The New £10 Note

A hand holding up the new polymer ten pound note between pinched finger and thumb, against a blurred out background.
A small avatar of a white male with brown hair wearing a white shirt and black tie.
By Lewis Kemp
Marketing Trainee

Last month on July 19th the new polymer £10 note was officially unveiled which coincided with Jane Austen’s death. Jane Austen died in Winchester 1817 and is buried in the north aisle of the Cathedral; the Winchester Cathedrals said in a statement that the new £10 note “will recognise her universal appeal and enduring contribution to English literature”. The Bank of England governor Mark Carney said at the launch “There can be no better place to unveil the new £10 banknote, featuring Jane Austen, and there can be no better time than today, the 200th anniversary of her death.”

The new £10 note will enter circulation on Thursday the 14th of September 2017. When the new polymer fiver was introduced collectors went into a frenzy as they searched for the special editions of the plastic bills and history could well repeat in the autumn when the Jane Austen £10 hits cash machines across the country. In the case of the new fivers ones that had low serial numbers sold for hundreds.

The £10 note is the oldest Bank of England banknote design in circulation and therefore security features require updating to take advantage of developments in technology the Bank said in a recent paper. Production of the new £10 polymer note began last August and the Bank has already printed more that 275 million notes but they’re not quite ready to launch yet. The new note will be smaller than the current one but larger than the new fiver.

Features of the design on the reverse of the Jane Austen note will include:

  • The quote – “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading!” from Pride and Prejudice (Miss Bingley, Chapter XI).
  • Portrait of Jane Austen. Commissioned by James Edward Austen Leigh (Jane Austen’s nephew) in 1870, adapted from an original sketch of Jane Austen drawn by her sister, Cassandra Austen.
  • An illustration of Miss Elizabeth Bennet undertaking “The examination of all the letters which Jane had written to her” – from a drawing by Isabel Bishop (1902-1988).
  • The image of Godmersham Park. Godmersham was home of Edward Austen Knight, Jane Austen’s brother. Jane Austen visited the house often and it is believed that it was the inspiration for a number of her novels.
  • Jane Austen’s writing table – the central design in the background is inspired by the 12 sided writing table, and writing quills, used by Jane Austen at Chawton Cottage.

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