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10 Pounds Sterling 1980, Guernsey

in Banknotes Book Number: GU52a
Years of issue: 1980
Edition: --
Signatures: States Treasurer: Mr. W. C. Bull
Serie: No Serie
Specimen of: 1980
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 150 x 85
Printer: TDLR (Thomas de la Rue & Company), London

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10 Pounds Sterling 1980




Seal of Guernsey.


10 Pounds Sterling 1980

The panel with Guernsey's coat of arms or emblem, surrounded by laurel branch, is in lower left corner.

The coat of arms of Guernsey is the official symbol of the Channel Island of Guernsey. It is a red shield with three gold lions (historically described as leopards) passant guardant surmounted by a small branch of leaves. It is very similar to the arms of Normandy, Jersey and England.


Centered, behind the denomination, are the acanthus leaves.

The acanthus is one of the most common plant forms to make foliage ornament and decoration.

The decoration is made by analogy with the herbaceous plant of acanthus acanthus family, native to the Mediterranean. The shape of its leaves, with a few sharp edges, resembling a bear's paw, was the basis for the drawing.

Acanthus often represents life and immortality.


Castle Cornet is a large island castle in Guernsey, and former tidal island, also known as Cornet Rock or Castle Rock, which has been part of one of the breakwaters of St Peter Port's harbour, the main one in the island, since 1859.

The island measures about two hectares in area, with a length of 175 meters and a width of 130 meters. It lies not quite 600 meters east of the coast of Guernsey.

Formerly a tidal island, like Lihou on the west coast of Guernsey, it was first fortified as a castle between 1206 and 1256, following the division of the Duchy of Normandy in 1204. In 1339 when a French force captured the island and occupied it for several years, Cornet was besieged and captured, and the garrison massacred.

With the advent of cannon and gunpowder, the castle was remodelled between 1545 and 1548. Prof. John Le Patourel, in The Building of Castle Cornet mentions that in 1566, iron and hammers were taken to "Creavissham" (i.e. Crevichon), and that island quarried for the castle.

It served as official residence of the Governor of Guernsey until 1672 when the keep was catastrophically destroyed. A bolt of lightning struck the magazine of the castle, destroying the keep and a number of living quarters. The Governor at the time was Lord Hatton. His mother, wife and a number of members of staff were killed in the explosion.

It became integrated into the breakwater after the period of the Napoleonic Wars.

Along the breakwater, a pond for toy yachts was constructed in 1887 for Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee, which served as a seaplane base during World War I.

During World War II, it was occupied by a small garrison of German troops. It was presented to the people of Guernsey in 1945 by the Crown.

The castle today incorporates the following museums:

1) The Story of Castle Cornet

2) Maritime Museum

3) 201 Squadron RAF Museum

4) Royal Guernsey Militia Museum - including artifacts from Royal Guernsey Light Infantry.

It also has a restaurant, and hosts outdoor theatre performances during the summer months.

Denominations in numerals are centered and in lower right corner. In words on right side.


10 Pounds Sterling 1980

Isaak Brock Isaak Brock

The engraving on banknote is made after this miniature, by Philip Jean, of Sir Isaak Brock in young age, made in 1785.

Major-General Sir Isaac Brock KB (6 October 1769 – 13 October 1812) was a British Army officer and colonial administrator from Guernsey. Brock was assigned to Lower Canada in 1802. Despite facing desertions and near-mutinies, he commanded his regiment in Upper Canada (present-day Ontario) successfully for many years. He was promoted to major general, and became responsible for defending Upper Canada against the United States. While many in Canada and Britain believed war could be averted, Brock began to ready the army and militia for what was to come. When the War of 1812 broke out, the populace was prepared, and quick victories at Fort Mackinac and Detroit defeated American invasion efforts.

Brock's actions, particularly his success at Detroit, earned him a knighthood, membership in the Order of the Bath, accolades and the sobriquet "The Hero of Upper Canada". His name is often linked with that of the Native American leader Tecumseh, although the two men collaborated in person only for a few days. Brock died at the Battle of Queenston Heights, which the British won.

