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Watford Bank Note

Once upon a time, towns and cities used to issue their own bank notes. Watford was no exception. The Watford Bank was founded in 1823, during the reign of King George IV, formerly the Prince Regent and run by three local businessmen - Joseph Pike, William Horwill and Thomas Pike.  Such notes were more like IOUs and could only be used locally.  When many of the banks went bust, the notes became worthless. The Watford Bank was one such and closed only three years after its inception in 1826. 


Recently (December 2012) a rare black and white £1 Watford Bank Note came up for auction, from a private collection and was estimated to fetch between £300 and £400.


(In 2000, a similar bank note was auctioned at Christie's, being described in their catalogue thus: Lot Description

Watford Bank, £1, 9 July 1823, serial number A311, black and white, corn sheaf at centre, for Horwill, Pike and Company, rev. black and red receive stamp (GR.3099), this is the Grant plate note, good very fine and very rare.  This particular specimen realised £920).


The more recent note, sold at Spinks in Bloomsbury, realised £1,250.    


References: The Watford Observer Dec 7, 2012 and Dec 29, 2012

Christie's Auction site: http://www.christies.com/lotFinder/lot_details.aspx?intObjectID=1875185