Archive by Author | colindunkerley

22nd April 1943. The £1000 Note.

The £1000 note first issued between 1725 and 1745 was discontinued Today in 1943.

Front and back of Note for £1000 with seated Britannia as embossed stamp in top left-hand corner.

The note was slightly smaller in the earlier years and was not issued by the Bank of England Country Branches, except Hull in 1882 and 1889.

A note of such high denomination would not be in general circulation to be used only in internal accounting procedures.

The Bank of England has issued notes in many denominations since its inception in 1694.

Among discontinued issues are those (See Below) of the £5 note, and the £1 issue which was the first of the thread security notes, back to its pre-war colour.

£5 Series B first issued 21.2.1957, ceased to be legal tender 27.6.1967. Designed by Stephen Gooden. Helmeted Britannia.

£1 Series A, 3rd issue. First issued  13.9.1948 and ceased to be legal tender 28.5.1962. Designed by W.M.Keesey.












Sterling notes are legal in the UK as well as Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man, British Antarctic Territory, South Georgia, South Sandwich Islands and three Overseas British Territories, not including Bermuda which has a Dollar at par with the American, being only 700 miles from the Carolinas.

10 shillings Series A, 2nd issue. First Issue 17.6.1948, ceased to be legal tender 29.10.1962. It was re-issue of unthreaded pre-war issue.

£5 white 1st issue 1945. Ceased to be legal tender 13.3.1961. It incorporated security metal thread for first time.










10 shillings Emergency Wartime issue.


To the right is the front and back of the 10 shillings coloured mauve and grey. It was an Emergency Wartime issue which came out 2.4.1940 and ceased to be legal tender on 22.10.1962.

It was designed by W.M. Keesey and included a metal thread to make it difficult for forging which became a permanent feature in 1948.


£1 Emergency Issue


Above a £1 Wartime Emergency Issue which included a security metal thread for first time and which became permanent in 1948.

Many retail banks still have the right to issue their own currency, though none being English, being based in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man; these include, Royal Bank of Scotland and Clydesdale Bank.

The Author was familiar with the low denomination notes, when ten shillings was a lot of money, then issued under the Chief Cashier, Kenneth Oswald Peppiatt.

He was the 20th to hold the title between 1934-1949 and responsible for the Wartime Issues. I wonder if the modern child could name the Chief Cashier whose name is on all bank notes?

References: discontinued banknotes/Pics. 10.9.2013. History of British Banknotes.


21st April 1938. The Bloomsbury Set.

On 21st April 1938 Lady Ottoline Morrel died whose home at Garsington Manor near Oxford was the centre for the Bloomsbury Group which included the many talented group, Meynard Keynes, Leonard Woolfe, Lytton Strachey, G.E. Moore and Rupert Brooke.

Garsington Manor by Henry Taunt 1865. Built on land once held by Chaucer’s son.

Ottoline Morrel was a descendant of Bess of Hardwick and also cousin to the future Queen of George VI. A half brother, William succeeded to be Duke of Portland in 1879 when the family moved to Welbeck Abbey.

She  was born a Cavendish-Bentinck on 16th June 1873 which was the family name of the Portlands and was one of the first women to have a higher education.

Enraptured by her romantic ancestors and with her long tresses of red-golden hair, she took to draping herself in silks and dresses copied from Velasquez and Van Dyck, she inevitably was admired, among many others, by Prime Minister Asquith who had a penchant for young ladies.

She befriended A L Huxley, Siegfried Sassoon, T.S. Eliot and writer D.H.Lawrence who had managed to escape from his mining background by the educational reforms of the 1870.s.

Thus the radical working class writer and the aristocrat could literally walk hand in hand.

In return Ottoline was unfairly mocked in numerous letters and books: Lawrence portraying her as the ‘impressive though macabre’ Hermione Roddice in Women in Love, remarkable but ‘repulsive’.