Battle of Queenston Heights Battle of Queenston Heights

On banknote are the elements of the painting "The Battle of Queenston Heights" by eyewitness James B. Dennis, in 1866, depicts the unsuccessful American landing on 13 October 1812. The village of Queenston is in the right foreground, with Queenston Heights behind. Lewiston is in the left foreground.

The Battle of Queenston Heights was the first major battle in the War of 1812 and resulted in a British victory. It took place on 13 October 1812, near Queenston, Upper Canada (the present-day province of Ontario). It was fought between United States regulars and New York militia forces led by Major General Stephen Van Rensselaer, and British regulars, York and Lincoln militia and Mohawk warriors led by Major General Isaac Brock, and Major General Roger Hale Sheaffe, who took command when Brock was killed.

The battle was fought as the result of an American attempt to establish a foothold on the Canadian side of the Niagara River before campaigning ended with the onset of winter. This decisive battle was the culmination of a poorly managed American offensive and may be most historically significant for the loss of the British commander.

Despite their numerical advantage and the wide dispersal of British forces defending against their invasion attempt, the Americans, who were stationed in Lewiston, New York, were unable to get the bulk of their invasion force across the Niagara River due to the work of British artillery and reluctance on the part of the undertrained and inexperienced American militia. As a result, British reinforcements arrived and defeated the unsupported American forces, forcing them to surrender.

monument monument

On right side is the monument to Sir Isaak Brock.

A few years after the death of Isaac Brock, a government commission that was setting up a monument to him on Canadian soil asked his family members what they would like to see this monument. The proposed project was a bronze statue 2.5 meters high on a granite pedestal, on which the bas-relief depicting its military victories will be painted. The total height of the proposed monument was more than 6 meters, it was planned to be ordered by the author of the bas-relief in the Cathedral of St. Paul Wetmakottu, and his cost, including transportation to Canada, was to reach 2500 pounds. The price seemed to be overcharged, and as a result, an alternative project was chosen by the architect Francis Hall, a Tuscan column costing £ 2,200. The column was erected in 1824 at Queenston Heights, the site of the death of Brock and Lieutenant Colonel McDonnell, who was killed in the same battle, and their ashes are reburied next to her. In 1840, however, the column was damaged by an explosion of powder charge; This sabotage was probably committed by a certain Benjamin Lett, one of the leaders of anti-British rebel forces in the Niagara area. In the same year, it was decided to install a new monument to Queenstown Heights. A new, triumphal column designed by architect William Thomas, crowned with a stone figure of Broc almost five-meter high, was laid in 1853, and the remains of Brock and McDonnell were reburied beneath it on the anniversary of the Battle of Queenston. The construction of the new monument was completed in 1859.

Upper Canada Preserved

Centered, in lower part of banknote, is The famous "Upper Canada Preserved medal", as illustrated in Benson J. Lossing’s Pictorial field-book of the War of 1812 (New York: Harper, 1868).

The famous Upper Canada Preserved medal, as illustrated in Benson J. Lossing’s Pictorial field-book of the War of 1812 (New York: Harper, 1868): the society received 50 of these medals from England in 1813, but destroyed all of its stock of them in 1840. They were 2.5 inches (64 mm.) in diameter. One of these – a numbered re-strike from the 1910s – forms part of the collection at Historic Fort York. (City of Toronto Museums and Heritage Services.)

As well as charitable relief, of course, the society wanted to honour those whose meritorious service had helped to defend Upper Canada, and its directors saw its ill-fated medal as the primary means for achieving that goal. First struck after the British victories at Mackinac, Detroit, and Queenston, its "Upper Canada Preserved" motto declared a kind of sigh of relief that the colony had not been overrun by the Americans. At the outbreak of hostilities, most people had expected the United States to conquer the province because the British were so badly outnumbered and because there was little hope of Britain sending significant numbers of reinforcements since most of her military resources were tied down in Europe fighting Napoleon Bonaparte’s France . We might speculate that the motto "Upper Canada Preserved" affirmed a sense of divine intervention in Canada’s survival, especially as variations of the verb ‘preserve’ appear in petitions to the divine in the Church of England’s Book of Common Prayer and in other similar texts. We even might speculate that the words on the other side of the medal heralded an early form of the self-effacing nationalism of Canadians: they spoke of merit and gratefulness rather than glory and victory, even though the people of Upper Canada had good reason to be proud. The iconography of the beaver and the lion attested to the British North American identity, which not only embraced a local patriotism but looked across the Atlantic to the imperial centre for leadership, inspiration, and comfort.

