header Notes Collection

1 Pound Sterling 1978, Kingdom of Great Britain

in Banknotes Book Number: BE83c
Years of issue: 09.02.1978
Edition: --
Signatures: Chief Cashier: Mr. J. B. Page (1970 - 1980)
Serie: England
Specimen of: 09.02.1978
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 134,5 х 66,7
Printer: Bank of England print works, Loughton (Debden), Essex, UK

* 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.

1 Pound Sterling 1978



Sir Isaac Newton

Sir Isaac Newton PRS MP (25 December 1642 - 20 March 1726/7) was an English physicist and mathematician (described in his own day as a "natural philosopher") who is widely recognised as one of the most influential scientists of all time and as a key figure in the scientific revolution. His book Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica ("Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy"), first published in 1687, laid the foundations for classical mechanics. Newton also made seminal contributions to optics and shares credit with Gottfried Leibniz for the development of calculus.


1 Pound Sterling 1978

HM The Queen Elizabeth II.

Like the previous portraits of The Queen, which had been drawn for the banknotes issued by the Bank of England, this likeness of Her Majesty is not based on an existing portrait. The master drawing of The Queen was executed by Harry Eccleston in 1956, the designer of the Bank's 'D' series. Three versions of the portrait were created. As well as the two version of the portrait described below, an earlier portrait of Her Majesty was prepared by Eccleston for use on the 50-pence and 10-shilling notes, which were never issued. The unused portrait was similar to Portrait 14b, except that in the unused portrait The Queen wore a cap, which is part of the full regalia of the Order of the Garter, rather than the Diadem.

This version of the portrait was used on the 1- and 5-pound notes of the ‘D’ series. In this version of the portrait The Queen is depicted wearing the robes of the Order of the Garter, the George IV State Diadem and Queen Alexandra's Cluster Earrings.


The Queen is wearing the George IV State Diadem. Made by Rundell, Bridge & Rundell (and likely designed by their designer, Philip Liebart) in 1820, the diadem features a set of 4 crosses pattée alternating with 4 bouquets of roses, thistles, and shamrocks. The motifs are set on a band of diamond scrollwork between two bands of pearls. Queen Alexandra had the diadem made smaller in 1902, reducing the top band of pearls from 86 to 81, and the bottom band from 94 to 88. The front cross is set with a 4 carat yellow diamond, and the piece features 1,333 diamonds in all. (Sartorial Splendor)

HM depicted in Mantle of the Order of the Garter.

One of the most distinctive pieces of the wardrobe of the Most Noble Order of the Garter - England's highest chivalric order - is the Mantle, sometimes referred to as a robe, cloak, or cape. The Mantle has been used in one form or another, with varying fabrics and colors, since the 15th century. The current version is made of dark blue velvet lined with white taffeta and is accented by a red velvet hood (also lined with white taffeta), elaborate cords for closure, and white ribbons at the shoulders. The Garter Collar, with the Great George as a pendant (not visible in the portrait), is draped over the Mantle across the shoulders. (Her Majesty’s Jewel vault)

Queen Alexandra’s Cluster Earrings

She is also wearing Queen Alexandra’s Cluster Earrings. The wedding gift from the future King Edward VII to his bride, Alexandra of Denmark. Also known as Queen Alexandra's Cluster Earrings, these two button earrings have large pearls surrounded by diamonds - 10 larger stones each plus smaller filler stones to create a full diamond ring. Like the brooch, these passed to the Queen via Queen Mary. They're now worn primarily at evening functions.

Stylized Hidden Valley Hibiscus or "Florence Nightingale" Hibiscus is in the middle.

Centered is an emblem with branches of Rose )as English floral symbol), Caduceus and cornucopia.

The cornucopia (from Latin cornu copiae) or horn of plenty is a symbol of abundance and nourishment, commonly a large horn-shaped container overflowing with produce, flowers or nuts. The horn originates from classical antiquity.

Caduceus, as a symbol of commerce.

The caduceus is the staff, carried by Hermes, in Greek mythology. The same staff was also borne by heralds in general, for example by Iris, the messenger of Hera. It is a short staff entwined by two serpents, sometimes surmounted by wings. In Roman iconography, it was often depicted being carried in the left hand of Mercury, the messenger of the gods, guide of the dead and protector of merchants, shepherds, gamblers, liars, and thieves.

As a symbolic object, it represents Hermes (or the Roman Mercury), and by extension trades, occupations, or undertakings associated with the god. In later Antiquity, the caduceus provided the basis for the astrological symbol representing the planet Mercury. Thus, through its use in astrology and alchemy, it has come to denote the elemental metal of the same name. It is said the wand would wake the sleeping and send the awake to sleep. If applied to the dying, their death was gentle; if applied to the dead, they returned to life.

Seated Britannia as logo of Bank of England is in lower left corner.

Royal monogram lower right.

The Inscriptions: Bank of England. I Promise to Pay the Bearer on Demand the Sum of One Pound. London, for the Governor and Company of the Bank of England.

Denominations in numerals are in right top corner and on the right side, vertically, in small numbers. In words centered.


1 Pound Sterling 1978

Isaak Newton

The engraving on banknote is, presumably, made from this portrait by painter Godfrey Kneller, 1712. This portrait today is in National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London.

Sir Isaac Newton was an English mathematician and physicist from a poor farming family in. He was born on December 25, 1642, at Woolsthorpe, near Grantham in Lincolnshire. Newton was a poor farmer and was eventually sent to Trinity College at Cambridge University to study and become a preacher. While at Cambridge, Newton pursued his own interests and studied mathematics and philosophy. He received his bachelor's degree in 1665 and was later forced to leave Cambridge when it was closed due to the plague. He returned in 1667 and was elected to a fellowship. Newton received his master's degree in 1668.

