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50 Pounds Sterling 2021, Kingdom of Great Britain

in Banknotes Book Number: RB113a
Years of issue: 18.08.2021 (27.05.2020)
Signatures: Chief Executive Officer: Mrs. Alison Rose
Serie: Scotland
Specimen of: 27.05.2019
Material: Polymer
Size (mm): 146 x 77
Printer: De la Rue currency,Loughton

* 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 2021



50 pnd 2021 Royal Bank of Scotland plc

New emblem of the Bank, an inscription (vertically) - FIFTY50 and transparent denomination in numeral - 50.

The new emblem of RBS.

The RBS Group uses branding developed for the Bank on its merger with the National Commercial Bank of Scotland in 1969. The Group's logo takes the form of an abstract symbol of four inward-pointing arrows known as the "Daisy Wheel" and is based on an arrangement of 36 piles of coins in a 6 by 6 square,representing "the accumulation and concentration of wealth by the Group".


50 Pounds Sterling 2021

Flora Stevenson

Engraving made after the portrait of Flora Stevenson with her red LLD gown, made in 1904 by Alexander Ignatius Roche.

Flora Clift Stevenson LLD (30 October 1839 - 28 September 1905) was a British social reformer with a special interest in education for poor or neglected children, and in education for girls and equal university access for women. She was one of the first women in the United Kingdom to be elected to a school board.

Stevenson was born in Glasgow, the youngest daughter of Jane Stewart Shannan, daughter of Alexander Shannan, merchant of Greenock and James Stevenson FRSE (1786–1866), a merchant. Stevenson was one of a large family including her fellow-campaigner and sister Louisa, the architect John James Stevenson, and MP James Cochran Stevenson. The family moved to Jarrow in 1844 when James Stevenson became partner in a chemical works. After he retired, in 1854, the family moved to Edinburgh shortly before Mrs Stevenson died, and in 1859 they settled in a house at 13 Randolph Crescent. Louisa, Flora, Elisa Stevenson (1829–1904), an early suffragist, one of the founders of the Edinburgh National Society for Women's Suffrage, and sister Jane Stevenson (1828–1904) who did not engage in these activities, were to spend the rest of their lives (the house now bears a plaque to "women of achievement").

Her first educational project was an evening literacy class for "messenger girls" in her own home. She was an active member of the Edinburgh Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor, and a committee member of the United Industrial Schools of Edinburgh, organising education in ragged schools for some of the most neglected children of the city.

She and her sister Louisa were involved in the movement to open university education to women, and as members of the Edinburgh Ladies' Educational Association, they were at the first course of lectures for women given by Professor David Masson in 1868.

The 1872 Education (Scotland) Act made it possible for women to serve on School Boards. Stevenson's friend Henry Kingsley had told her that she "was exactly the kind of person" who should have this opportunity. She was one of the first two women to be elected (the other was Phoebe Blyth), and she continued in this role for her whole life, eventually becoming chair of the board. Her experience in working with the poorest children meant that as soon as she was elected she started work on a scheme offering food and clothing in exchange for a commitment to attend school. She was convenor of the attendance committee for many years and gave evidence on this subject to a select committee on education in Scotland in 1887.

She believed strongly in the value of industrial schools for "delinquent" children and her efforts led to the innovative day (non-residential) industrial school at St John's Hill on the fringes of Edinburgh's Old Town. In the 1890s she was involved in plans for the Day Industrial Schools Act (1893), the Scottish Office departmental committee on juvenile delinquents, and a committee advising the Scottish Office on reformatories for inebriates, appointed by Lord Balfour.

Stevenson was a strong supporter of good quality education for girls. She disapproved of girls in Edinburgh schools spending five hours on needlework each week while the boys were having lessons, though she promoted the Edinburgh School of Cookery and Domestic Economy. She told a newspaper, "By all means let the girls of this generation be trained to be good "housemothers" but let it not be forgotten that the well-being of the family depends equally on the "housefather"." She was also a director of the Blind Asylum.

As well as support for women's suffrage, Stevenson's political views included a belief in strongly enforced school attendance, which she felt was the key to improving the lives of deprived children, and opposition to free school meals, which she thought should be the responsibility of parents, supported by charities when necessary. These themes were sometimes addressed in her lectures on educational subjects, which were usually "cordially received". She was a vice-president of the Women's Free Trade Union while tariff reform was a contentious issue, and also of the Women's Liberal Unionist Association.

