header Notes Collection

50 Pounds Sterling 1869. Warwick & Warwickshire Bank, Kingdom of Great Britain

no number in katalog -
Years of issue: 01.07.1869
Edition: --
Signatures: Mr. Greenway
Serie: England
Specimen of: 1861
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 187 х 107
Printer: Rowe, Kentith & Co., London

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

50 Pounds Sterling 1869. Warwick & Warwickshire Bank




Inscriptions are on top and at the bottom. The numerals are on right and left sides.

Unfortunately, I cannot clearly see what exactly is written.


50 Pounds Sterling 1869. Warwick & Warwickshire Bank

Glyn, Mills & Co.

I think, that ignette in top left corners shows The main office of the bank "Glyn, Mills & Co.", in London, how it looked in the second half of the XIX century.

Under the vignette is the name (printed) of the banknote printer: "Rowe, Kentith & Co.".

Glyn, Mills & Company was a private bank founded in London in 1753, which existed until 1969, when it became part of the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Early history

The bank was founded under the name Vere, Glyn & Hallifax. Joseph Vere was an experienced banker who was a member of the Goldsmiths Company and had been involved with earlier banking partnerships; Richard Glyn had been a prominent London drysalter with widespread merchanting connections; and Thomas Hallifax was the son of a Barnsley clockmaker who had become chief clerk at Martins Bank. Unlike many of the private London banks that relied on wealthy and titled customers, Glyn, Mills was originally a commercial institution; railway companies, the Sun Insurance and the Hudson's Bay Company were leading customers.

Vere died in 1766 leaving Glyn and Hallifax as partners; they traded satisfactorily until the financial panic of 1772 when the Bank had to stop payment for some weeks and narrowly avoided bankruptcy. One of those who provided temporary finance for the Bank was Sir John Salter, one-time Lord Mayor of London, but only on condition that his son-in-law, William Mills, could enter the partnership. When the Bank reopened it did so as Glyn, Hallifax and Mills. It was still of modest size: the number of staff was no more than seven in 1790, but over the next 40 years it rose to 51. The last Hallifax family member in the Bank died in 1850 and the bank became Glyn, Mills & Co.

Acquisition of Currie's.

Conscious of the need to enlarge its financial resources, in 1864 the Bank acquired another London private bank, Currie's, and the firm became known as Glyn, Mills, Currie & Co - a name that was maintained until 1923. The ownership of the Bank was determined by family group and not individuals: the Glyn and Mills families were entitled to two-fifths each and the Currie family, one-fifth. Two years later, in 1866, a group of Scottish banks agreed to purchase half the capital of Glyn Mills in order to obtain a seat in the London Clearing House, but the collapse of Overend Gurney prevented the implementation of the deal.

In 1885, Glyn, Mills took the unprecedented step for a private bank of producing half-yearly balance sheets. It showed that the Bank's was larger than popularly realised, "only rivalled by two or three of the largest joint-stock banks". The Bank's size and prestige was demonstrated by the collapse of Barings Bank in 1890. Betrand Currie led the investigation into Barings' affairs at the instigation of the Bank of England and was the largest contributor outside the Bank of England to the rescue fund, undertaking to contribute £500,000 provided that Rothschilds did the same.

Acquisition of Holt's and Child's.

Faced with the growing power of the “big five” banks after World War I Glyn Mills made its own acquisitions - Holt & Co. in 1923 (briefly becoming Glyn, Mills Currie Holt & Co) and Child & Co. in 1924 when the name reverted to Glyn Mills & Co. Holt's were army agents in Whitehall which in turn supported a private banking business. It was founded in 1809 by William Kirkland who opened an office in St James's. Regiments were gradually added to Holt's portfolio and the Navy agency of Woodhead and Co. was absorbed in 1915.

Child's history predated that of the Bank of England and for over 100 years it had been owned by the Earl of Jersey. Following the death of Lord Jersey, the executors were told that the Bank of England would not permit a sale to one of the Big Five. Glyn's, the largest private bank and the sole survivor of the private banks in the Clearing House, seemed the most desirable association.

Purchased by Royal Bank of Scotland.

The approach of World War II threatened the viability of the private bank with the prospect of casualties and death duties straining capital resources. In 1939 the partners agreed to the Bank's sale to the Royal Bank of Scotland. Glyn, Mills continued to trade separately, even to the point of acquiring the banking businesses of the British Overseas Bank and Anglo-International Bank in 1944, and of A Ruffer & Sons in 1946. However, in 1969 the Royal Bank of Scotland was restructured and the holding company's subsidiaries in England and Wales (Glyn, Mills & Co., Williams Deacon's Bank, and the English and Welsh branches of The National Bank) were merged to form Williams & Glyn's Bank.


