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Merseyside History, Liverpool Currency

Photograph with thanks to Liverpool City Council

Did you know that Liverpool had its very own currency???

WELL it did and in fact some of the currency can be seen still to this day, sadly no longer legal tender, at the Liverpool Museum.

Between 1793 and 1796, the city of Liverpool developed its own bank notes, today unique and very rare. It is the Liverpool Corporation who took this bold and pioneering initiative as a solution to the economic crisis, which touched the area in the 1790s. 

This crisis was partly brought about by the effect of war upon trade. A loan from the Bank of England was not forthcoming, so an Act of Parliament was obtained to set up a Corporation Loan Office to issue its own negotiable notes. 

Note payable to the bearer of 100 and 50 with interest and 10 and 5 without interest were issued on the credit of the corporate estate. The plan was a great success and ended in 1796 when the crisis was over.

Record of the House of Commons Committee that was petition by Members of the Common Council of the Town of Liverpool can be seen by going to www.bopcris.ac.uk/bop1688/ref585.html. On that page you can see the paper that was referred, Chairman Jackson, Sir George and published on the 15 April 1793.

The notes that survive were found by accident by workmen, after renovation work was being completed in the subterranean vaults and basement areas of St Gorges Hall, Liverpool. in the 1990's. 

Sources

Liverpool Record Office (2001) Unique Liverpool Bank Notes. Annual Report 2000-2001.

Liverpool Museum, William Brown St. Liverpool, L1, UK.

Useful Links

BOPCRIS www.bopcris.ac.uk/bop1688/ref585.html

Research conducted and written by Alexia Wodli.    Research conducted in 2004.

Mersey Reporter and Liverpool Reporter are Trade Marks of Patrick Trollope.