Irish Banknote Guide: c. 1826 Hibernian Bank – Twenty Pounds Token, Type 1

Early Irish Banknotes - page header

Date: c. 1826

1826 Hibernian Bank Twenty Pounds Token, proof, undated. The Old Currency Exchange, Dublin, Ireland.

1826 Hibernian Bank Twenty Pounds Token, proof, undated


1827 Hibernian Bank Twenty Pounds Token, Type 1 (no ‘promissory’ text).

  • No date
  • No serial number
  • This is the largest known denomination for these tokens
  • An extremely rare early paper note


  • Design comprises two vignettes, one to the left of Hibernia seated with a harp and the other (on the right) of the Three Graces.
  • Denomination in words ‘TWENTY POUNDS’ at the centre, with the word ‘TOKEN’ above. In the upper border, the name ‘HIBERNIAN BANK’  is used, while in the centre of the note, the name ‘HIBERNIAN JOINT STOCK COMPANY’ is used. The bank’s location ‘DUBLIN’ appears below.
    • Engraved and printed by Perkins & Heath, London
    • Size: 175mm x 100mm


  • Blank (Uniface)


  • Despite being a new bank with substantial backing, the Chancellor of the Exchequer refused to grant the Hibernian Bank permission to issue its own banknotes.
    • Registered as The Hibernian Joint Stock and Annuity Company, it opened in June 1825, with a massive 1,063 shareholders, many of them London based
    • It was founded by a group of Dublin businessmen in response to anti-Catholic discrimination by Bank of Ireland. Daniel O’Connell was a vociferous supporter in the House of Commons
    • It later changed its name to The Hibernian Bank.
  • This would have impeded their progress considerably, so they improvised and issued tokens instead. These Hibernian-issued tokens, although legal, were withdrawn following their opposition by Bank of Ireland.


  • Ireland


  • Early Irish Banknotes
    • Joint-Stock Banks
    • Hibernian Bank
      •  Twenty Pounds
        • Token
        • Type 1


Further Reading:

Books & Catalogues (Irish Banknotes & Paper Money)




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