In World War I she created a warm refuge at Garsington where she rested and fed sculptors, poets, philosophers, artists and writers, as well as inviting, many Conscientious Objectors such as Duncan Grant, Clive Bell, Lytton Strachey or those too sickly to fight as Lawrence, to take refuge working on the Home Farm, recognised as an alternative to the military.

The Morrells’ had an open marriage, he was a Liberal MP, and Ottoline had many lovers including the philosopher, Bertrand Russell, Augustus John, Roger Fry, Henry Lamb and went on to found the Contemporary Art Society: dreamers all.

The Morrells were typical of their age, but despite wealth and connections, their contribution to society was by proxy by taking the multi-talented artists,writers and philosophers, the so-called Bloomsbury Set, under their wings.

This was at a time when the decorous outward inhibitions of Victorian society was being cast aside for such people and demonstrated in louche behavior and arty intellectualism set to last into the 1920.s.



20th April 1657. General at Sea.

‘General at Sea’ Robert Blake was one of England’s most important military commanders and ‘his successes were never equalled’.(1)

Blake (1598-1657). General at Sea, by Henry Perronet Briggs. 1829.

After the Commonwealth was established under Cromwell, The Council of  State established the office of Lord High Admiral and Blake with his background in maritime commerce and proven military record, along with his loyalty to the ‘Good Old Cause’, was elected one of the Commissioners of the Navy. along with Edward Popham and Richard Deane.

So now the land commander became one at sea and his biggest victory was Today in April 1657 when he attacked the Spanish West Indian Fleet, another treasure fleet which had docked at Santa Cruz on Tenerife in the Canary Islands, thought to be impregnable.

As a reward he was awarded an expensive diamond ring by Oliver Cromwell.

The George at Tenerife.

Born at Bridgwater, Somerset Blake was elected to the Short Parliament of Charles I in the spring of 1640 as MP for his home town, but lost his seat in the election for the Long Parliament the following month.

In 1642, the start of the Civil-War, he declared ‘for Parliament’ (the Roundheads) and commanded a company under Colonel Fiennes at Bristol. He became a Lt. Colonel in Colonel Popham’s Regiment and became a local hero for his defence of Taunton and Lyme.

Blake played no part in the trial and execution of King Charles I and remained an MP in Pride’s Purge of the Commons. He died on his flagship, the George, outside Plymouth, and was buried at Westminster attended by Lord Protector Cromwell.

Parliamentarian reburials list 1661 at St. Margaret’s, Westminster.

Up to the time of Blake admirals were not professional sailors and he combined the rank of ‘General at Sea’ along with role of Admiral and Commissioner of the Navy. In fact the term Admiral wasn’t used by the Parliamentarian Navy and Blake was never prefixed ‘Admiral’.

Blake, one of the great parliamentary commanders at sea, was to introduce Rules and Regulations in 1652 and Naval Tactics in that great age of sail. However in a tough, brutal age, ‘The Laws of War and Ordinances of the Sea’ created 39 offences for indiscipline most of which resulted in death.

A year after the restoration of the monarchy, in 1661, Blake’s body, along with other Parliamentarians, was exhumed from Westminster Abbey and put into a common grave at adjoining St Margaret’s Church, adjacent to the Abbey.

Nelson, not known for self-deprecation, said of Blake, ‘I do not reckon myself equal regarding him as one of the great naval generals’.(2) 

(1) Yexley, Lionel. Our Fighting Men at Sea. Stanley Paul & Co., London.

(2) Letter 17.4.1787 to Admiral Sir John Jervis.



19th April 1799. Paying One’s Dues.

Robbie Burns, a customs officer, was according to Charles Dickens’, Mr. Micawber, ‘the Immortal Exciseman’. (1) 

Today the diarist, Parson Woodforde wrote in 1799: ‘I delivered this morning my Income Tax-Paper to Js. Pegg in which I have charged myself 20£ per Ann’.(2)

Woodforde would have been eligible for the tax, having a living at Weston Longeville worth £300 pa, as well as income from tithes of over £200, this at a time when he was paying servants and farming men £10 per year, maids £5 and yard-boy £2.

