Issued Twenty Pound notes

Banknote issues preceding the Irish Government issues. Joint Stock Banks. Private Banks.
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Issued Twenty Pound notes

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Twenty Pounds was a lot of money during the era of the Old Note issues.
The notes are rare, and seldom offered.
When I started collecting these around 20 years ago, few notes of this denomination had been recorded, other than specimens and proofs.

They do turn up though, and several collections have been sold over the past decade which had £20 notes in them.

So far, £20 notes of the following banks have been seen:
Bank of Ireland
National
Ulster
Belfast Banking Company
Provincial Bank

I have not yet seen any issued £20 of the Northern Bank.

Pictures to follow.

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Re: Issued Twenty Pound notes

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Bank of Ireland 20 Pound Note, 1915.

Other Bank of Ireland Old Notes are in the Bank of Ireland section on the web site.

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Re: Issued Twenty Pound notes

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Paper Money of Ireland documents an example of an issued Northern Bank £20 dated 1 Feb 1918 (Type NR 41). This type of note appears to be very rare. Curiously, old £50 and £100 notes of the Northern Bank overprinted and issued in 1929 are more often seen.

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Re: Issued Twenty Pound notes

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Must get a scan of that Northern £20.

I believe that £20 notes have been seen for every bank.
Here's a National, rather the worse for wear, recently sold by Spink in London.
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Re: Issued Twenty Pound notes

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Here's a Provincial Bank of Ireland 20 from 1904.

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Re: Issued Twenty Pound notes

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And an Ulster 20.

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Re: Issued Twenty Pound notes

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And a Belfast Bank 20.
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Re: Issued Twenty Pound notes

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Finally, Northern £20 1918.

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Re: Issued Twenty Pound notes

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Here is a much earlier £20 note from Bank of Ireland.
Admittedly, it is a Post Bill, but the design is very similar to the bank's banknotes of the era.

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Bank of Ireland Twenty Pounds 1800, Post Bill.

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Re: Issued Twenty Pound notes

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As mentioned previously £20 was a lot of money in the era of the old notes prior to 1921. Issued non-cancelled examples are extremely rare though cancelled and specimen notes are available to collectors.

Here is an early cut-cancelled £20 note issued by the Mallow Branch of the Provincial Bank of Ireland in 1839. The note bears the portrait of William IV who died in 1837 so this note was issued after his death and is an example of the use of old note stock. The note is signed by Frederick Abrahall, manager of the Mallow Branch at the time.
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Provincial Bank 20 Pounds 1st Jan 1839 F.Abrahall.jpg
Provincial Bank 20 Pounds 1st Jan 1839 F.Abrahall.jpg (36.63 KiB) Viewed 6020 times

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Re: Issued Twenty Pound notes

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Here is an early cut-cancelled £20 note issued by the Parsonstown Branch of the Provincial Bank of Ireland in 1855. The note bears the portrait of Queen Victoria and is signed by Sam Gordon, manager of the Branch at that time.
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Provincial Bank 20 Pounds 15th Nov 1855 Parsonstown Sam Gordon.jpg
Provincial Bank 20 Pounds 15th Nov 1855 Parsonstown Sam Gordon.jpg (92.17 KiB) Viewed 5504 times

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Re: Issued Twenty Pound notes

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The 1921 Northern Banking Company £20 and the 1923 Belfast Banking Company £20 are the most readily obtainable £20 note types from the pre-1928 era. The 1921 £20 was issued by the Northern Bank in 1929 with the bank title as an overprint in the top margin and Belfast bottom margin. The demand for these notes was low and it is reported that they continued to be issued into the 1960’s.

In 1923, The Belfast Banking Company sold its branches in the newly formed Irish Free State and focused its operations in Northern Ireland.

