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Royal Canal 1798

Posted: 09 Sep 2021 19:50
by Mac
A One Guinea note issued by the Royal Canal, dated 1798.
It promises to pay 6% interest on 24 Dec 1799.

I scanned a picture of this note at a show in Dublin back in 2014, only rediscovered the file recently.

I think it would fit under Merchant Issues
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Re: Royal Canal 1798

Posted: 11 Sep 2021 11:08
by DOC
Fascinating to see an interest bearing note printed for use in Ireland. It makes sense to consider it as a merchant issue as the main business of The Royal Canal Company was not banking but construction and development of The Royal Canal. These notes were issued as part of efforts to raise funds for these activities.

I found a few interesting snippets of information in contemporary newspapers. William Gleadowe Newcomen, the Dublin banker, acted as treasurer for the company. The attached notice mentions these notes and suggests that other denominations may have been issued.

Re: Royal Canal 1798

Posted: 12 Sep 2021 19:02
by Mac
I wonder if the Grand Canal also issued interest bearing notes.

Re: Royal Canal 1798

Posted: 13 Sep 2021 23:32
by DOC
Mac wrote: 12 Sep 2021 19:02 I wonder if the Grand Canal also issued interest bearing notes.
That is an interesting proposal and confirmed by contemporary accounts. I found a notice which makes reference to interest bearing notes of The Grand Canal Company. Curiously, it does not mention the interest rate but it would be reasonable to expect that it matched that of its rival, The Royal Canal Company.

Re: Royal Canal 1798

Posted: 14 Sep 2021 19:20
by Mac
The Grand Canal company was issuing notes in higher denominations too. 20 Guineas being mentioned there.

Re: Royal Canal 1798

Posted: 22 Sep 2021 12:34
by callahiljo
I've only seen one note issued by "The Company of Undertakers of the Grand Canal", for 1 Guinea dated 24 June 1798 and payable with interest at 6% on 24 June 1799. It is in the National Museum in Dublin.

Re: Royal Canal 1798

Posted: 26 Sep 2021 11:30
by DOC
Interesting to hear the company described as ‘The Company of Undertakers of the Grand Canal’. In those days, it appears that the term undertaker was not just restricted to funeral directors but was also applied to those undertaking the risk and management of business. The following link gives a nice overview of the history of the Grand Canal and mentions that the ‘Company of Undertakers of the Grand Canal’ was incorporated in 1772.

https ://archive.waterwaysireland.org/history-of-the-waterways/9/the-history-of-the-grand-canal

Re: Royal Canal 1798

Posted: 10 Oct 2021 17:34
by DOC
The notes of The Grand Canal Company and the Royal Canal Company would appear to be debentures. However, there is no doubt that they circulated as cash and were eagerly sought by shop keepers, traders and merchants of the time. Here is an example of an advertisement placed by Thomas Read, a tailor and woolen draper, who is happy to take Grand Canal notes as cash.

Re: Royal Canal 1798

Posted: 14 Oct 2021 21:02
by Mac
'Cash' that paid a decent rate of interest would have a certain appeal.