Woodforde as the employer of man servants had to pay taxes from 1777 imposed by Lord North when he was compelled to find fresh revenue having borrowed the idea from Adam Smith’s, ‘Wealth of Nations’. In 1785 it was extended by William Pitt to Maidservants.

The 1203 the Winchester Assize brought in a nationwide customs where ‘customary dues’ at ports should be directly accounted to the state. The Nova Customae (new customs),came in 1275.

In the reign of Charles I, The Board of Customs was created by Ordinance on 21st January 1643, the same year as his Long Parliament had introduced Excise Tax.

In 1751 heavy taxes and restrictions on retailing were imposed on spirits, smuggling increased using coastal inns such as the 350-year-old (now Wey St. Farm), Aldington, Romney Marsh, when the notorious Aldington Gang led by George Ransley used the premises and recruited Folkestone boatmen to bring over cargoes of illicit liquor.(3)

The problem later for Pitt was that the duty on spirits, tobacco and tea was higher here than in France, which caused him to reduce the duty on tea from 119% to 12.5%.

Parson Woodforde was involved in the illicit trade and complained on September 17th Monday 1792: ‘I got up very early this Morning and was very busy all the Morn in very necessary business… Jno. Norton is supposed to have informed against his Neighbour Buck.

On the 15th he had taken receipt of a Tub of Rum and the next day he was agitated about ‘what was brought him the previous day, as there were bad reports about the Parish’.

It is not surprising for he was liable to a forfeit of £10 for each offence of buying smuggled goods while the village blacksmith as supplier was liable to a fine of £50.

The Board of Excise merged with Board of Taxes and of Stamps to create a Board of Inland Revenue in 1849.

Even Charles Darwin’s ‘Beagle’ which he had used on his scientific voyage, ended up as a watch ship on the River Roach in Essex, policing waterways against smugglers, where it was left to rot. 

The Revenue and Customs Act came in 2005 combining the two services; dread news for all evaders.

(1) Prominent Customs Officers have included, Dick Whittington and Geoffrey Chaucer.

(2)  Woodforde’s Diary begun on 21st May 1759: ‘Made a scholar of New College’: His portrait was painted by his nephew Samuel.

(3) The Marsh echoed to the calls of smugglers nicknamed ‘owlers’ and their doings were immortalised by Russell Thorndyke’s fictional character Dr Syn, a Dymchurch vicar by day, but smuggler by night.

But the end came in 1826 when an officer was killed. Bow Street Runners went to the Marsh and arrested the gang. Mitigation reduced the sentences to transportation to Van Dieman’s Land (Tasmania).

Smuggling has inspired many writers including de Maurier’s (Jamaica Inn) and J.M Faulkner’s (Moonfleet). Even Enid Blyton got in on the act with, ‘Five go to Smugglers’ Top.

18th April 1674. Bills of Mortality.

‘Nullius in Verba’ (Don’t take anyone’s word for it), motto of the illustrious Royal Society which John Graunt FRS who died Today in 1674 was invited to join in 1662.(1)

Graunt who lived at Birchin Lane, close to the current Royal Exchange, is remembered by statisticians and actuaries today for his 1662 work on ‘Medical Statistics’ which was further described as ‘National and Political Observations Mentioned in a following Index and Made Upon The Bills Of Mortality’ and Printed [as it said] at the sign of The Bell, St.Paul’s Churchyard by John Martyn. The 15th edition was published in 1676.(2)

1676 publication.

Graunt was unusual to be installed as FRS, being a haberdasher and not a man of science, but was to  record the cause of death of Londoners at a time when Charles II and others were keen to create a system after the onset and spread of Bubonic Plague.

