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Molly Cule
162448.  Mon Apr 02, 2007 5:59 pm Reply with quote

General Ignorance

Give them each a 20 pound note and ask them…

How many 20’s on a new 20 note?

So far the elves at the Bank of England have have counted 91 printed number 20's and 88 printed 'twenty's on the front of the note.

This excludes the back of the note, the text behind the tactile 20's in the bottom right hand corner on the front (that are barely visible even under a strong magnifying glass), and the foil stripe which would make the count change as it moves around the banknote. If you include the embossed 20 on the foil stripe the number is 92 '20's'.

 
Molly Cule
162449.  Mon Apr 02, 2007 5:59 pm Reply with quote

What is French about English currency?
Epingle is French for pin. Adam Smith is the face of the new £20 note. His famous work ‘An inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations’ includes a description of a pin factory in France, which he uses to talk about the benefits of the division of labour. This idea was first talked about in the 5th edition of Diderot’s encyclopedia. The illustration of the pin factory on the back of the £20 note is the same as the one used in Diderot’s encyclopedia.
“a workman not educated to this business ... could scarce, perhaps, with his utmost industry, make one pin in a day, and certainly could not make twenty. But in the way in which this business is now carried on, ... it is divided into a number of branches ... One man draws out the wire, another straightens it, a third cuts it, a fourth points it, a fifth grinds it at the top for receiving the head; ... the business of making a pin is, in this manner, divided into about eighteen distinct operations”.
Adam Smith was born in Kirkcaldy in Scotland and is one of the fathers of modern economics.

 
Molly Cule
162451.  Mon Apr 02, 2007 6:00 pm Reply with quote

How much would each adult in England have if every note in the country was shared out equally?

£750/£800 each. There are£40 billions-worth of Bank of England bank notes in circulation today.

 
Molly Cule
162453.  Mon Apr 02, 2007 6:01 pm Reply with quote

Why when you go to a cash machine are there often only £20 notes available?

65% of the total notes in circulation are £20 notes.

Until the mid 19th C bank notes were all slightly different; printing from engraved copper plates was not suited to the demands of mass production. During the 18th C it was more common for a forger to alter the amount of a note (e.g to change a £10 into a £20) than to attempt to replicate the note itself.

 
Molly Cule
162455.  Mon Apr 02, 2007 6:01 pm Reply with quote

The Bank of England was set up to finance the war against France. The idea was proposed by William Paterson; he proposed raining a 1.2M pound loan to lend to the government at 8% interest on condition the subscribers were incorporated as a joint stock company with the title ‘The Bank of England’, there was no fixed time period for paying back the loan so interest would be played in perpetuity. In effect this meant the creation of a permanent National Debt.
The proposal was called ‘A brief account of the intended Bank of England’.

The 1.2 million needed was collected in the first two weeks of the subscription list opening. Anyone who subscribed £500 of more could vote for the management of the bank. The first entry in the subscriptions book was from Queen Mary and King William for £10,000, theirs was the largest subscription, the smallest was £25.

The promissory clause – the promise to pay was originally a promise to Repay.

King William III was spending 2.5 million on the army a year when his usual annual expenditure in total was 2 million pounds.

The bank was immediately responsible for buying bullion and sending it to Holland to pay the troops in Flanders fighting in the war against France. The bullion was sent by warship.


Last edited by Molly Cule on Tue Apr 03, 2007 4:57 am; edited 1 time in total

 
Molly Cule
162456.  Mon Apr 02, 2007 6:01 pm Reply with quote

During the French wars 450 men from the bank’s staff formed the Corps of Bank volunteers whose job it was to defend the bank. This lasted until 1814. The directors were officers and clerks the rank and file. The Corps was then recreated in 1880 as the 25th Middlesex Bank of England Volunteer Rifle Corps, which continued until the Territorial Army was formed in 1907. Revolvers were issued to the printers of notes and to branches of the Bank of England for defence incase of a French invasion.

 
Molly Cule
162457.  Mon Apr 02, 2007 6:02 pm Reply with quote

Until 1791 the printing of notes was done by printers who worked for all sorts of people. The printer was sent a months supply of paper and the engraved copper plates were delivered to them each morning and sent back to the Bank each night. Every 4/5 days the printer would deliver a batch of notes to the Bank. From 1791 it was done at the Bank. From 1808 the Bank did it itself. Now the printing is done in Loughton in Essex. The paper is made by Portals of Hampshire (since 1724).

There used to be country bank notes, like ‘The Weald of Kent Bank’ notes, ‘Andover Old Bank’ and ‘Pontefract Bank’ notes. In 1826 these became less common as the Bank of England opened local branches. In 1833 B of E notes were made legal tender. It was not until 1921 that all of the local bank branch notes were removed from circulation.

 
Molly Cule
162458.  Mon Apr 02, 2007 6:02 pm Reply with quote

Gold bars are really heavy, 2 pounds or 13 kgs. They are unusually shaped so they are easy to handle; they are trapezohedrons. The cost of one gold bar on the day I visited, Wed 28th was £135.671.