Originally, the society ordered medals from England , which were designed by the young Thomas Wyon, Jr, chief engraver at the Royal Mint. Although they were particularly handsome examples of the engraver’s art, the society did not like Wyon’s creation, thinking the American and Canadian sides of the border on the medal should have been reversed (and thus, oddly, that ‘south’ should be at the top of the map rather than ‘north’). Therefore, it ordered a second version from someone else (possibly another member of the Wyon family of engravers). The next design was less-pleasing because it was comparatively less elegant. In terms of its appearance, the main differences between it and the original – aside from changing the positions of Upper Canada and New York – was that the new version included names of the Niagara region forts and water features on the map, as well as the year ‘1815’ on the other side of the medal.

At Fort York, a historic site operated by the City of Toronto Museums and Heritage Services, there is a handsome silver artefact associated with the War of 1812: the Upper Canada Preserved medal. One face has a laurel wreath and the words, "FOR MERIT. PRESENTED BY A GRATEFUL COUNTRY". The other presents a stylized map of the Niagara River: on the right, or US, side of the waterway, a flustered American eagle flaps its wings, while across the border, on the left, an industrious Canadian beaver works away peacefully, protected by a British lion who sits ready to pounce should the eagle try to enter Canada. Around this image are the words, "UPPER CANADA PRESERVED". Like so many objects in Fort York’s collection, it not only is an aesthetically-pleasing artefact, but evokes a larger and interesting story. (It also, of course, is the medal that graces the masthead of the online War of 1812 magazine.) Unfortunately, it is only a re-strike from the 1910s. Yet, it is in good company: probably every one of the medals of this particular design in existence today is either a re-strike or reproduction because the Loyal and Patriotic Society, which ordered the medals during the War of 1812, destroyed all but three of them in 1840, and those three were of a different pattern. I recently had the privilege of examining one of those three original artefacts; thus it seems appropriate to review the history of the society and the story of its famous medals.

The Loyal and Patriotic Society of Upper Canada had its origins in the provincial capital of York (now Toronto, Ontario). According to an 1814 letter by the rector of the town’s Anglican parish, the Revd John Strachan, the idea for the society came from Elizabeth Selby, the daughter of the colony’s receiver-general, Prideaux Selby. Early in the war, she thought that a charity should be created to relieve suffering among the loyal population and to recognize meritorious service in defending the province against the Americans. Strachan liked the idea, and in December 1812 founded the society (although the presidency went to Thomas Scott, the province’s chief justice, while Strachan served as treasurer). That Strachan took the initiative rather than Selby, of course, speaks to the gendered nature of charitable work at the time because women rarely could lead philanthropic efforts that fell outside of clearly recognized female spheres. The Loyal and Patriotic Society, as a male-centred enterprise in terms of its objectives, could not be dominated by women, although they could contribute money and play secondary roles in the organization. (An example of a fitting distaff charity was the Female Society for the Relief of Poor Women in Childbirth, founded in York by several prominent ladies in 1820.)

