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All-Ireland Banknotes - The Northern Bank


Ireland Northern Bank 1824-1927 banknotesNorthern Bank, one pound 1912

Northern Bank, Eight Series: Series A 1825 - Series B 1850 - Series D 1921

Series E, 1929 Northern Ireland overprints. Series F, Northern Ireland Issue, commencing 1929

The Northern 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 6 partners.

Over the decade after the 1824 Act six joint stock banks were formed in addition to Bank of Ireland. Two of these, Belfast Banking Company and Northern Banking Company were formed by converting already existing private banks into joint stock banks.

Ireland's Second Joint Stock Bank, Belfast and Dublin Issue

Established as The Northern Banking Company on 1 August 1824, as a private joint stock bank with 264 shareholders, the bank took over the business of Montgomery’s Private Bank, operating since 1809. The Northern Bank opened on 1 January 1825 in Belfast and commenced the issue of banknotes.

In 1867 the Bank was incorporated. It changed its name to The Northern Banking Company Ltd. on 1 September 1883. In 1888 the Bank bought the business of Ball & Co., Dublin, for £22,500, and opened an office there.

Banknotes of denominations 25 Shillings, 30 Shillings, £1, £2, £5, £10, £20, £50, £100 were issued. Of these, no £100 notes have been recorded except in proof form, and a single £50 note has been seen, dated 1917. £1 and £10 notes are the most commonly offered denominations. The banknotes are generally scarce.

Later Irish banknote Issues, post-1928 and Northern Ireland

On 1 January 1929 the bank changed its name to The Northern Bank Ltd. It issued Consolidated Banknotes in 1929, as well as its own Northern Ireland issue. It continues to issue banknotes in Northern Ireland to this day.

The Northern Bank was taken over by The Midland Bank Group in 1965 and had the Belfast bank merged into it in 1970. In 1987 Midland sold the Northern Bank to National Australia Bank. After this takeover, the identity of the former Northern Bank in the Republic of Ireland was changed in name to National Irish Bank, with the Northern Bank identity remaining only in Northern Ireland.

In December 2004 Danske Bank took over Northern Bank and National Irish Bank. In 2014 the Northern Bank name was replaced by that of Danske Bank on its Northern Ireland note issue.

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

1. Hill, E. D., (1924). The Northern Banking Company Limited an Historical Sketch Commemorating a Century of Banking in Ireland By the First Joint - Stock Bank Established in That Country 1824-1924. Northern Banking Company, Belfast. Version 3.0.3 Copyright ©2000 - 2022, M Mac Devitt.