Letter to the Bank of England (20-Nov-1999)

20th November, 1999.

Friends of Charles Darwin logo

The Chief Cashier,
The Bank of England,
Threadneedle Street,
London. EC2R 8AH.

Dear Ms. Lowther

The Friends of Charles Darwin

You may recall that I wrote to you on 12th February this year to question the continuing absence of Charles Darwin from the reverse side of a British bank note. I should like to thank you for the useful background information you provided regarding the choice of historical figures for depiction on your notes.

You will be pleased to learn that I have been giving the matter much thought, and have decided to launch a campaign (under the aegis of The Friends of Charles Darwin) to gain Darwin recognition on one of your notes. The year 2009 will see the bicentenary of Darwin's birth and 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species (the 140th anniversary, incidentally, is today*). This would seem like the ideal opportunity to celebrate the great man (in the same way that, on the current £50 note, you celebrated the 300th anniversary of the Bank of England with a picture of the totally unheard-of Sir John Houblon).

To assist me in my campaign, I wonder if you would be kind enough to provide some additional information regarding your notes, viz:

  • When is the current E Series of notes scheduled for completion, and who will be celebrated on the remaining ones?
  • Are there any plans for an F Series, and, if so, who will choose the people to be depicted on them?
  • Is there a recognised procedure for members of the public to nominate people for inclusion on bank notes?
  • In the event of a new monarch's succession to the throne, will a new series of notes be initiated?
  • Has any consideration been given to freeing up more space for additional worthies on bank notes by removing the monarch's head (or, as I like to think of it, Doing a Cromwell)?

Finally, I should like to extend the invitation for you to become a member of The Friends of Charles Darwin. There is no cost or commitment involved - other than allowing your name to be added to the list of people who would like to see Charles Darwin recognised on a bank note. In return, you will be allowed to append the initials F.C.D. (Friend of Charles Darwin) to your name whenever you feel it appropriate (e.g. when signing the forthcoming Charles Darwin bank note).

Yours sincerely,

Richard Carter, FCD
Friend of Charles Darwin

P.S. Why not visit The Friends' web site at [former website address]?

* I had got my dates mixed up: the 140th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species didn't fall until four days later.