A RARE Huddersfield £5 note is up for auction.
The note, produced nearly 180 years ago, is set to fetch up to £500.
The black and white fiver carries the words ‘Mirfield and Huddersfield District Banking Company’ and, although it is not dated, its age can be pinpointed through those words.
For the Mirfield and Huddersfield District Banking Company was founded in 1832 and was in business under that name for just four years until 1836,when it became the West Riding Union Banking Company.
The high-quality engraving on the note is by the Scottish firm, Lizar’s, which was declared bankrupt in 1832.
The Huddersfield fiver is a proof and was never issued so it is in “extremely fine” condition and auctioneers Spink also confirm that it is “rare”.
It will be auctioned in London tomorrow
This is not the first time that a Huddersfield banknote has come up for sale at a London auction.
At Spink on September 29, 2006, a one pound note, issued by Huddersfield Old Bank in 1825, sold for £230, while at Spink on October 8, 2007, three Huddersfield banknotes – an 1823 one pound note and two one guinea notes,from 1814 and 1815 – were sold together for £228.
There were two main banks in Huddersfield in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Huddersfield Old Bank was set up by John Dobson & Sons some time before 1800, but went bust in 1825. Huddersfield Commercial Bank was started in 1797 by Silvester Sikes & Co.
Barnaby Faull, head of the banknotes department at auctioneers Spink, said: “All towns and cities in England used to issue their own banknotes. Merchants would get together and start up their own banks. But their notes, which were like IOUs, could only be used locally.
“So when these provincial banks, like Huddersfield’s, went bust, their notes became completely worthless.
“These notes can turn up in unusual places. Sometimes they were put in old family Bibles and then perhaps forgotten. So that is always a good place to start the search.”
In the late 1700s and early 1800s there were hundreds of privately-owned banks throughout England all printing their own money, because taking big quantities of cash from London was difficult.
The Mirfield & Huddersfield District Banking Company became the West Riding Union Banking Company in 1836 and was one of the more successful Yorkshire banks in the 19th century as it flourished until 1901, when it was taken over by the Lancashire & Yorkshire Bank Ltd.
That itself was taken over in 1928 by Martins Bank, which was taken over by Barclays Bank in 1968.