She was involved with many other social projects and charities. She and Louisa paid for their niece, Alice Stewart Ker, to study medicine in Berne for a year. Alice was to become the 13th female British doctor.

randolph crescent edinburgh

Centered, in background is Randolph Crescent in Edinburgh - the house where Flora Stevenson used to live.

The New City in Edinburgh is one of the central districts of the Scottish capital. Together with the Old Town and part of the West End, it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1995. Despite the name, most of the buildings in the New Town date back to the 18th-19th centuries and are made in the neoclassical style.

In the center is a quote: "What Miss Stevenson did not know about education was not worth knowing".


A solid rectangular block is visible in the center of the top of the note, which will glow; inside the block you will see the outline of the osprey nest.

Below you will also see the diagram of Gird and Click.

In the lower left corner of the banknote there is an image of 5 midges with outstretched wings, forming a pentagon with the number 50 in the middle.

Both serial numbers will also glow.


Below is an outline of a toy from the late XIX century, Gird and Click.

Gird (Scottish for "hoop") and cleek (Scottish for "hook") were children's toys in the late 19th century. Children from working-class families relied on homemade toys and street games. As more affluent children had access to more and more toys and books in the XIX century.

The hook and loop option matching both together was very difficult to use.

lady's bedstraw

Right and left (in the background), on the obverse and reverse are the Lady's bedstraw flowers.

Galium verum (lady's bedstraw or yellow bedstraw) is a herbaceous perennial plant of the family Rubiaceae. It is widespread across most of Europe, North Africa, and temperate Asia from Palestine, Lebanon and Turkey to Japan and Kamchatka. It is naturalized in Tasmania, New Zealand, Canada, and the northern half of the United States. It is considered a noxious weed in some places. The plant is used to make red madder-like and yellow dyes.

Denominations in numerals are in top corners, in words on top, centered.


50 Pounds Sterling 2021

Pandion haliaetus

Two ospreys, one holding a mackerel.

The Osprey (Pandion haliaetus), sometimes known as the sea hawk, fish eagle, or fish hawk, is a diurnal, fish-eating bird of prey. It is a large raptor, reaching more than 60 cm. (24 in.) in length and 180 cm. across the wings. It is brown on the upper parts and predominantly greyish on the head and underparts.

The Osprey tolerates a wide variety of habitats, nesting in any location near a body of water providing an adequate food supply.


An excerpt from the poem "Nettles" by Scottish journalist and writer Neil Munro.

"There’s deer upon the hillside, There’s sheep along the glen," (visible on banknote) and "The forests hum with feathers, But where are now the men?’" (visible in UV light). Calligraphy by Susi Leiper.

On banknote are Scottish Secretary Hand and Scotch Modern typefaces.

Scottish Secretary Hand is a style of writing employed in Scottish offices during the XVI and XVII Centuries, replacing the previously dominant "book hand" as a more

legible, faster written style better suited to the growth of national and international communication in business and law.

Scotch Modern typefaces emerge as a distinctive typographic form from Scottish type-foundries of the late XVIII / early XIX Century. In style they are rational, logical and practical whilst also expressing great personality and character. Scotch modern types found success in the UK but with their introduction to America, at a time of dramatic growth in mass literacy, they became highly influential at an international level.

Each note in this polymer series also will feature a midge, to "represent the reality of everyday living in the Scottish countryside”, according to RBS. “It’s a reminder that Scottish nature nips us as well as thrills people".

50 pnd 2021 Royal Bank of Scotland plc

Denomination (hidden) 50 on the Osprays paw.

On obverse and reverse of banknote are the Midges.

The Scottish midge, an ever present element of summer in the Scottish countryside. Shown in all the notes as a cluster on the obverse and individually hidden on the reverse.

On background are, again, the Lady's bedstraws flowers.

Denominations in numerals are in lower left and top right corners, in words - on top.


Key Contributing Creators on the Project:

Jeni Lennox - Project Lead

De la Rue - Speciality printing & security

Nile - Engagement & Workshops

O Street - Creative and Graphic Design

Stuco Design - Illustration

Timorous Beasties - Illustration

Peter Dibdin - Landscape Photographer

Victoria Johnson - Photographer

Literature - Alan Riach

Calligraphy - Susie Leiper