50 Pounds Sterling 1869. Warwick & Warwickshire Bank

Greenways were bankers at Warwick, and elsewhere, and appear to have left something for everyone - debts apart - so the collector may choose from cheques; banknotes and paying-in slips. Accordingly the opportunity is taken to update the entry in the Standard Catalogue of Provincial Banks and Banknotes as follows:

Whitehead, Weston & Co 1791 1821

Whitehead, Weston & Greenway 1821 1824

Whitehead, Weston, Greenway , Greeves & Weston 1824 1826

Whitehead, Weston, Greenway & Greeves 1826 1830

Kelynge Greenway and Edward Greeves 1830 1855

Edward Greeves, Kelynge Greenway & William Smith 1855 1861

Greenway, Smith & Greenways 1861 1867

Information on the associated banks remains obscure. For Shipston-on-Stour, it is now clear that the title shown (Whitehead, Greenway, Lowe and Gillett), applied only for 1821 (when Gillett joined), and 1822, when Gillett left. Incidently, Gillett was Joseph A Gillett, his arrival being his first formal banking venture and his departure in connection with the purchase of Tawney's Bank at Banbury, which then became Gilletts there, and later at Oxford. Lowe had married a Whitehead and was also related to Gillett's wife; and therefore to the banking Gibbons.

The Stratford-on-Avon Bank certainly opened in 1791 as Whitehead, Weston & Co, but its subsequent history is unknown. On very slender evidence, it existed in 1821, but not in 1887 and it now seems unlikely that Lowe and Gillett were ever partners.

The Leamington Bank was opened on 1 January 1863, and was at all times a branch of Warwick.

To revert to Warwick, much of the following is culled from the Three Banks Review (No 58 - June 1963), Glyn's having been the Greenway's London agents.

Thomas Whitehead was a Quaker resident at Barford near Warwick. With Weston, he provided storage and loan facilities for local farmers, and on this basis, they opened a bank at Warwick and Stratford-on-Avon in 1791. Greeves was Whitehead's grandson, and Smith an employee in the bank, who progressed from junior to partner. The Greenway connection is not explained. The first Greenway died in 1855 (as is implied by the change of order of names that year), leaving his interest in the bank to his nephew. Uncle and nephew were both named Kelynge Greenway.

Up to 1855 the bank had been very strong, indeed unusually so, for it survived the withdrawal of 30,000 capital under the terms of the elder Greenway's Will. However, thereafter, the way was all downhill, primarily owing to the banking methods of the junior Greenway. Indeed, his habits led to the withdrawal of the Greeves interest in 1861, together with their capital of 25,000 leaving just 7 capital remaining to the credit of the continuing partners.

Greenway's response was to bring in his brothers, Thomas, George and Charles. The first was a Colonel serving in India. He came home to work in the bank, but his total lack of banking experience saved him from a gaol sentence in the end. George was the Town Clerk of Warwick. Probably for this reason, Smith became County Treasurer, and the bank's eventual collapse added 3d in the to the rates. Charles, an architect, died soon after becoming a partner. The brothers brought little money, but in the 1870s a deliberate decision was taken to run the bank with no capital at all.

Thereafter, each partner operated a large overdraft, and the profits they shared were largely composed of nominal interest on these overdrafts. By December 1886, on paper the bank was barely solvent, but of 278,000 assets, 210,000 were the partners overdrawn accounts. This included money for extensive tramway speculation. George was Chairman of the Magdeburg Tramway Company. Paradoxically, a rescue bid for tat tramway, made necessary by Greenway's closure, provided much of the funds for the eventual payout to the bank's creditors. Another venture was the Kenilworth Tannery. This had been a doubtful debt in1855, with 14,000 owing, so the bank took it over and installed Greenway's cousin, a schoolmaster, as manager, with the result that by 1887, the Tannery owed over 200,000 to the bank, or to the partners personally.

The Bank closed on 6 September 1887, as a result of Glyns, the London agents, refusing to pay the cheques presented through the clearing house. The bank's local reputation had not suffered during the years of decline, and the closure was a shock to the town. There are reports of torchlight processions and burnt effigies. No doubt the local papers of the time carried long reports of the closure and the subsequent trial, which opened on 27 October 1887.

George was sentenced to five years penal servitude and Kelynge to twelve months hard labour. A number of dividends were paid, to a total of ten shillings in the pound.

Evidently, the Staffordshire Bank took over the good business, presumably to get some good value for the 46,000 it had lent the bank shortly before the close. The Staffordshire Bank eventually found its way into the Midland. (Geoffrey L Grant)