People who donated £1 per annum to the Loyal and Patriotic Society became voting members, while the British army’s general and field officers in Upper Canada were made honorary members. The society’s directors comprised people who gave at least £10/annum, along with the speaker of the colony’s legislative assembly, members of the legislative and executive councils, judges, and Anglican clergymen. In 1813, clerics from the other officially-recognized churches of Rome and Scotland also became directors. However, ministers from denominations such as the Methodists and Baptists were not included (unless they made the requisite financial donation) because they belonged to faiths that existed in a state of ‘dissent’ from the ‘established’ church. In part, this reflected John Strachan’s desire to utilize the Loyal and Patriotic Society in support the Church of England’s attempt to assert its status as the colony’s official church. That status was in doubt because the British parliament’s Canada Act of 1791 that created the province only implied that Anglicanism would become the established faith, and thus Strachan and his supporters felt much had to be done to secure such a designation. It also represented his wish to affirm that church’s role – along with that of the state – as one of the twin pillars upon which an orderly and Christian society could be built and sustained on the Upper Canadian frontier. The problem with Strachan’s perspective was that many people opposed church establishment, and the concept would be abandoned in the decades following the war because the province was too diverse religiously and the times were too liberal attitudinally to support privileging one denomination over the others. In giving the Loyal and Patriotic Society’s character something of an Anglican gloss, Strachan may have weakened its ability to appeal more broadly than it did, and consequently may have restricted its capacity to raise as much money to relieve distress as otherwise might have been possible.

Despite the problematic vision associated with Anglican dominance, the York Committee of the society – the most active of several – collected what then was the huge sum of £21,500 by 1817 when it more or less wrapped up its operations. The London and Montreal committees generated an additional £4,000 by 1819 (which included contributions from the Duke of Kent and other notables). Branches elsewhere, such as one in Kingston, also raised money, while impressive support came from different parts of the British Empire. For instance, the Nova Scotia legislature donated £2,500, while people in the West Indies sent £1,400 in cash, rum, and tobacco. Major-General Sir Roger Sheaffe and Lieutenant-General Sir Gordon Drummond gave £200 and £500 respectively, militiamen in the York garrison donated a day’s pay, Strachan offered 10 per cent of his income during the war, and the Anglican bishop of Quebec, the Right Revd Jacob Mountain (whose diocese included Upper Canada), contributed £75/annum throughout the conflict.

The first effort of the Loyal and Patriotic Society focused on providing warm clothing to militiamen serving along the Niagara River over the winter of 1812-13. A few months later, after the American victory in the battle of York in April 1813, the society contributed £253 to provide medical care to the British and Canadian wounded at a time when there were no British army medical personnel available in the capital. In the winter of 1814-15 the society tried to subsidize the price of bread in York to help the poor face the ravages of wartime inflation. However, most of the money the society raised during the conflict went into direct aid to individuals rather than collective efforts. For example, a militiaman at Fort York, who could not support his family on his pay, received a weekly allowance to help meet his needs. Two women whose husbands had died in action got travel money to return to their homes from the front lines. (Some families marched with their soldier husbands and fathers in those days.) If a militiaman passed away on service, his widow or parents typically received a grant to help meet immediate needs for support. As well as responding to formal applications for help, the society distributed money to Anglican clergymen and a handful of other prominent people to give to the needy on an ad hoc basis as they travelled through the war-torn province. After hostilities ended, the society provided some compensation to people in the Niagara area whose homes had been burnt by American forces in 1813. Support, of course, was not given to anyone suspected of disloyalty. Charitable assistance also was not granted to people who were not Upper Canadians, despite fundraising outside the province. For instance, the commanding officer of the 104th Regiment was turned down when he requested help in sending 20 widows with the regiment in Upper Canada back to their homes in New Brunswick.

