Letter from the Bank of England (26-Nov-1999)

26 November 1999

Ms M V Lowther
Deputy Director and Chief Cashier
Telephone: 0171-xxx xxxx
Facsimile: 0171-xxx xxxx

Dear Mr Carter

Thank you for your letter of 20 November informing me of your decision to launch a campaign to see Charles Darwin depicted on a Bank of England note, and your invitation to become a member of "The Friends of Charles Darwin" which I must decline.

As I said in the previous correspondence, the choice of historical person to portray on the reverse of Bank of England banknotes is, as I am sure you can appreciate, a difficult one.

I can only stress that with a limited number of denominations to design for, many worthy individuals have to be excluded. Charles Darwin's exclusion is, therefore, only one of a large number that the Bank has had to make. You may be assured that Darwin will continue to be amongst the list of people that will borne in mind for the future.

Your letter asked a number of factual questions to which I have provided answers below:-

  • The most recent new note issued (£20) depicting Sir Edward Elgar was a variant within series E. This new note retained the size of note, range of colours, recognition symbol for the partially sighted and the royal portrait (of the queen) used on the Faraday £20 note. But to accommodate the new security features, the detailed design has to be changed.
  • There are no current plans to introduce an F series.
  • We receive a large number of suggestions from the public of which Charles Darwin and Princess Diana are just a few, but we have no public nomination procedures.
  • A change to the throne would not necessarily initiate changes to the reverse side of the banknotes.

I hope this letter has been of assistance to you.

Yours sincerely

Merlyn Lowther