O'Neill's Bank Waterford 1799-1801

Banknotes issued by Irish Private Banks ca1700–ca1833
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DOC
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O'Neill's Bank Waterford 1799-1801

Post by DOC »

John O’Neill first registered his Waterford based bank on the 24th May 1799. The bank only survived for 18 months and failed catastrophically in 1801 with a substantial note issue estimated at more than £160,000.

This bank has often been cited as an example of one of the more reckless operations. However, it may have been a case of inexperience in banking rather than a “Cowboy” operation as the bankruptcy proceedings indicate that John O’Neill had a substantial property portfolio in Waterford, Wexford, Tipperary and Limerick. It appears that he made the mistake of having too much of his capital tied up in non-liquid assets and could not sustain a run on his bank.

Silver notes for denominations less than £1 are most often seen. An example for 3 Shillings nine pence halfpenny is attached.
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O'Neills Bank 3 s  9 d Halfpenny 1st Sept 1800.jpg
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Re: O'Neill's Bank Waterford 1799-1801

Post by DOC »

Here is a 6 Shillings note issued by John O’Neill & Co. in 1801.
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O'Neill's Bank Waterford 6 Shillings 1st Mar 1801.jpg
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Re: O'Neill's Bank Waterford 1799-1801

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Here is rather a worn 9 Shilling note. 1 Oct 1801.
Payable in 'National Bank Paper', meaning notes of the Bank of Ireland.
O-Neills-Bank-Nine-Shillings-payable-in-National-Bank-Paper-1st-October-1801.jpg
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Re: O'Neill's Bank Waterford 1799-1801

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I just noticed that there is a different design variant for the 9 Shillings note of this bank. The example attached with an earlier date, (24th November 1799), has a different shaped border surrounding the ‘Nine Shillings’ in the bottom left hand corner, no plate number over the coat of arms and the ‘O’ of the bank title looks like it has a circumflex over the O.
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O'Neills Bank 9 Shillings 24th November 1799.jpg
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Re: O'Neill's Bank Waterford 1799-1801

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I see other differences too. The font used for Waterford is more ornate on the 1801 and NINE SHILLINGS is italic.
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Re: O'Neill's Bank Waterford 1799-1801

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Here is another 1799 note, this time for 5 guineas. Notes for 3s 9 1/2d, 6s, 9s, 5gns and 7gns will be listed in the new edition of PMI, plus post bills for 3gns and 4gns. Any other denominations known? The 7gns is the only one I've seen for that value from any of the private banks and will be the one illustrated.
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PB 348 Waterford O'Neill's Bank 5g.JPG
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Re: O'Neill's Bank Waterford 1799-1801

Post by ThePloughman »

7 Guinea is interesting - I have never seen a bill of that amount. Can you post a picture of it.
Why would they issue such an unusual denomination?
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Re: O'Neill's Bank Waterford 1799-1801

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callahiljo wrote: 05 Mar 2021 13:56 Here is another 1799 note, this time for 5 guineas. Notes for 3s 9 1/2d, 6s, 9s, 5gns and 7gns will be listed in the new edition of PMI, plus post bills for 3gns and 4gns. Any other denominations known? The 7gns is the only one I've seen for that value from any of the private banks and will be the one illustrated.
I have not seen any other denominations for this bank. The 7gns is an exciting find and I look forward to seeing it when the new edition of PMI is published !
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