The society faced the usual limitations inherent in charitable enterprises in that its financial resources did not allow it to help more than a portion of its potential clients, and even then it only could offer assistance at modest levels. The £25 payment typically given when a militiaman died on service, for example, was a not a lot of money for the loss of a family’s principal breadwinner, even by the standards of the time. The way people received support fitted the way John Strachan, his fellow clergymen, and their supporters saw the marriage of Anglican Christianity to its allegiance to King George III. These people attempted to integrate all levels of society across the empire in an effort to unify disparate individuals in support of a worthy charitable enterprise as defined by the ‘state’ church. They tried to include donors of many denominations, and appointed clergy to the board of directors from the two other churches in Upper Canada that Anglicans considered legitimate. However, even that ecumenical gesture asserted the primacy of the Church of England and downgraded the status of Anglicanism’s main competitors among the Methodists and other dissenting Protestants. The approach the society’s directors took also represented the way elites throughout the Atlantic world (as well as on both sides of the British-American divide) thought the established social order should work: through collecting money broadly (with leading citizens being particularly generous) but by channelling aid from the top downwards. Recipients of the society’s help were expected to be grateful for the recognition they received for their fidelity, and in return, to serve as models of loyalty for others to emulate. Despite the limitations of its financial resources and the hierarchical agenda it embraced, the Loyal and Patriotic Society nevertheless made significant and measurable contributions to ameliorating the war’s sad impact for a great many people in Upper Canada.

After the return of peace, the society used its surplus to support other worthy causes. In York, for example, it gave money to start a charity for the ‘relief of strangers in distress.’ In 1819, the society used the £4,000 it received from London and Montreal to found an institution that became Toronto General Hospital. The society also spent £220 to publish 750 copies of a detailed report on its work in 1817, but it gave nothing to its directors and volunteers to reimburse them for their personal expenses in carrying out their duties.

The Loyal and Patriotic Society acquired 62 gold and 550 silver medals in 1814 and 1817 (of which the first 50, in silver, were of Wyon’s famous but rejected design). The society’s directors intended to give the gold medals to officers, the Wyon-designed silver examples to non-commissioned officers, and the second pattern silver medals to privates. Despite the society’s plans, it never issued the medals – a decision that generated some scandal in post-war Upper Canada. The main problem was that there were more people recommended for the honour than the society’s supply could meet, and its directors felt unable to distinguish between the merits of the various potential recipients. In 1820, therefore, the directors decided to convert the medals into bullion to support other charitable efforts, but did nothing at the time. Resentment towards the society grew as the years passed. Meanwhile, the medals of the second design sat untouched in the vault of the Bank of Upper Canada in York while those of the first remained in the hands of Thomas Scott (and later in the possession of his executor). Many people wanted the medals issued and became impatient when the society failed to act on their demands. By the 1830s, the controversy grew as the province’s political environment became polarized, especially because the Loyal and Patriotic Society’s leading figures were seen as belonging to the "Family Compact", an elite group vilified by the colony’s reform politicians. In 1840, once the larger political tensions of the period exploded in the Rebellion of 1837 (in which most Upper Canadians, however, remained loyal to the Crown) the province’s legislative assembly launched an investigation. It recommended that the society distribute the medals to deserving militiamen who still were alive or to their children if they had passed away "as a distinguished memorial of the gallantry and loyalty of the brave and patriotic men for whom they were designed". (When the society first considered issuing the honour, it meant to give them to both militiamen and regulars, but the inclusion of regular soldiers seems to have been abandoned or forgotten early in the society’s history. (

Nerine sarniensis Nerine sarniensis

On left side and on background of reverse and obverse (stylized) are the flowers of Nerine sarniensis (Guernsey lily, Jersey lily).

Nerine sarniensis is a species of flowering plant. Despite its common name it is neither a true lily nor does it originate from the Channel Isles. In fact, as a member of Amaryllidaceae it is more closely related to Amaryllis and Sternbergia. It is native to the Northern and Western Cape Provinces of South Africa, though it is now naturalized in France, Madeira and Azores.

Nerine sarniensis

Nerine sarniensis is a bulbous perennial growing to 45 cm. (18 in.) tall by 8 cm. (3 in.) wide, with strap-shaped leaves and umbels of crimson, lily-like flowers with conspicuous stamens, in late summer and early autumn.

Denominations in numeral are in top right and lower left corners. In words at the bottom.


The pound is the currency of Guernsey. Since 1921, Guernsey has been in currency union with the United Kingdom and the Guernsey pound is not a separate currency but is a local issue of banknotes and coins denominated in pound sterling, in a similar way to the banknotes issued in Scotland and Northern Ireland. It can be exchanged at par with other sterling coinage and notes.