However though the system was never truly created, he was responsible for the first statistically based estimate of the population of London. He can thus be regarded as one of the first demographers analysing the available Mortality Rolls and a pioneer in the later study of Epidemiology and Public Heath statistics.

His report makes fascinating reading of the disease and illness of his time which included such mortality as frighted, itch, grief, consumption (which was to be a concern until the mid 20thc), ‘King’s Evil’ or Scrofula ( a swelling of the lymphs, which many thought could be cured by touching the monarch).

Much of Graunt’s work was based on information collected from ‘Matrons’, there at the death, after being judiciously bribed with a cup of ale.

Graunt published data at 10 yearly age intervals, predicting deaths, the population of London useful for finding those eligible for the King’s ‘fighting forces’, and dispelled the myth that the plague was more rife in the years of monarchy change. He also calculated how London was expanding.

His techniques are still in use today as he was one of the first to draw conclusions from mortality data and produced a realistic estimate of the population of 17thc London.

(1) The Royal Society of London for the improvement of natural knowledge was given its Charter by Charles II and founded 28.11.1660. Early members were physicians and natural philosophers and influenced by Francis Bacon’s New Science as in his Nova Atlantis (New Atlantis) written (as was common then) in Latin.

(2) His house was lost in the Great Fire and he became bankrupt. He was unusual in changing from Puritanism to Catholicism.

Ref: theactuary/Pic.

17th April 1909. The Old Firm.

The Scottish Referee Periodical for April 1904 showed a cartoon of a man with a sandwich board which read, ‘Patronise the Old Firm, Rangers Celtic Ltd’.(1)

In the early 20thc sectarian violence in Glasgow football was yet to rear its ugly head, but the ‘Old Firm’ matches (between Rangers and Celtic), was then regarded as a mutually beneficial alliance to make money.

Willie Maley, Manager of Celtic was often known to say, ‘there’s money in football’. Celtic was admittedly a Catholic and Irish team, but the Rangers had yet to adopt its extreme  Protestant allegiance.

However it was Today a Saturday in 1909 when the 36th Scottish Cup Final replay between Rangers and Celtic at Hampden Park, before 60,000, was deemed by football historians to be a significant match in the rivalry of the two clubs.

‘Partners at the Bank’ says cartoon. Report of riot and Celtic team.

The trouble started at 5 pm after the two clubs has drawn 1-1 in the replay after the previous week’s 2-2 draw. The second game was deemed anaemic as though a draw was being played for, as under SFA rules extra time was only allowed after a 2nd replay.

120,000 people had already paid shillings for watching the 2 matches and at the end of the match when it was announced that no extra time would take place, tempered frayed and rumours had been circulating that it was all rigged to increase gate receipts.

Matters turned ugly with widespread rioting and mounted constabulary turned out as goalposts were torn up and bonfires started from wooden fences, with the fire brigade having hoses cut and dozens injured in a 2 ½ hour riot which extended into the city.

The London Pall Mall Gazette reported: ‘The football craze is one of the most active deleterious influences to which the character of the masses is now subject: and we cannot too soon set about counterbalancing it with the wholesome discipline of military training’.

The Glasgow Herald wrote: ‘Saturday was a black day in the history of football in Glasgow… to equal it one must  go back to the Bread Riots of 1848’.

Both clubs petitioned to have the tie abandoned which demands were met. The Scottish FA withdrew the trophy for that year along with medals.

Queen’s Park, the amateur side who played at Hampden were compensated £500 with the other two sides having to contribute £150 each. 


The Herald assured its middle-class readers that the fighting was inspired by only, ‘the most depraved elements of the community’. The Times which hadn’t included the first match in its sporting events, being too preoccupied with the obituary of the poet Swinburne on May 3rd, published an announcement that Queen’s Park FC, landlords of the ground had offered £100 for information leading to ringleaders.

In happier times  on 17th April 1937, Scotland beat England at Hampden before a world record crowd of 149,415.


