Derbyshire banknotes

Buxton Museum and Art Gallery is now the proud owner of 6 Derbyshire banknotes dating from between 1813 – 1893.  These compliment the bank note, copper printing plate and strike that Enlightenment! bought in 2010.  We bought 2 lots with financial assistance from the V&A Purchase Grant Fund and 1 lot with assistance from the Friends of Buxton Museum and Art Gallery.  We really appreciate this support! Thank you.

During the enlightenment period Derbyshire, like many other areas of England had an array of privately owned banks.  Many of these banks issued their own bank notes, which were basically receipts for money deposited in the bank.  The bank would then exchange the notes for  real money when the depositor came to the bank.

Over time the notes changed in their design and use, and instead of being issued to a specific named person they became anonymous and could be passed between people.  Voila, this was the beginning of the notes becoming real money in their own right and not just an IOU for real money. (Yes, I realise that this is a very simplified, but it is Friday afternoon….  Anja Rohde is writing an article all about the banking industry in Derbyshire for the Enlightenment! catalogue which will give a more in-depth view).

We bought the notes at the David Kirsch sale at Spinks in December, Kirsch’s private collection was described by Barnaby Faull from Spinks as “the best collection of English provincial banknotes by miles”.  We had a 50% success rate, as we bids on 12 lots in total, below are the 6 we got.

Buxton & High Peak £1 note, 28 October 1813

Buxton & High Peak £1 note, 28 October 1813
This note was bought with financial assistance from the Friends of Buxton Museum and Art Gallery.
Thank you Friends for your continual support!

Wirksworth bank, £1, 11 Oct 1817

Wirksworth bank, £1, 11 Oct 1817
This note is very similar to the note that would have been printed from the copper printing plate that we bought in 2010. There are just a few differences, the most notable being the detail of the ‘One Pound’ at the bottom left.

Wirksworth and Ashbourne £5 forgery, 21 Dec 1840

£5 forgery from the Wirksworth and Ashbourne bank, 21 Dec 1840
We were really pleased to get this contemporary forgery.

Reverse of Wirksworth and Ashbourne £5 forgery, 21 Dec 1840

Reverse of the Wirksworth and Ashbourne £5 forgery, 21 Dec 1840
We don’t know what this stamp on the back of the note means. Any ideas are welcome!

Wirksowrth and Ashbourne £10 note, May 1843

Wirksowrth and Ashbourne £10 note, May 1843
We bought this note and the one below with financial assistance from the V&A Purchase Grant Fund.
Thank you!

Moore & Robinson's Nottinghamshire Bank £5, 1893

Moore & Robinson’s Nottinghamshire Bank £5, 1893
Again a huge thanks to the V&A Purchase Grant Fund.

We also bought two Derby and Derbyshire watermarked unprinted £50 notes, but the photo I have just looks like a white blur.  I will try and get a better image and upload it.

Derbyshire Bank copper plate and bank note

 The Enlightenment! team has recently purchased two bank notes and a copper printing plate.  

The  bank note was drawn at Wirksworth on the Derbyshire Bank for Richard Arkwright, John Toplis and Co.  This refers to Richard Arkwright junior, son of Richard Arkwright the mill owner. 

When Richard Arkwright senior died in 1792 he left much of his manufacturing business to his son Richard.  Richard decided to move away from the mills and instead focus on property and the banking industry.  Richard gained most of his wealth from his banking business Arkwright, John Toplis and Co. of Wirksworth.  

   

 This twenty pound bank note was issued from Derby and Derbyshire Banking Co.

Richard Arkwright Junior with his wife Mary and daughter Anne. Joseph Wright. Derby Museum and Art Gallery.