the history of Coutts from its foundation by an Edinburgh goldsmith in 1692. She told the stories of Thomas Coutts and the other members of the family who had played an important role in its development.
She also described the building at 59 Strand which Coutts had occupied for 114 years, and the construction of the present building across the road designed by Frederick Gibberd
We heard the story of Angela Burdett-Coutts, one of the greatest philanthropists of the 19th century, and saw the original lending library given by her for the benefit of the clerks in the 1850s.
The visit concluded in the Directors’ suite where we were joined by David Douglas-Home, 15th Earl of Home, a former Chairman of the Bank.
In the Boardroom we saw the detailed hand-painted Chinese wallpaper – a gift to Thomas Coutts in 1794 from Lord Macartney, Britain’s first Ambassador to China.