Waterford Bank. Newports. 1799-1820

Banknotes issued by Irish Private Banks ca1700–ca1833
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ThePloughman
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Waterford Bank. Newports. 1799-1820

Post by ThePloughman »

Here's another Waterford Bank: William Newport, Samuel Newport and John Newport.
A shame about the bank stamp, but still a nice example.
I guess the Newports were totally separate from the Roberts Banks.

1 Guinea, 25 November 1817.
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Re: Waterford Bank. Newports. 1817

Post by DOC »

Yes, the Newport family set up their own bank which they also named Waterford Bank. This example has William Newport as lead partner. Earlier notes have been seen with Simon Newport as lead partner. The bank stamps can provide useful information about the cancellation of notes and add to the interest level. Attached is an example of a 1 Pound note, dated 16th February 1820, which also has a bank stamp.
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Waterford Bank William Newport & Co. 1 Pound 16th Feb 1820.jpg
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Re: Waterford Bank. Newports. 1817

Post by DOC »

Here is a 9 shillings silver note issued in 1799 with Simon Newport as lead partner. Irish banknotes pre-1800 are seldom seen and this is an interesting example.
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Newport's Bank 9 Shillings 1st Dec. 1799.jpg
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Re: Waterford Bank. Newports. 1817

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Is the 1799 9 Shilling bill from the same bank as the others, as it is titled 'Newport's Bank', and the later bills are 'Waterford Bank'.
Did they just change the name, or go bust and start up again with a different name?
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Re: Waterford Bank. Newports. 1817

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Yes, the Newport's Bank and Waterford Bank notes were issued by the same family of bankers. Simon Newport was the lead partner until 1803 and operated under the bank title 'Newport's Bank'. His son William took over the business in 1803 and ran the bank until the 1820 Crisis when the bank failed. Most notes issued with William Newport as lead partner have the bank title 'Waterford Bank' though some notes were issued with no bank title at all ! , example attached.
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William  Newport & Co. 25 Shillings 11th March 1820.jpg
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Re: Waterford Bank. Newports. 1817

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Here is an example of a Waterford Bank 30 Shillings note issued in 1820 with William Newport as lead partner. Irish Private Bank notes from the early 1820’s are difficult to obtain as many banks failed in the Crisis of 1820. Barrow reports that the Crisis which began in May 1820, marked the beginning of the end of Private Banking in the South of Ireland.
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Waterford Bank William Newport & Co. 30 Shillings 28th Feb.1820.jpg
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Re: Waterford Bank. Newports. 1817

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Here is a scarce £2 note issued by Waterford Bank, William Newport & Co in 1816.
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Waterford Bank William Newport & Co. 2 Pounds 25th Oct. 1816.jpg
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Re: Waterford Bank. Newports. 1817

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Here is a scarce £3 note issued by William Newport & Co. Waterford in February 1820 shortly before the collapse of the bank in May of that year.
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Waterford Bank William Newport & Co. 3 Pounds 26th Feb. 1820.jpg
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Re: Waterford Bank. Newports. 1817

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The Waterford Bank of William Newport & Co. also issued £5 notes. Here is an example of this scarce note dated 28th February 1820.
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Waterford Bank William Newport & Co. 5 Pounds 28th Feb. 1820.jpg
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Re: Waterford Bank. Newports. 1817

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Here is an extraordinary £50 note issued by William Newport & Co. in 1818. This is one of the highest denomination notes known for an Irish Private Bank. It appears to be uncancelled.
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William Newport & Co. 50 Pounds 1st Oct.1818.jpg
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Re: Waterford Bank. Newports. 1817

Post by Mac »

That's a nice find. As you say, an exceptional denomination, and a significant loss to the bearer if they were left with it unpaid!
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Re: Waterford Bank. Newports. 1817

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This is a super bank bill. First 50 Pounder I have seen.
Was it in auction recently?
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Re: Waterford Bank. Newports. 1799-1820

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This note now resides in a museum. My guess is that the £50 denomination is very rare and we will be waiting a long time to see another example !
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Re: Waterford Bank. Newports. 1799-1820

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Here is a 6 Shillings silver note issued by Simon Newport & Co. Another example of a low grade note from this era !
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Simon Newport & Co. 6 Shillings Nov. 1800.jpg
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Re: Waterford Bank. Newports. 1799-1820

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I guess these guys probably also issued a 3s 9.1/2 bill.
Any post bills seen for this bank?
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Re: Waterford Bank. Newports. 1799-1820

Post by DOC »

Yes, I think it is likely that 3s 9½d notes and post bills were also issued but examples have not been reported to date. This bank was an active issuer but only a tiny fraction of its notes survive today.
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Re: Waterford Bank. Newports. 1799-1820

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I've been going through the notes we have for Newport's bank, and have identified the following:

Newport Waterford Bank. 5 Types by design.
1. 1799-1800 Newport’s Bank. 6s, 9s.
2. 1816-1820 Bank symbol at centre. £1, 30s, £2, £5. Date printed portion 181
3. 1820. Bank Symbol at left. 1G, £3.
4. 1820. £1-5s. Date printed portion 18
5. 1818. £50. Hibernia logo

2 Partnerships.
A. 1799-1803. Simon Newport, Sir John Newport Bart, William Newport
B. 1803-1820. William Newport, Samuel Newport, John Newport.
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Re: Waterford Bank. Newports. 1799-1820

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Newport’s Bank Failure 1820

Newport’s Bank had established itself as a strong and stable institution with the full confidence of the public. However, during the 1820 financial crisis it was among those banks which collapsed and failed.

It was said in an article on the collapse of the Waterford private banks in The Waterford News on Friday 28 Feb 1868 that the collapse of Newport’s was sparked by an unusual event. On 7 June 1820 a well-known local doctor was called to pay a visit on William Newport’s home. After a short time there, he was seen to leave and proceed immediately to Newport’s bank where he withdrew all his funds in gold. He then informed the staff that Mr. Newport had died. The impression was that he had poisoned himself. This news lead to an immediate run on the bank, with the notes falling to a fraction of their value by the end of the day.

Prior to this Mr Newport had been bullish about weathering the banking crisis.

The article goes on to state that the managers of Newport’s estate considered that the bank could have survived had William Newport made the effort to save it. In the end, the creditors received 11s in £1 (PMI, 2009).

Newport’s Bank had a gold reserve and quite good liquidity (10.7% cash to liabilities) relative to other banks (average 4.2%) which failed in the 1820s (Kenny and Turner, 2019, Table 4). However, Newport’s had a very large deficit between assets and liabilities of £94,188, much higher than Maunsell’s at £2,446—Maunsell’s however had no cash reserves. It may be this very high deficit that drove William Newport to commit suicide rather than try to struggle through with his relatively healthy cash reserve.
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Re: Waterford Bank. Newports. 1799-1820

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That is an amazing story about the demise of Newport’s Bank. The doctor showed great presence of mind in realising that the death of William Newport would lead to an immediate collapse of the Bank !

No doubt that the silver notes of 1799-1800 are a distinct series. Type 2 and Type 3 appear similar with just a variation in the position of the ‘Lion’ vignette. Could they be considered as part of the same Series, 2a and 2b? Type 4 and Type 5 also have similarities with the partner initials left side. I wonder if the 25s and £50 notes were part of an earlier series predating the Series with the ‘Lion’ vignette?
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Re: Waterford Bank. Newports. 1799-1820

Post by Mac »

A problem with arranging the order of Types is the variety of notes issued in 1820!
The £50 could indeed be an earlier Type. Must look at what we have and rejig it.
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