Examples of the two £20 notes types are attached. These notes are scarce rather than rare.
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Northern Bank 20 Pounds 20th Oct 1921 A.V. Browne.jpg
Northern Bank 20 Pounds 20th Oct 1921 A.V. Browne.jpg (172.34 KiB) Viewed 5059 times
Belfast Banking Company 20 Pounds 3rd Jan. 1923 S. Johnston.jpg
Belfast Banking Company 20 Pounds 3rd Jan. 1923 S. Johnston.jpg (175.85 KiB) Viewed 5059 times

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Re: Issued Twenty Pound notes

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Here is an early example of a National Bank of Ireland, Fermoy Branch, £20 specimen note. No issued examples are known but this type is believed to date from the early days of the Bank (1835-1856). A distinguishing feature of this type is the shamrock border around the entire perimeter of the note in combination with the bank title, ‘National Bank of Ireland’.
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National Bank of Ireland 20 Pounds Specimen ca. 1835-1856 Fermoy.jpg
National Bank of Ireland 20 Pounds Specimen ca. 1835-1856 Fermoy.jpg (144.28 KiB) Viewed 3275 times

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Re: Issued Twenty Pound notes

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Here is an example of a £20 Specimen note, Boyle Branch. No issued examples of these single branch notes are known. This type dates from 1856-1869 and is distinguished by a change in the title of the Bank to ‘The National Bank’ along with a modified border design and ‘TWENTY’ in outline text at the centre of the note.
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National Bank 20 Pounds Specimen ca. 1856-1869 Boyle.jpg
National Bank 20 Pounds Specimen ca. 1856-1869 Boyle.jpg (190.48 KiB) Viewed 2368 times

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Re: Issued Twenty Pound notes

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The National Bank introduced multi-branch notes in 1870 with all branches listed. The attached £20 specimen dated 20th April 1871 has 73 branches in the central panel arranged in five lines. There is reported to be an earlier specimen dated 20th January 1870, with 55 branches arranged in four lines. No issued examples of £20 National Bank notes from the 1870-1881 period are known.
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National Bank 20 Pounds Specimen 20th April 1871.jpg
National Bank 20 Pounds Specimen 20th April 1871.jpg (208.23 KiB) Viewed 1906 times

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Re: Issued Twenty Pound notes

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The National Bank adopted limited liability in 1882 and modified its notes accordingly. The main distinguishing features of this type issued between 1882-1900 are alteration of the Bank Title to ‘The National Bank Limited’ and introduction of the wording ‘Unlimited for Note Issue’. All branches are listed in 5 lines in a central panel.

No issued £20 notes are known but examples of proof notes are available to collectors, most usually seen in cut form. Examples of a non-complete proof dated 20th January 1882 and an undated complete proof note are shown. The penciled annotation indicates that the latter note was most likely printed in 1897.
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National Bank 20 Pounds Proof 20th Jan.1882.jpg
National Bank 20 Pounds Proof 20th Jan.1882.jpg (117.63 KiB) Viewed 1609 times
National Bank 20 Pounds Proof ca.1897.jpg
National Bank 20 Pounds Proof ca.1897.jpg (166.28 KiB) Viewed 1609 times

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Re: Issued Twenty Pound notes

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One of the earliest issued National £20 notes is this 1905 example.

The black printing is similar to that of the earlier proofs. The green security underprint was introduced in 1900 on all denominations of the National Bank notes.

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Ireland National Bank 20 Pounds 1905

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Re: Issued Twenty Pound notes

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Yes, the National Bank modified the design of its notes in the early 1900’s replacing the outline ‘Twenty’ with a solid green ‘Twenty’ and green underprint of overlapping circles. This transition aligns with the dropping of the outline ‘Twenty’ on the proof notes and a change in script for ‘ERIN GO BRATH’. The attached proof note dated 21st January 1901 probably corresponds to the first date of issue for the design with coloured underprint. However, we may never see an issued example of this denomination earlier than the 1905 above !
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National Bank 20 Pounds Proof 21st January 1901.jpg
National Bank 20 Pounds Proof 21st January 1901.jpg (166.11 KiB) Viewed 1514 times

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Re: Issued Twenty Pound notes

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The National Bank changed the design of its £20 notes again in 1915. The design of the green panel was altered, the central black underprint removed and the denomination changed to £20 in white numerals. A specimen note dated 20 Jun 1915 is known in the RBS Archives (PMI). This may well align with the first date for this issue.

Only issued notes are known of this type and these are very rare. An example of the last known date, 20th November 1917 is shown earlier in this posting. Here is an earlier example dated 20th November 2015.
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National Bank 20 Pounds 20th Nov 1915 Wilson.jpg
National Bank 20 Pounds 20th Nov 1915 Wilson.jpg (181.93 KiB) Viewed 668 times

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