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David Gordon and Co. Belfast Bank

Banknotes of the Irish Private Banks
David Gordon and Co. Belfast Bank

1808-1827 merged

Belfast, Ireland mapDavid Gordon and Co. Belfast Bank, 25 Shillings

Belfast Bank. David Gordon and Co. - 3 Series, 4 Partnerships

Gordon's Bank

David Gordon (1759-1837) founded a bank in 1808 in Callendar St., Belfast which became known as The Belfast Bank with partners Narcissus Batt (ca1767-1840) [3], John Holmes Houston and Hugh Crawford (1757-1819). There appears to be no obvious link to the earlier Belfast Bank founded by John Ewing which had closed in 1797 in an orderly wind down of its business. Gordon's Belfast Bank opened on 1 August 1808.

The Belfast Bank was also known first as ‘Gordon’s’ and later as ‘Batt’s’ when Narcissus Batt took over as lead partner. The bank quickly became established in the community as a solid institution, based on the good reputations of its partners.

The notes of the Belfast bank began to replace gold in circulation, an unusual occurrence in Ulster where an antipathy to paper money was firmly entrenched. This marked a change in banking in Belfast and Ulster, moving away from a reliance on specie in favour of paper money which was underpinned by the creation of strong banks, well run and supported by local business.

1827 Merger to form Belfast Banking Company

This Bank had several partnership changes before it merged with the Belfast Commercial Bank to form the Belfast Banking Company on 1 August 1827.

Belfast Bank Note issues

Gordon's Bank was an important note-issuing bank in the north east of Ireland in the early 1800s. Together with the two other banks established in Belfast around the same time, Tennant's Bank (est.1809) and Montgommery's Bank (est.1809), it's note issues replaced gold coin in circulation.

Issued banknotes of Gordon's Bank are very rare.

Three Series of notes known Gordon's Bank

There are three Series for Gordon's Belfast Bank banknotes by design, and four Types by partnership.

Series 1. 1809. Denominations recorded: £5.
Series 2. 1815-1825. Denominations recorded: 25 Shillings, 30 Shillings.
Series 3. 1827. Denominations in British Pounds: 25 Shillings.

Four Types by partnership.
Type A: 1808-1819. David Gordon, Narcissus Batt, John Holmes Houston, Hugh Crawford.
Type B: 1819-1821. David Gordon, Narcissus Batt, John Holmes Houston.
Type C: 1821-1825. David Gordon, Narcissus Batt, John Holmes Houston, Robert Batt.
Type D: 1825-1827. Narcissus Batt, John Holmes Houston, Robert Batt.

Denominations recorded: 25 Shillings, 30 Shillings, £5.

Series 1, Type A

Belfast Bank 5 Pounds 1809
Gordon's Belfast Bank, 5 Pounds Sterling, 22 Sept 1809
[, 14 March 2009, Lot 451]

Series 2, Type A

25 Shilling note issued in 1815 by David Gordon & Co
25 Shilling note, issued in 1815 by David Gordon & Co. Irish Pounds
[, 13 June 2015, Lot 275]

30 Shillings dated 1 Dec 1818
30 Shillings, dated 1 Dec 1818, a contemporary forgery

Series 3, Type D

25 Shillings issued in 1827 by David Gordon & Co
25 Shillings, issued in 1827 by Narcissus Batt & Co., denominated in British Pounds
[Central Bank of Ireland Archives]


1. Simpson, N., (1975). The Belfast Bank, 1827-1970, 150 Years of Banking in Ireland, Blackstaff.
2. Young, D. (Jan-Feb, 1976). "The Private Banks and Their Notes, The Belfast Bank of Gordon & Co. later Batt & Co. 1808-1827", Irish Numismatics Magazine, No. 49. pp. 10-11.
3. Dictionary of Irish Biography, Narcissus Batt, and Biographical details of the founding partners of the Belfast Bank.
4. Auction Catalogue, Whytes, Dublin. The Eclectic Collector, 13 June, 2015.
5. Auction Catalogue, Noonan's (DNW), London. Important Collection of Irish Paper Money formed by Bob Blake (Part II), 14 March 2009.

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