 
Molly Cule
162459.  Mon Apr 02, 2007 6:02 pm Reply with quote

Britannia` has been on notes ever since the Bank of England opened, the monarch’s head appeared much later. The emblem was created when the Bank opened in 1694, it showed Britannia sitting on a bank of money. Britannia used to be on Roman coins in the reign of emperor Hadrian (117-138AD)

 
Molly Cule
162460.  Mon Apr 02, 2007 6:03 pm Reply with quote

The oldest piece of furniture in the Bank is an iron chest, it was used as a safe, before safes were invented.

In 1970 the £20 note had an illustration of the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet on the back.

In 1810 the bank bought 1.5 million quill pens, that is 5 pens per clerk per day.

The nickname for 5 shillings/crown was a dollar.
Half a crown was half a dollar.
A penny in Victoria’s reign was called a Brown.

Before the decimal system was introduced 25 pounds were known as a pony, 100 pounds a ton, 500 pounds was still half a grand and 1000 pounds a grand.

 
Molly Cule
162462.  Mon Apr 02, 2007 6:03 pm Reply with quote

Operation Bernhard w as the name of the German movement to destablize the British economy by flooding the country with forged pound notes. The currency was copied by the Germans in a concentration camp called Sashsenhausen, near Berlin in WW2. 9 million notes worth £134 million were printed by inmates at the camp. A Bank of England official described them as ‘the most dangerous ever seen’. To combat these forgeries in 1940 the colour of the £1 note was changed from green to blue and the 50p note from red/brown to mauve. The metallic thread on notes was also introduced. Later to eradicate the fakes the Bank of England withdrew notes larger than £5 from circulation and did not reintroduce them until the early 1960’s for £10 and later for the others.

The Germans originally planned to drop the cash over England thinking that whilst some people would hand the currency in, others would keep it. They didn’t do this in the end it was more useful to them to use the money, they sent the cash to Merano, in Tyrol where it was used to pay for imports and to pay German agents. After the war a spy called Cicero who was the most highly paid spy at the time found out after the war that the English banknotes he insisted on being back in were counterfeited by the Germans. The SS also bought gold and jewels and dollars with the fake money. Some of the Nazi were against the idea, the head of the Gestapo said ‘'Forging money, this kind of behaviour, is the sort of thing that will bring the Third Reich into disrepute' … as if all the other things they were doing didn’t?!
S:http://www.channel4.com/community/showcards/G/Great_Nazi_Cash_Swindle.html
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cicero-Spy-Affair-Perspectives-Intelligence/

 
eggshaped
162506.  Tue Apr 03, 2007 3:16 am Reply with quote

Quote:
Why when you go to a cash machine are there often only £20 notes available?

65% of the total notes in circulation are £20 notes.


Wow, I always wondered that. Are you saying that they still have mostly £20 notes to stop people from forging them by changing the amount? You'd think it'd be sensible to have more fivers.

 
Molly Cule
162527.  Tue Apr 03, 2007 4:41 am Reply with quote

No, no, no... two entirely unrelated facts posted in one go that's all. 65% of 20's, yes, I don't know why though, do you want me to ask them why? I guess just because that is the most useful note?

 
eggshaped
162529.  Tue Apr 03, 2007 4:45 am Reply with quote

Um, you can ask them if you want. I'd be interested - but I dunno if it would be any use for the show.

It may be the most useful note for London prices, but they're the bane of shopkeepers' lives down here. The look you get when giving someone 20 quid for a pint of milk; you'd think you'd just killed their cat.

 
dr.bob
162533.  Tue Apr 03, 2007 4:50 am Reply with quote

Molly Cule wrote:
When was the Bank of England first in debt?

When it opened. The Bank of England was set up to finance the war against France. The idea was proposed by William Paterson; he proposed raining a 1.2M pound loan to lend to the government at 8% interest on condition the subscribers were incorporated as a joint stock company with the title ‘The Bank of England’, there was no fixed time period for paying back the loan so interest would be played in perpetuity. In effect this meant the creation of a permanent National Debt.


But if the Bank was lending money to the government, then surely it was the government that was in debt, not the Bank. Or have I missed something fairly vital?

By the by, William Paterson (as I've mentioned before hereabouts) was a Scot. As well as setting up the Bank of England, he was also instrumental in bringing about the foundation of the Bank of Scotland. He got his ideas about banking from his travels in Amsterdam.

However, all this counts for little North of the Border. Paterson will be forever remembered up here as the chief architect of the disastrous Darien scheme.

The idea was to set up a colony on the Darien isthmus of Panama. A kind of forerunner of the Panama canal, this would be a bridge between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and would, according to Paterson, give the owners immense trading power and prosperity. He first approached King James II to get the English government to back this scheme. Having failed to convince them, he tried again in Hamburg, Amsterdam and Berlin, still with no luck. After taking time off to found the Bank of England and amass his fortune, Paterson tried again, this time in Scotland. Wanting to join in with the booming economy down south, the Scots jumped at the chance to back Paterson's Darien scheme and poured money into it.

Sadly it was a disaster. A combination of disease and lack of supplies (partly due to bad planning and shipwrecks, and partly due to deliberate blockading by the English and Spanish) caused thousands of deaths and the colony was abandoned within two years. Some estimates claim that Scotland lost over half its wealth due to the Darien disaster, and many people agree that this severe blow to the Scottish economy inevitably lead to the Act of Union seven years later.

 

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