Thomas Roche & Co. Limerick Bank 1801-1825

Banknotes issued by Irish Private Banks ca1700–ca1833
Post Reply
User avatar
DOC
UNC
UNC
Posts: 478
Joined: 26 Jan 2015 18:15

Thomas Roche & Co. Limerick Bank 1801-1825

Post by DOC »

Thomas Roche and William Roche founded a bank in Limerick in 1801 which became known as Roches’ Limerick Bank. They were brothers of Stephen and James Roche who founded a bank in Cork the previous year. The Cork and Limerick Banks operated as separate businesses.

Roches’ Limerick Bank operated successfully for many years, surviving the great crisis of 1820. It gradually wound down its business during the 1820’s and was taken over by The Provincial Bank in 1825. Thomas Roche became a Local Director of the Limerick Branch of the new joint stock bank after the takeover.

Here is an example of a 6 Shillings, ‘Silver Note’, issued by Roches’ Limerick Bank in 1802.
Attachments
Thomas Roche & Co. Limerick Bank 6 Shillings 12th Nov. 1802.jpg
Thomas Roche & Co. Limerick Bank 6 Shillings 12th Nov. 1802.jpg (50.33 KiB) Viewed 2848 times

User avatar
Mac
Taoiseach • Admin
Taoiseach • Admin
Posts: 1132
Joined: 23 Jan 2015 15:05

Re: Thomas Roche & Co. Limerick Bank 1801-1825

Post by Mac »

Interesting, the non-connection between the two Roches' banks.

User avatar
DOC
UNC
UNC
Posts: 478
Joined: 26 Jan 2015 18:15

Re: Thomas Roche & Co. Limerick Bank 1801-1825

Post by DOC »

Maintaining the two banks as legally separate entities proved to be a wise decision when the Cork-based Roches' Bank collapsed in the 1820 Crisis. However, I suspect that in practice there was close cooperation between the two banks.

User avatar
ThePloughman
AU
AU
Posts: 215
Joined: 04 Nov 2016 16:37

Re: Thomas Roche & Co. Limerick Bank 1801-1825

Post by ThePloughman »

Did they share any common design for their paper money issues, same watermark for example?
The designs of the bills are completely different between the two banks, of the ones I have seen.

User avatar
DOC
UNC
UNC
Posts: 478
Joined: 26 Jan 2015 18:15

Re: Thomas Roche & Co. Limerick Bank 1801-1825

Post by DOC »

It appears that the designs of the two banks are completely different in line with your observation. One common feature is the family coat of arms which appears on some of the early notes and a similar style of watermark with the city of issue prominent.

User avatar
DOC
UNC
UNC
Posts: 478
Joined: 26 Jan 2015 18:15

Re: Thomas Roche & Co. Limerick Bank 1801-1825

Post by DOC »

Here is an interesting link giving some background on one of the partners, William Roche. He was politically well connected and a good friend of Daniel O’Connell. The reference to the hanging gardens at the rear of the bank built at a cost of £15,000 (€600,000 in today’s terms) suggests that the partners were well financed.

http://limerickslife.com/william-roche/

An example of a ‘Silver note’ for 9 Shillings issued in 1804 is shown. The rest of the date is illegible. A notable feature is the prominent ‘Limerick’ watermark.
Attachments
Thomas Roche & Co. Limerick Bank 9 Shillings 1804.jpg
Thomas Roche & Co. Limerick Bank 9 Shillings 1804.jpg (132.37 KiB) Viewed 2361 times

User avatar
DOC
UNC
UNC
Posts: 478
Joined: 26 Jan 2015 18:15

Re: Thomas Roche & Co. Limerick Bank 1801-1825

Post by DOC »

Here is an unusual, unissued note from the partnership of Thomas Roche & Co. which probably dates from 1810-1825. The denomination is blank and would have been written by hand when the note was issued. This feature is reminiscent of the earliest Irish banknotes but unusual post 1800. It would be interesting to see an issued example.
Attachments
Thomas Roche & Co. Limerick Bank Blank Denomination Unissued ca. 1801-1825.jpg
Thomas Roche & Co. Limerick Bank Blank Denomination Unissued ca. 1801-1825.jpg (154.15 KiB) Viewed 1578 times

User avatar
ThePloughman
AU
AU
Posts: 215
Joined: 04 Nov 2016 16:37

Re: Thomas Roche & Co. Limerick Bank 1801-1825

Post by ThePloughman »

This one is more like a check than currency.
It says 'Friday, Bank Holiday' below the number. Any idea what that means?

User avatar
DOC
UNC
UNC
Posts: 478
Joined: 26 Jan 2015 18:15

Re: Thomas Roche & Co. Limerick Bank 1801-1825

Post by DOC »

Good point, it certainly has a cheque-like appearance. In its unissued form it is a bit ambiguous but it seems to be a financial instrument issued by the bankers themselves. I think I recall reference to it being classified as a 'Promissory Note'. An issued example would answer a lot of questions.

Friday, Bank Holiday most likely means that the bank was closed on Friday's. There is a similar reference on the early notes of Robert Maunsell & Co., Limerick Bank.

User avatar
DOC
UNC
UNC
Posts: 478
Joined: 26 Jan 2015 18:15

Re: Thomas Roche & Co. Limerick Bank 1801-1825

Post by DOC »

Here is an example of a 4 Guineas Post Bill issued by Thomas Roche & Co. The design is similar to that of the blank denomination. I have not seen an issued example.
Attachments
Thomas Roches & Co. Limerick Bank Post Bill 4 Guineas Unissued.jpg
Thomas Roches & Co. Limerick Bank Post Bill 4 Guineas Unissued.jpg (101.99 KiB) Viewed 1372 times

User avatar
DOC
UNC
UNC
Posts: 478
Joined: 26 Jan 2015 18:15

Re: Thomas Roche & Co. Limerick Bank 1801-1825

Post by DOC »

It has been previously noted that watermarked paper associated with the Cork Bank of Stephen & John Roche has been used to produce banknotes in Jersey after the failure of the bank. Brothers Thomas & William Roche set up a bank in Limerick which operated as a separate business and was taken over in 1825 by The Provincial Bank.

It is interesting to see that the watermarked paper of Thomas Roche & Co. has also been used to subsequently produce notes in Jersey. Notes displaying the ‘Limerick’ watermarks are attached. It seems that Roche’s Bank Cork and Roche’s Bank Limerick used a common source of watermarked paper and rather than waste the paper after the cessation of these banks, it was put to use in the production of notes in Jersey.
Attachments
Limerick Bank Roche's Promissory Note 1 ca.1800-1825 Unissued.jpg
Limerick Bank Roche's Promissory Note 1 ca.1800-1825 Unissued.jpg (63.47 KiB) Viewed 136 times
Jersey Union Bank 1 Pound 6th Nov. 1858.jpg
Jersey Union Bank 1 Pound 6th Nov. 1858.jpg (110.36 KiB) Viewed 136 times

Post Reply