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All-Ireland Banknotes - The Hibernian Bank


The Hibernian Bank 1826 tokensThe Hibernian Bank One Pound 1826

Hibernian Bank, Two Series: Series A 1826 Series B 1829

The Hibernian Bank


Irish Joint Stock Banks of Note Issue, 1824 Act

The 1824 Act allowed the creation of Joint Stock banks of note issue in Ireland with the right to issue notes outside of a 50 mile radius of Dublin, with Bank of Ireland retaining a monopoly on note issue within that radius. Prior to this the only joint stock bank in Ireland had been the Bank of Ireland, which had been established as a private joint stock bank by Royal Charter in 1783 and had sole right of note issue for a bank with greater than six partners. All other banks of note issue were private banks of six partners or less, which were scattered throughout the country

An Act in 1825 allowed for public joint stock companies, and it was this which paved the way for the formation of large Irish joint stock banks.

The Hibernian Bank was founded as The Hibernian Joint Stock and Annuity Company in April 1825. It opened its only branch in Dublin on 20 June 1825 with 1063 shareholders, many of them London based. Its foundation by a group of Dublin businessmen was in response to anti-Catholic discrimination by Bank of Ireland. It changed its name later to The Hibernian Bank. The bank aimed itself primarily at the Dublin business community.

Hibernian Bank Token Issues

Because the Hibernian Bank was based in Dublin, it was not permitted to issue banknotes of its own because of the Bank of Ireland's monopoly on note issue in Dublin.

Bank of Ireland opposed any attempts by The Hibernian Bank to acquire the right to issue banknotes of its own. The Hibernian issued Tokens, engraved on stamped paper, signed and dated. Although legal, these were withdrawn following their opposition by Bank of Ireland.

Token denominations seen in cancelled issued form are 30 Shillings and £1. Proofs have been seen of 30 Shillings, £1, £3, £20.

There have been unconfirmed reports of a Hibernian banknote issue dated 1825 or 1826. This may be the banknote-like Three Pound post bill, dated 1829.

In 1844, the Hibernian again tried unsuccessfully to obtain the right of note issue. Any further attempts to obtain the right to issue its own notes were prevented by the Irish Banking Act, 1845 which prohibited any bank which did not then have the right of note issue from acquiring such a right, as well as ending the Bank of Ireland's monopoly on note issue in the Dublin area.

In 1885 the Hibernian Bank was reconstituted and the name changed to The Hibernian Bank Ltd. The Bank received the right to issue its own Banknotes in 1929, when it issued Consolidated Banknotes in the Irish Free State.

The Hibernian Bank was taken over by Bank of Ireland in 1958.

Hibernian Bank three pounds token 1826Hibernian Bank three pounds 1829

Special Sections and Articles

Irish Joint Stock Banks of Note Issue from 1783
Contemporary Forgeries of Early Irish Banknotes ca1800-1930
Irish Three Pound Notes of the Joint Stock Banks
The Transition of Irish Currency, Irish banknotes 1918–1928
The Partition of Irish currency, Irish banknotes 1928–1930 Version 3.0.3 Copyright ©2000 - 2022, M Mac Devitt.