The first recorded crowd violence was in 1885 when players were attacked by stones and sticks after Preston beat Villa 5-1. A newspaper reported the hooligans as ‘howling roughs’.

In 1889 the semi-final replay between Sheffield United and Liverpool was abandoned at half-time following a series of pitch invasions.

(1) April 16th 1904.

Ref: 21.3.2007.

Ref: 26.1.2015.


Ref: scottishfootballmuseum.


16th April 1786. Slow Boats to Cathay.

Today in 1786 Sir John Franklin was born later famous for sailing in an attempt to discover the North West Passage to China in 1845, but tragically died in the ice two years later. (1)

Franklin’s lost expedition.

In his efforts to find a short passage to China he was following in the tradition of the Muscovy Company of three hundred years earlier when due to several years of lessening demand for England’s chief export, wool, it was imperative that new markets be found.

The Merchant Adventurers Company was founded in 1552 when Edward VI granted a Royal Charter to the master and wardens of the Community of Merchant Venturers of the City of Bristol, who were granted a monopoly of seaborne trade from and to Bristol.

Then it was the lure of the fabled North-East Passage which led seamen like Sir Hugh Willoughby of Risley and Sir Henry Sydney’s protegee Richard Chancellor, born in Bristol, to find a route to Cathay (China). However they arrived in Russia.

Victorian engraving of Richard Chancellor at the court of Ivan the Terrible.

£6,000 was raised to equip a fleet and the Company appointed Willoughby to lead the expedition and Chancellor to be Pilot-General, initiating the history of Arctic exploration.

Thus it was on 10th May 1553 that three ships left Radcliffe Dock, Stepney with Willoughby  captain of the Bona Esperanza of 120 tons and the Edward Bonaventure of 160 tons under Chancellor.

By 14th September the three ships sailed into a bay near to the present border between Finland and Russia. However  Willoughby didn’t survive the winter with his ships becoming frozen in the ice and dying in 1554.

However Chancellor survived, later to accidentally discover the White Sea from where he was summoned to Moscow and to the Court of Ivan The Terrible, resulting in the opening of trade with Russia to last 300 years.

Chancellor spent his time negotiating trade and attempting to find how China could be reached, but on the way back with the Russian envoy, he was drowned, the envoy surviving to reach London and the formation of the Muscovy Company.

Seven years after the expedition sailed, on May 5th 1560, the Governors of the Muscovy Company wrote to their Agents in Moscow: ‘Also we send you Nicholas Chancelour to remaine there, who is our apprentice for yeares: our mind is hee should be set about such business as he is most fit for: he hath been kept at writing schoole long: he hath his Algorisme, and hath understanding of keeping of bookes of reckonings.’(2)

The lad thus launched was one of two orphan boys left behind by Richard Chancellor, who barely seven years earlier, had discovered the route to the White Sea, and Archangel, thus putting England for the first time in history in direct communication with Russia.

Four hundred and fifty years later President Putin of Russia attended a dinner at Guildhall in 2003 to celebrate 450 years of trade links with Britain and marked the day when Chancellor discovered the northern route to Russia.(3)

In September 2014 the wreck of Franklin’s ship HMS Erebus was discovered and two years later HMS Terror was discovered in pristine condition, south of King William Island. The crews it appeared had died from starvation, TB, hypothermia, lead-poisoning and scurvy.

(1) Sailed on 19th May 1845  and died on 11th June 1847.

(2) Nicholas had been given the usual education for a business career; a clear handwriting, the first four rules of arithmetic, the Rule of Three (his Algorisme) and some elementary bookkeeping necessitated by the rise of commerce since the 13thc.

(3)  The last Russian as opposed to Soviet Head of State to experience Guildhall hospitality was Tsar Alexander II back in May 18th 1874 who ploughed his way through twenty-two courses which included seven desserts.

Ref: John Rae/Franklin Fatal Passage. Ken McGoogan 2001. Story of John Rae hero whom time forgot.