Newton is considered to be one of the greatest scientists in history. He made important contributions to many fields of science. Unfortunately the famous story of Newton and the apple seem to be based more on fiction rather than fact. His discoveries and theories laid the foundation for much of the progress in science since his time. Newton was one of the inventors of the branch of mathematics called calculus. He also solved the mysteries of light and optics, formulated the three laws of motion, and derived from them the law of universal gravitation. Newton's laws of motion are the most fundamental natural laws of classical mechanics. (Meet the astonomers)

Sir Newton holds in his hands his book "Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica".

Heliocentric solar system

In 1686, Newton stated these laws in his book "Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica". Taken together, these three laws of motion underlie all interactions of force, matter, and motion except those involving relativistic and quantum effects:

Newton's first law of motion is the Law of Inertia. It states that an object at rest tends to stay at rest unless acted upon by an outside force.

Newton's second law of motion establishes a relationship between the unbalanced force applied to an object and the resultant acceleration of the object. (In other words, force equals mass times acceleration, or F=ma.)

Newton's third law of motion, which is also known as the principle of action and reaction, states for that every action, there is an equal but opposite reaction.

In front of Sir Isaak newton is a table with reflecting telescope, that he presented to the Royal Society in 1672.

Reflecting telescope

The Newtonian telescope is a type of reflecting telescope invented by the British scientist Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), using a concave primary mirror and a flat diagonal secondary mirror. Newton’s first reflecting telescope was completed in 1668 and is the earliest known functional reflecting telescope. The Newtonian telescope's simple design makes it very popular with amateur telescope makers.

In top right corner are the branches of apple tree.

Newton himself often told the story that he was inspired to formulate his theory of gravitation by watching the fall of an apple from a tree.

Although it has been said that the apple story is a myth and that he did not arrive at his theory of gravity in any single moment, acquaintances of Newton (such as William Stukeley, whose manuscript account of 1752 has been made available by the Royal Society) do in fact confirm the incident, though not the cartoon version that the apple actually hit Newton's head. Stukeley recorded in his Memoirs of Sir Isaac Newton's Life a conversation with Newton in Kensington on 15 April 1726:

"we went into the garden, & drank thea under the shade of some appletrees; only he, & my self. amidst other discourse, he told me, he was just in the same situation, as when formerly, the notion of gravitation came into his mind. "why should that apple always descend perpendicularly to the ground," thought he to himself; occasion'd by the fall of an apple, as he sat in a contemplative mood. "why should it not go sideways, or upwards? but constantly to the earths center? assuredly, the reason is, that the earth draws it. there must be a drawing power in matter. & the sum of the drawing power in the matter of the earth must be in the earths center, not in any side of the earth. therefore dos this apple fall perpendicularly, or toward the center. if matter thus draws matter; it must be in proportion of its quantity. therefore the apple draws the earth, as well as the earth draws the apple."

John Conduitt, Newton's assistant at the Royal Mint and husband of Newton's niece, also described the event when he wrote about Newton's life:

"In the year 1666 he retired again from Cambridge to his mother in Lincolnshire. Whilst he was pensively meandering in a garden it came into his thought that the power of gravity (which brought an apple from a tree to the ground) was not limited to a certain distance from earth, but that this power must extend much further than was usually thought. Why not as high as the Moon said he to himself & if so, that must influence her motion & perhaps retain her in her orbit, whereupon he fell a calculating what would be the effect of that supposition."

Centered and on the left side is Heliocentric solar system.

Heliocentrism, or heliocentricism, is the astronomical model in which the Earth and planets revolve around a relatively stationary Sun at the center of the Solar System. The word comes from the Greek (ἥλιος helios "sun" and κέντρον kentron "center"). Historically, heliocentrism was opposed to geocentrism, which placed the Earth at the center. The notion that the Earth revolves around the Sun had been proposed as early as the 3rd century BC by Aristarchus of Samos, but at least in the post-Ancient world Aristarchus's heliocentrism attracted little attention, possibly, because of the loss of scientific works of the Hellenistic Era until Copernicus revived and elaborated it.

In 1687, Isaac Newton published Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, which provided an explanation for Kepler's laws in terms of universal gravitation and what came to be known as Newton's laws of motion. This placed heliocentrism on a firm theoretical foundation, although Newton's heliocentrism was of a somewhat modern kind. Already in the mid-1680s he recognized the "deviation of the Sun" from the center of gravity of the solar system. For Newton it was not precisely the center of the Sun or any other body that could be considered at rest, but "the common centre of gravity of the Earth, the Sun and all the Planets is to be esteem'd the Center of the World", and this center of gravity "either is at rest or moves uniformly forward in a right line". Newton adopted the "at rest" alternative in view of common consent that the center, wherever it was, was at rest.

After suffering a nervous breakdown in 1693, Newton retired from research to seek a government position in London. In 1696 he became Warden of the Royal Mint. In 1708, Newton was knighted by Queen Anne, the first scientist to be so honored for his work. From that point on he was known as Sir Isaac Newton and devoted much of his leisure to theology. He wrote at great length on prophecies and predictions, subjects which had always been of interest to him. In 1703 he was elected president of the Royal Society and was reelected each year until his death on March 20, 1727.

Denomination in numeral is in lower left corner. In words in top left corner.


Designer: Harry Eccleston.

The banknote withdrawn from circulation on December 31, 1988.