The first British Banknotes ever made date back to the 17th century, to the year 1694 to be more precise. It was during this year that the Bank of England was established to raise money to fund King William III’s war against France. All notes were originally handwritten on Bank paper and they all had to be signed by the Chief Cashier. During the late 17th century the average income was less than £20 a year and, as the Bank of England decided not to print notes worth less than £50, most people would go through life without ever seeing one.
It was only in 1853 that the first fully printed banknotes appeared in Britain. It was also then that the phrase “I promise to pay the bearer on the demand the sum of...” was first used on a banknote. A phrase that to this day remains unchanged.
On this page, you’ll find British banknotes from the 19th Century onwards, ordered by categories for your convenience. From Bank of England Notes to Treasury Notes and Provincial Notes, there’s something for every collector.
Although our stock of British Banknotes is limited, contrary to many companies ‘selling banknotes’ online, we actually own the stock presented on the product pages. So you won’t receive the usual ‘sourced to order’ message from us. What also differentiates us from other online banknote dealers is that we do not sell anything as an investment. We value your online security, and that is why we comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards, allowing you to pay safely using Paypal, Visa, and Mastercard.
In 1993 the Bank of England celebrated the 200th Anniversary of the issue of the first £5 note. At the same time, the Bank of England was changing over from printing their notes from a web fed roll to smaller individual sheets. 25 years ago the Bank issued 1500 uncut sheets of 3 of each type of the £5 note. We are offering Uncut sheets of the £5 note printed by the Sheet Fed Process. (C108) The sheetfed notes have the first of the new prefix. In fact, we have seen the AC01 Prefix sell for £110 on its own. Another dealer is selling this Uncut Sheet of 3 for £200 – our price is just £110. Remember only 1500 sheets were ever issued!
During the Second World War the Bank of England was concerned that the currency could be counterfeited. To thwart counterfeiters it was decided to change the colour of the £1 note from the traditional green to blue pink Perhaps the most significant change was the introduction of an embedded security thread in the body of the note. We regard this feature as standard today but then it was considered revolutionary. The bank ditched the new colours once the war was over reverting to the traditional green. The new security feature was retained . This is a classic note which any Bank of England collection should include. It is important because it was the first note to contain an embedded metal security thread. Available in Fine, Very Fine and Extremely Fine and Uncirculated Image of note is a representative item from stock and will not necessarily be the actual item supplied.
Some 25 years ago we purchased a huge lot of British Military Notes- some 17 million pieces. One of our members made up sets of the first 1000 notes printed of each prefix in the lot. It took him ages to get these sets together. There were a total of 11 notes all with the same serial number , 4 £1 notes of which 3 are different types, 3 decimal 50 pence notes and 4 decimal 10 pence notes. Searching through our store room we found these collections and the matching 11 notes printed from the last 1000 notes printed from the same prefixes e.g 000425 and 999425 These sets of 22 different uncirculated notes originally sold for £300 a set. We are offering these numbered sets of notes with matching serial numbers for just £28.50 –less than 10% of the original asking price. A bargain set of just £28.50.
The 10 shilling note disappeared from our pockets in 1971. The first Bank of England Ten Shilling notes appeared in 1928 but in 1971 were eventually replaced with a 50 pence coin. These last 10 shillings were signed by J S Fforde as Chief Cashier. This last issue also included replacement notes, which, as their name implies, were used to ‘replace’ regular notes damaged in production. (B311) These all have the prefix M. Here we offer Crisp Uncirculated Last Replacement 10/- notes with Fforde’s signature and the M Prefix.
Wisbech: a complete original book of 100 of the £5.00 note issued around 1890. Barclays Bank bought them out and as the notes were still valid, they cut a small triangular piece out of the signature. These are as printed, Uncirculated in their original book. Normally we sell individual notes in this quality for £75.00 each.
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